Brief chronology of the Philosophy Department
1968–9 The Experimental University Center at Vincennes is founded. Michel Foucault is the first department chair. Instant infighting among Maoists, Trotskyists, and the Communist Party.
1970 January: The French state withdraws the department’s accreditation to grant degrees.
1970 April: Foucault gets a more prestigious job (at the Collège de France). François Châtelet becomes department chair. Student enrollments plummet by almost 50% (but recover by the late 1970s).
1974 Mass firing of precarious teachers prompts a short-lived strike within the department and internal conflicts.
1978 A “Polytechnic Institute of Philosophy” was founded.
1979 Jean-François Lyotard’s Postmodern Condition published, partly to defend the department against a hostile government.
1980 The university was forced to relocate to Saint-Denis.
1982 The Department requests re-accreditation to grant degrees.
1983 The avant-garde Collège international de philosophie is founded in central Paris, with government funding and with significant participation from the Paris 8’s philosophers.
1985 Châtelet dies. The gay anarchist philosopher René Schérer “takes over the department” for a few years.
1985–1986 National accreditation to grant degrees is gradually returned.
1987 Deleuze retires.
1988 Jacques Poulain starts a 22-year term as department chair.
1994 Deleuze dies.
1995 Antonia Soulez recruited as the first woman full professor.
1998 Lyotard dies.
1999 Alain Badiou leaves to teach in a more prestigious institution.
2003 Campus protests against the Bologna reforms in France.
2006 Jacques Rancière retires.
2007 Sarkozy administration passes university autonomy law (LRU).
2008 Student protest movement against LRU.
2009 4-month student and academic protest against LRU.
2010 Patrice Vermeren becomes department chair.
2011 Joint program founded with the embattled British radical philosophy department at Kingston/Middlesex.
2012 Paris 8 becomes a partially “autonomous” campus via the LRU.