August 24, 2016

Purdue philosophy professor receives NEH award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University professor of philosophy has a received $175,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to translate the seminar lectures of a noted French philosopher and make them available online.

Daniel Smith, a professor of philosophy, is focusing on the work of Gilles Deleuze, who lived 1925-95. He authored more than 25 books and taught for many years at the University of Paris 8.

"Deleuze is widely recognized as one of the most influential and important French philosophers of the second half of the 20th century," Smith said. "He is one of the most cited authors in the humanities, and several of his books, such as ‘Nietzsche and Philosophy’ and ‘Difference and Repetition,’ have become classics in their fields."

Smith and his team will translate several of the seminar lectures that Deleuze gave at the University of Paris 8 from 1979-87. Large crowds attended the seminars, and students’ recordings of his lectures were eventually archived by the National Library of France.

"The translations will be a great benefit to English-speaking scholars in the humanities," Smith said. "Since there is much material in the lectures that finds no parallel in Deleuze’s published works."

Smith’s two-year award for this “Scholarly Editions and Translations” project is part of $79 million in grants that the NEH has awarded for nearly 300 humanities projects and programs nationwide.

The transcriptions of the seminars were supported by a Global Synergy Grant from Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts, which continued work that had been initiated by a team at the University of Paris 8 at Vincennes/St. Denis. Smith also has translated two of Deleuze’s books, "Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation" and "Essays Critical and Clinical."

Smith’s collaborators include Nicolae Morar, a Purdue alumnus and an assistant professor in philosophy and environmental studies at the University of Oregon; and Thomas Nail, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Denver. The project’s translators are Mary Beth Mader, a professor of philosophy at the University of Memphis; Melissa McMahon, a professional translator who earned her doctorate degree in philosophy at the University of Sydney. Smith also is working with the French National Library, the University of Paris 8 at Vincennes/St. Denis and the Purdue University Research Repository, and Chris Penfield, who received his doctorate degree in philosophy from Purdue in 2015.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Source: Daniel Smith,

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