Jean-Pierre Dupuy
Stanford University

Jean-Pierre Dupuy
Stanford University

"The Problem of Desire, Violence, & Religion
in Philosophy, Literature, and Cinema:
A Critical View on René Girard's
Mimetic and Sacrificial Theory"

Stanford University, Building 260, Room 008
Spring Quarter 2011, Monday, 2:15-5:05 pm

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

René Girard
Académie français

Introduction to René Girard's Theory: Mimesis, Desire, Violence, and the Sacred
FRENGEN 277 (Units: 3-5), Spring Quarter 2011
Description: René Girard's oeuvre has been hailed as one of the most powerful and influential theories in the human sciences. This reading seminar will provide a critical introduction to Girard's theory emphasizing its epistemological and philosophical underpinnings and its potential for interdisciplinarity. Its relevance for anthropology economics political and social philosophy religious studies and literary theory will be fully explored.

Class Date Syllabus & Readings
1 March 28, 2011 Introductory Lecture: René Girard's Mimetic & Sacrificial Theory
2 April 4, 2011 René Girard's Violence & the Sacred
Jean-Pierre Dupuy: "Anatomy of 9/11: Evil, Rationalism, and the Sacred"
(Substance Issue 115 (Volume 37, Number 1), 2008, pp. 33-51
3 April 11, 2011 René Girard's Genesis of Human Violence— Moliere's Dom Juan;
Dupuy's "From Hiroshima to Fukushima" (Le Monde, 3-20-2011)
3A April 15, 2011
10:00 am-3:30 pm
Colloquium: "Deceit, Desire and the Novel 50 Years Later:
René Girard's Mimetic Theory & Literary Studies"
4 April 18, 2011 Underground Psychology & Fyodor Dostoyevsky's
Notes from the Undergound (1864) & The Eternal Husband (1870)
5 April 25, 2011 Jean-Pierre Dupuy: "Crisis and the Sacred" (Girardian Quiz)
"Atom Bomb & the Sacred"— Errol Morris, "The Fog of War" (trailer)
April 26: Screening Peter Brook's film Lord of the Flies (1963)
6 May 2, 2011 Dupuy's "Market, Imitation, and Tradition: Hayek vs. Keynes"; Cecilia: Camus Stranger;
Keren: Antonio Machuco's Sacrifice & Gran Torino; Maria Bowie: Girard vs. Lévi Strauss
7 May 9, 2011 Greg: "René Girard vs. Richard Dawkins— Religion & Christianity";
James Kaltreider: Peter A. Thiel: "Optimistic Thought Experiment";
Dupuy: "On the Certainty of Being Surprised" & "Religion: Natural or Supernatural?"
8 May 16, 2011 Dupuy's "Mourning the Future" & "Rational Choice Before the Apocalypse;
Emanuele Antonelli: "Battling to the End: Conversations with Benoît Chantre"
and "Girardian View of Silvio Berlusconi as King, Fool, & Scapegoat"
9 May 23, 2011 Atticus reports on Prof. Jean-Pierre Dupuy's paper "Jealousy & Triangular Illusion";
Prof. Joshua Landy defends his 4/15 paper "Valentine's Day" on Girard's Mimetic Desire
10 May 24, 2011 Prof. Paul Dumouchel, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto
A Girardian Talk on "Political Violence"; Book: Le Sacrifice Inutile (2011)

Web Links on René Girard

René Girard
(Wikipedia: Life & Career, Girard's thought, Reception & criticism, Honor & awards, Bibliography)
René Girard Colloquium On Violence & Religion
(Biography, Bibliography, Mimetic Theory, Interview & Lectures, Girard Network, Mimesis Database)
Imitation, Mimetic Theory, and Religious & Cultural Evolution
(A Templeton Advanced Research Program on René Girard)
Imitatio: Integrating the Human Sciences
(Promoting the work of René Girard)
René Girard scrutinizes the human condition from creation to apocalypse
(By Cynthis Haven, Stanford Magazine, July/August 2009)
"What Is Occurring Today Is a Mimetic Rivalry on a Planetary Scale"
(Interview by Henri Tincq, Le Monde, November 6, 2001)
Interview with René Girard
(Interview by Markus Müller, UCLA, Anthropoetics II, no. 1, June 1996)
Girard Among Girardians
(By Joseph Bottum, First Things, March 1996)
René Girard Introduction
(Mimetic Desire Hypothesis, Debates, Bibliography, Links)
Anthropology of René Girard and Traditional Doctrines of Atonement
(Weaver points to the work of Walter Wink in describing a nonviolence of active resistance to evil.
He sees Girard's interpretation as more of a passive nonresistance)
René Girard's & Walter Wink's Religious Critiques of Violence as Radical Communication Ethics
(By Gerald J. Biesecker-Mast, Nov. 20-23, 1997 National Communication Assocation Meeting)
René Girard: Commented Bibliography
(7 Girard books from Deceit, Desire and the Novel to A Theater of Envy: William Shakespeare)
The Girard Reader (1996)
(Edited by James G. Williams, Book at, 8 5-stars)
René Girard's The Scapegoat (1989)
(Book at, 3 5-stars, 1 4-stars)
René Girard's Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (1987)
(Book at, 4 5-stars)
René Girard's Violence and the Sacred (1979)
(Book at, 6 5-stars, 1 4-stars)
René Girard's Deceit, Desire, & the Novel (1976)
(Book at, 6 5-stars)
Insights with Rene Girard
(YouTube: Interview by Peter Robinson, Hoover Institution, December 9, 2009)

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