The Catholic University of America

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Jean-Michel Heimonet



Ordinary Professor of French

Research leave Fall 2017-2018



Recent publications


  1. Politiques du symbole: l'humanisme critique dans la tradition romantique et moderne. (Politics of the Symbol: Humanism and Critical Mind in the Romantic and Modern Tradition) (in French). Editions Kimé, Paris 1993. ISBN 2-908212-58-7.
  2. Tocqueville et le devenir de la démocratie: la perversion de l'idéal. (Tocqueville and the Becoming of Democracy: Perversion of an Ideal) (in French). Editions L'Harmattan, Paris 1999. ISBN 2-7384-7645-7
  3. Pourquoi Bataille? Trajets intellectuels et politiques d'une "négativité au chômage" (Why Bataille? Intellectual and Political Journeys of an "Unemployed Negativity") A monograph of the French thinker Georges Bataille (in French). Editions Kimé, Paris 2000. ISBN 2-84174-181-8.


  1. "The Modernity of Mysticism: Bataille and Sartre" (in English), Diacritics, Fall 1996.


Research Interests

  1. Literature and Religion: arts and literature as a substitute to the sacred after Nietzsche's "death of God."
  2. Modern critical / social theory: the weakening of the critical discourse as a result of mass communication.
  3. Linguistic and/or symbolic nature of the democratic "social bond" in Western culture.


Honors and Awards

  1. March 2000 - Award and medal from the Cultural Center of the West, Nantes (France)
  2. February 2002 - Promotion to the rank of "Officier dans l'ordre des Palmes académiques" by the Attaché Culturel from the French Embassy.


Sample Courses

  • FREN 341 - Francophone cultures and literatures.
  • FREN 675 - Main critical currents in the 20th century.
  • FREN - The idea of democracy from Tocqueville to September 11, 2001.