Engeromic Recognitions: Flora Tristan

Flora Tristan (1803-44) was one of the most remarkable and radical women of the nineteenth century, yet she is inadequately recognized because her activities were so diverse and dispersed. Her books represent the range of her spheres of action. Born in Paris of Latin American parentage, in 1832 she travelled to Peru in an unsuccessful attempt to claim a share of her father's legacy; her father had been a close friend of Simón Bolívar. From this came her book Pérégrinations d'une paria in 1838. Flora Tristan then agitated for workers' rights in France, and became one of the founding figures in the syndicalist movement: the story of her years as a militant is related in Le Tour de France, her journal edited and published posthumously, in 1973. In the course of her investigations into the condition of workers and women she visited London, and wrote Promenades dans Londres (1840: translated into English as Flora Tristan's London Journal, now recognized as a pioneering study of the city). Her other works include Méphis, a two-volume novel, published in 1838, and  L'union ouvrière (1843), a call for workers to organize themselves internationally. Flora Tristan is among the very earliest feminists: her call for the emancipation of women is inextricably linked with her striving for the rights of workers.


  Four years after Flora Tristan's death, her daughter Aline gave birth to Paul Gauguin. In 2003 Mario Vargas Llosa (Nobel Prize 2010) wrote a novel juxtaposing the lives of Gauguin and his grandmother, El paraiso en la otra esquina (English translation, The Way to Paradise); the Danish writer Merete Reinholdt wrote the novel Flora Tristan in 2004. There are a number of good reasons to hold this event in Copenhagen, where Gauguin lived in 1885 and where most of his children settled; Flora Tristan has a number of descendants living in Denmark. And throughout the autumn of 2011 the Carlsberg Glyptotek is hosting a major exhibition, 'Gauguin and Polynesia'.


  This event marks an exceptional and perhaps unprecedented gathering of scholars and admirers of Flora Tristan and Paul Gauguin.



kl. 11-13 OBS sted: 24.2.11

Máire Cross, Professor of French, University of Newcastle; Director of the Flora Tristan Research Centre: Femmes voilées à travers siècles: la question de la religion en Frande vis à vis de la question de (gender) "genre" et politique


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kl. 14.00

Máire Cross:

What Really happened to Gauguin's Grandmother? Historical and Literary Traces of Flora Tristan


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Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Professor of Law, Birkbeck, London; author of What if Latin America Ruled the World in the 21st Century? (2010):

Flora Tristan: Her Myth and its Consequences in Latin America



Tea and coffee and cakes



Merete Reinholdt, journalist and novelist:

Writing the fiction of a life: a reading from her novel -- in Danish -- Flora Tristan (2004)



Flemming Friborg, Director of the Carlsberg Glyptotek and joint curator of the Glyptotek's exhibition 'Gauguin and Polynesia':

Paul Gauguin and the Challenge of being Flora Tristan's Grandson






Arranged by the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies (EnGeRom) at the University of Copenhagen. This is the second in the series 'EnGeRomic Recognitions': the first, held in November 2009, was devoted to Leonora Carrington (1916-2011).


For further information, please contact a member of the organizing committee: Charles Lock (lock@hum.ku.dk), Anne Marie Ejdesgard Jeppesen (ejdesgd@hum.ku.dk), Peter Leese (leese@hum.ku.dk).