In the past fifty years French intellectual activity has enjoyed remarkable prestige. The vitality of French intellectual debates has attracted a large audience within France and abroad. Ideas and methods developed in France have had an important international influence in many fields of knowledge. While taking account of the rise and decline of major philosophical trends such as existentialism, Marxism, structuralism, poststructuralism and postmodernism, this book deals more broadly with scholarly work in key spheres of the humanities, social sciences and the arts. It examines influential individuals, schools of thought, seminal debates and moments of change in philosophy, literary theory, history, linguistics, social anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, psychoanalysis, feminist thought and film theory. Adopting a variety of different approaches, contributors discuss their chosen areas from the standpoint which they find most appropriate to capturing distinctive and interesting features of French scholarship in the fields concerned.