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The singular position that Stuart Hall occupied in the intellectual life of the British Left can probably be explained by the nature of the scholarly project that was his, marked by the demand of the present and critical impatience. But beyond Hall’s critical stance, this singular capacity that was his to incarnate different phases and options of critique resides in his institutional practice. This essay evokes this particular aspect of Hall’s work in order to cast a decentered glance on the French university. Understanding the relation between critique and the university institution in the French context allows us to offer some clues to Hall’s difficult reception in this intellectual landscape.