UC Santa Barbara Celebrates Centennial of Jean-Paul Sartre with Six-Day Program of Free, Public Events

Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

The life, work, and legacy of Jean-Paul Sartre, the great French existentialist philosopher, will be examined and celebrated by UC Santa Barbara at a six-day festival marking the centennial of his birth.

The celebration, from November 29 through December 4, will feature a variety of events and activities, all of them free and open to the public. They include an exhibit at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, an international scholarly colloquium, staged readings of Sartre's famous play No Exit, and a jazz concert. All activities except the exhibit will be held on the UCSB campus. No registration or tickets are required, although seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

A novelist, playwright, philosopher, and literary critic, Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the intellectual leaders of France's political left. Being and Nothingness is among his best-known philosophical works, and No Exit one of his most-produced works for the stage.

Considered the father of existentialist philosophy, Sartre is, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "arguably the best known philosopher of the twentieth century. His indefatigable pursuit of philosophical reflection, literary creativity and, in the second half of his life, active political commitment gained him worldwide renown."

Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964, Sartre declined the honor in protest of the values of bourgeois society. The prize committee had cited him for a body of work "which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age." Sartre died in 1980 in Paris, where he was born in 1905.

Scholars from several countries will be taking part in the colloquium, which will examine many aspects of Sartre's life and work, including his relevance today. The Web site for the centennial celebration has complete information on topics, speakers, and times of presentations.

Organized by Professors Catherine Nesci and Ernest Sturm of the Department of French and Italian at UCSB, the Sartre centennial celebration is sponsored by that department and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, with the support and co-sponsorship of many other UCSB units and off-campus partners.

Below are details on specific activities. Complete program information is on the Web at:

Theater No Exit

("Hell Is Other People") -- A Staged Reading, Directed by Prof. Irwin Appel Tuesday, Nov. 29 & Wednesday, Nov. 30,

8 p.m.

Studio Theater, Snidecor Hall 1101, UCSB

Exhibit Sartre Manuscripts and Books, 10 a.m. -- 4 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1 -- Saturday, Dec. 3. Reception, discussion with Professors Michael Sicard and Ernest Sturm, and film, Dec. 3, 4 - 7 p.m. The Karpeles Manuscript Museum, 21 West Anapamu St., Santa Barbara

(805) 962-5322

International Colloquium

Starts 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 and concludes Saturday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m.

McCune Conference Room, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, 6th floor, Humanities and Social Science Building, UCSB


Thursday, Dec. 1,

6 -- 8 p.m. Art Gallery, College of Creative Studies, UCSB Music by the Rob Wallace Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Concert

Sunday, Dec. 4,


p.m. Old Little Theater, College of Creative Studies, UCSB, with internationally renowned French trumpeter Alain Brunet, The Gendarmes du Swing, and the Rob Wallace Jazz Ensemble