Festival Albertine

Benedicte de Montlaur and Gloria Steinem, Festival Albertine 2017. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Benedicte de Montlaur and Gloria Steinem, Festival Albertine 2017. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan


Inaugurated in 2014 in the newly-opened Albertine Books, Festival Albertine has quickly become a vital summit for discourse between leading French-speaking and American thinkers, and has cemented Albertine Books’ reputation as New York City’s hub for French-American intellectual exchange. In its first two years, the festival tackled topics ranging from the state of feminism to the future of journalism to efforts to combat climate change. Author, journalist, and cultural critic Greil Marcus curated the 2014 festival, which featured “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, filmmaker Olivier Assayas, author Mary Gaitskill, graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash, and Fields Medal-winning mathematician Cédric Villani. Festival Albertine 2015 enlisted innovators including National Book Award winner Judith Thurman, Performa founding director RoseLee Goldberg, author Adam Gopnik, Ethiopian-American novelist Dinaw Mengestu, and The New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly to curate a variety of discussions. Participants included The New Yorker editor David Remnick, graphic novelist Phoebe Gloeckner, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author Margo Jefferson, and author Katie Roiphe, who were joined by French-speaking voices including Mauritania-born film director Abderrahmane Sissako, Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud, and cartoonist and film director Riad Sattouf. The curator of the third annual Festival, in 2016, was National Book Award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Speakers included Kehinde Wiley, Benjamin Millepied, Thelma Golden, David Simon, Claudia Rankine, Darryl Pinckney, Jelani Cobb, Chris Jackson, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Kamilah Forbes, Jennifer Homans, Virginia Johnson, Catherine Meurisse, Nacira Guénif-Souilamas, Laurent Dubois, D’ de Kabal, Iris Deroeux, Pap Ndiaye, Scholastique Mukasonga, Claire Diao and Adam Shatz.

The curators of this year’s festival (2017) are pioneering feminist writers and activists Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan. Speakers will include Roxane Gay, Cecile Richards, Elizabeth Diller, Christiane Taubira, Guerrilla Girls, Laure Adler, Houda Benyamina, Robin Coste Lewis, Marie Darrieussecq, Marie de Cenival, Caroline de Haas, Anne Garréta, Soraya Chemaly, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Delphine Horvilleur, Daisy Khan, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Heidi Steltzer, Wassyla Tamzali, Lauren Wolfe.


Blake Zidell