Nausea in New York: the FBI & CIA vs Sartre and Camus

2 December 2014, 17:00 - 19:00


A public talk from Dr Andy Martin (Cambridge). 

In 1940s New York, FBI alarm bells are ringing: the Existentialists are coming!  J. Edgar Hoover has to know: what the hell is this Existentialism all about anyway – and is it some kind of code for Communism? He sets his agents on the trail of first Jean-Paul Sartre (1945) and then Albert Camus (1946). Sartre and Camus, Resistance heroes and intellectual emissaries, are sending back their reports about New York to Paris; and, at the same time, G-men are sending in their reports about Sartre and Camus. Through their reading of French philosophy, the FBI and CIA develop contrasting approaches to the concept of conspiracy.

The talk will be followed by a wine reception. 

This is part of a series of public talks from the Leverhulme-funded project Conspiracy and Democracy. More information at