L’Esprit de Genève: From Albert Gallatin to Michel Butor


The NYU Presidential Medal Ceremony Honoring Michel Butor
A Conversation between Michel Butor and Lois Oppenheim

What is L’Esprit de Genève? How has it influenced two prominent figures in their respective political and literary lives? America’s Swiss founding father, Albert Gallatin, emigrated from Geneva in the 1780s and helped secure this country’s independence and establish NYU. Former Professor of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Geneva and professor in several American universities, avant-garde novelist, poet and essayist Michel Butor has created an astonishing body of work inspired by the relationship between word and space. NYU pays tribute to the accomplishments of these two men, whose beliefs and actions have been shaped by L’Esprit de Genève, 200 years apart.

Michel Butor (pictured above) will be presented with the 2012 Presidential Medal by NYU President John Sexton, then interviewed by Professor Lois Oppenheim (Professor and Chairperson, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Montclair State University), an expert on his work. The evening will include a sneak preview of the 2012 traveling exhibition on Albert Gallatin, organized by the Bibliothèque de Genève and running at NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library from November 2012 to March 2013.

In partnership with the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and La Maison Française of NYU

Event Date & Time

Thursday, March 8, 7P.M.


Gallatin School of Individualized Study
New York University
1 Washington Place (at Broadway)


Free and open to the public
RSVP required: nyc.events@eda.admin.ch