Past Event

The Politics of History in Politics: On the Eve of the French Presidential Elections

April 5, 2022
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Buell Hall Columbia University 515 West 116th Sreet New York, NY 10027

A panel discussion with Jérémie Foa, Mame-Fatou Niang, Nicolas Delalande, and Nadia Urbanati, introduced and moderated by Thomas Dodman.

History has long been a very French passion. Like elsewhere, it has also become a political battleground, flaring up at each election cycle. In 2022, as in 2017, historians have felt compelled to enter the political arena and respond directly to political (ab)uses of the past. Collective editorial efforts have sought to both correct mistakes and offer alternative visions of the country's history, reaching far back in time and widening the scope of analysis. Today, what France will be seems to hinge more than ever on what we think it was.

Jérémie Foa is Associate Professor of History at Aix-Marseille Université and is currently a member at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. A specialist of the wars of religion, he is the author of Tous ceux qui tombent: visages du massacre de la St-Barthélemy (La Découverte, 2021) and a contributor to Zemmour contre l’histoire (Gallimard, 2022).

Mame-Fatou Niang is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and the Visiting Melodia E. Jones Endowed Chair at the University at Buffalo. She is the author of Identités françaises: banlieues, féminités et universalisme (Brill, 2019) and, with Julien Suaudeau, of Universalisme (Anamosa, 2022)

Nicolas Delalande is Associate Professor of History at Sciences-Po Paris and currently an Alliance Visiting Professor at Columbia University. He is the author of Struggle and Mutual Support (Other Press, 2022) and a co-editor of France in the World: A New Global History (Other Press, 2019).

Nadia Urbinati is the Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory at Columbia University. A specialist of democratic and anti-democratic movements, her most recent publication is Me The People: How Populism Transforms Democracy (Harvard, 2019)

Thomas Dodman is Assistant Professor of French and director of the History and Literature MA at Columbia University. He is the author of What Nostalgia Was (Chicago 2018) and he coedits the journal Sensibilités: Histoire, critique, sciences sociales (Anamosa) 

This event is organized by the French Cultural Society, Columbia Maison Française, European Institute and Alliance Program.