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Balibar (Etienne) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Arrangement
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Bibliography

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Title: Etienne Balibar papers
    Creator: Balibar, Étienne
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.C.023
    Physical Description: 2.6 Linear Feet (8 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1963-2001
    Abstract: This collection is comprised of manuscripts and research materials from philosopher and political theorist Etienne Balibar.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in French and English.


    The collection is open for research. Writings not authored by Etienne Balibar may not be photocopied or duplicated.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Etienne Balibar papers. MS-C023. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Etienne Balibar, 2012.

    Processing History

    This collection is minimally processed in order to facilitate access. It was arranged and described by Michelle Light in consultation with Etienne Balibar in 2012. Finding aid created and additions processed by Audra Eagle Yun in 2012.


    Etienne Balibar is best known as a Marxist philosopher and political theorist focused on historical materialism, critical theory, ethics, and political philosophy. As a student of Louis Althusser at the École Normale Supérieure from 1960 to 1965, Balibar contributed to Althusser's collective theoretical work Reading Capital(1965). Major books written by Balibar include Spinoza and Politics (1985), Race, Nation, Class(with Immanuel Wallerstein, 1991), The Philosophy of Marx (1993), Politics and the Other Scene (2002), and We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (2004).
    Etienne Balibar was born in Avallon, Yonne, Bourgogne, France on April 23, 1942. He earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in 1962 and Diploma of Higher Studies in 1963 from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) while a student at the École Normale Supérieure. In 1987, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree, cum laude, from the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen (Netherlands) for his dissertation entitled, "The infinite contradiction: elements of a philosophy in history."
    Balibar received an habilitation from Université Paris I in 1993 and an honorary doctorate from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2005. Etienne Balibar is Professor Emeritus of moral and political philosophy at the University of Paris, Nanterre and was appointed Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine from 2000 to 2012.



    1942 Etienne Balibar born in Avallon, Yonne, Bourgogne, France on April 23.
    1960 Begins studies at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, ending in 1965.
    1961 Joins the French Communist Party
    1962 Receives Bachelor of Philosophy degree from Sorbonne.
    1963 Receives Diploma of Higher Studies under direction of Georges Canguilhem, Sorbonne.
    1965 Joins the University of Algiers as Assistant, leaving in 1967.
      Publishes Lire le Capital (English translation, Reading Capital in 1970), a collection of essays developed by Louis Althusser and his students (Balibar, Roger Establet, Jacques Rancière, and Pierre Macherey) in a seminar on Karl Marx's Das Kapital.
    1967 Joins the School of Savigny sur Orge as Professor, leaving in 1969.
    1969 Joins the University of Paris I as Assistant, then Senior Lecturer, leaving in 1976.
    1976 Joins Rijksuniversiteit Leiden you (Netherlands) as Wetenschappelijk Hoofdmedewerker, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, leaving in 1977.
      Publishes Sur la dictature du prolétariat (English translation, On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in 1977)
    1977 Joins the University of Paris I as Senior Lecturer, leaving in 1994.
    1981 Expelled from the French Communist Party for criticizing the party's attitudes towards immigration.
    1985 Publishes Spinoza et la politique (English translation, Spinoza and Politics in 1998)
    1987 Receives Ph.D. degree in Philosophy from Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen (Netherlands).
    1988 Publishes Race, Nation, Classe (English translation as Race, Nation, Class in 1991).
    1993 Publishes La philosophie de Marx (English translation, The Philosophy of Marx in 1995)
      Receives Habilitation from Université Paris I.
    1994 Joins University of Paris, Nanterre as Professor.
      Publishes Masses, classes, ideas. Studies in politics and philosophy
    2000 Becomes Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine.
    2003 Publishes L'Europe, l'Amérique, la Guerre. Réflexions sur la médiation européenne
    2002 Publishes Politics and the Other Scene
      Becomes Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris, Nanterre.
    2004 Publishes We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship
    2005 Receives honorary doctorate from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece).


    This collection is arranged in 12 series:
    • Series 1. Work with Louis Althusser, 1963-1977
    • Series 2. "Ecole project," 1968-1971
    • Series 3. Communist Party writings, 1965-1977
    • Series 4. Personal reading notes, 1980-2000
    • Series 5. "Travaux, 1965-1987," for PhD at Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, circa 1987
    • Series 6. Ludwig Wittgenstein translation project, 1987-1989
    • Series 7. Habilitation, Universite de Paris I, 1992-1993
    • Series 8. La philosophie de Marx, after 1993
    • Series 9. Teaching seminars at Universite de Paris X Nanterre, 1995-1996, 2001
    • Series 10. "Passion profane," 1991-1992
    • Series 11. Writings, lecturess, and interviews, 1985-2012
    • Series 12. Scholarly journals, 2003-2011
    The collection was arranged by the creator in consultation with Special Collections & Archives staff.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection is comprised of manuscripts, typescripts, and research materials documenting Etienne Balibar's studies and research from 1963 to 2001. A student of Louis Althusser, Balibar is best known as a Marxist philosopher and political theorist focused on historical materialism, critical theory, ethics, and political philosophy. The collection contains research notes and writings during his work with Althusser in the 1960s and documents the structuralist and Marxist thought of this group. It also includes Balibar's writings as a member of the French Communist Party. Balibar's notes and writings on Baruch Spinoza, René Descartes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Ludwig Wittgenstein are also included, as are a variety of publications and lectures. The vast majority of the materials are in French.


    For additional bibliographic and biographical information on Etienne Balibar, see:
    "Etienne Balibar." UC Irvine - Faculty Profile System. UC Irvine, 11 Feb. 2008. Web. 02 Mar. 2012. http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=4809 .
    "Balibar, Etienne." Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense. Department Philosophie. Web. 02 Mar. 2012. http://www.u-paris10.fr/16444241/0/fiche___pagelibre/ .
    Yeghiayan, Eddie. Etienne Balibar. Etienne Balibar: A Bibliography. 1996. Web. 02 Mar. 2012. http://www.lib.uci.edu/about/publications/wellek/balibar/index.html .

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Critical theory -- Archives.
    Critical theory -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- California -- Irvine
    Philosophy, Marxist -- 20th century
    Philosophy, French -- 20th century
    Balibar, Étienne
    University of California, Irvine -- Archives