Annie Ernaux, The Social Signs of Literature

Sunday, February 12, 2023

This talk is part of the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium.

Event Time

February 11, 2023 | Saturday
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)
February 12, 2023 | Sunday
10:00 am - 11:00 am China Standard Time (CST)

Participation Format

Registration is required to obtain a ZOOM Conference access link, which will be sent to your registration email or phone shortly. Please enter the ZOOM room 15 minutes before the starting time. When the room is full, latecomers will not be able to access the ZOOM conference.


Please click on“HERE” to register. Please send an email to if there are any problems.



The language of the event will be English.

The Event

This lecture serves as an introduction to the work of French author Annie Ernaux—the 2022 recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature. As she wrote in one of her published diaries, Exteriors (1993), “I realize that I am always searching for the signs of literature in reality.” How can life be literary? Through a selection of quotes, we will see why Ernaux favors literature over other fields of knowledge, especially when it comes to apprehending sociological or economical topics such as class mobility.

The Speaker

Morgane Cadieu
Associate Professor of French, Yale University

Morgane Cadieu is Associate Professor of French at Yale, where she teaches courses on contemporary literature, social mobility, and everyday life (trains, supermarkets). Her first book in French, Marcher au hasard, examined a 20th-century experimental group of writers using mathematical models to produce novels, reflect on creativity and free will, and propose new ways of envisioning literary walks in urban settings. Her second book in English is centered on French writer Annie Ernaux, and is forthcoming with The University of Chicago Press under the title: On Both Sides of the Tracks: Social Mobility in Contemporary French Literature.

Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Starr Insurance Companies, and a member of Yale Center Beijing’s Advisory Committee, Yale Center Beijing is pleased to host the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium, which convenes thought leaders from all sectors who, in the spirit of Mr. Greenberg, play pivotal roles in building bridges among China, the U.S., and the rest of the world.

Arts & Humanities

Public Event