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Telling Her Story of War

Challenging Gender Bias at Culloden Battle eld Visitor Centre

Nicole Deufel

When live interpretation of women was first introduced at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, it received little visitor interest and mixed reactions despite the key roles that women played during the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Consequent experiences with changes to the interpretation suggest that visitors' prior identification of wars with men makes them regard women's interpretation as irrelevant to the war story they came to learn. It appears that interpretation that mixes the stories of men and women can ensure visitors' engagement with interpretation of women at war while at the same time enhancing visitors' ability to personally connect with the interpretive content overall.

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“Flattering the Little Sleeping Rooster”

The French Left, de Gaulle, and the Vietnam War in 1965

Bethany S. Keenan

This article examines conflicts concerning French policy on the American phase of the Vietnam War between the French Left and Charles de Gaulle during the 1965 elections. The Left faced a dilemma on a matter of central foreign policy as it found it difficult to differentiate its position on the war from de Gaulle's public statements on it. Through an evaluation of press commentary, I demonstrate that in its attempt to set itself apart from de Gaulle, the French Left challenged not only his interpretation of the war in Vietnam but also his understanding of France and its role in the world, proffering a softer, cooperative conception in opposition to de Gaulle's push for a militant leadership status for France in the international community. The study shows the limits political parties face as part of protest movements, while also situating French debate over the Vietnam War squarely within the ongoing dialogue over French national identity.

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French Catholics, Women, and the Home

The Founding Generation of the Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne féminine

W. Brian Newsome

In 1928 a group of young Parisian working women, guided by Father Georges Guérin, established a Catholic youth group called the Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne féminine. This study examines the ideas of the founding generation of the so-called Jocists on women and the home; the ways in which these conceptions were rooted in religious assumptions about women and domestic space; the evolution of these positions through the Ligue ouvrière chrétienne féminine and the Mouvement populaire des familles (adult organizations that evolved from the youth group); and the effect of these ideas on the shape of domestic space in France. From this investigation emerges a portrait of conflicted individuals and organizations advocating ideas that were sometimes conservative, sometimes liberal, often contradictory, but all rooted in Catholic social doctrine. This story enriches our understanding of the Catholic Left, of which these associations became an integral part, and the impact that these groups had on France.

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Hierarchies of Race and Gender in the French Colonial Empire, 1914-1946

Jennifer Anne Boittin, Christina Firpo, and Emily Musil Church

This article looks at French Indochina, metropolitan France, and French West Africa from 1914 through 1946 to illustrate specific ways in which French colonial authority operated across the French empire. We look at how colonized people challenged the complex formal and informal hierarchies of race, class, and gender that French administrators and colonizers sought to impose upon them. We argue that both the French imperial prerogatives and colonized peoples' responses to them are revealed through directly comparing and contrasting various locales across the empire. Our case studies explore interracial families and single white women seeking compensation from the French in Indochina, black men de ning their masculinity, and Africans debating women's suffrage rights.

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Re-thinking Antimilitarism

France 1898-1914

Elizabeth Propes

Conservative French nationalists had successfully labeled antimilitarism as antinationalist in the two decades preceding World War I. Because some of the more vocal antimilitarists were also involved in anarchist and radical Marxist organizations, historians largely have accepted this antinationalist label while also arguing that French nationalism had lost its connections to the French Revolution and become a more extremist, protofascist movement. A closer look at mainstream antimilitarist arguments, however, reveals the continued existence of the republican nationalism that had dominated the nineteenth century and shows that antimilitarists did not reject their nation. Instead, antimilitarists sought to protect the Republic, which they saw as synonymous with the nation, against an increasingly conservative, anti-Republic military and conservative nationalists, whom antimilitarists saw as a danger to a republican France.

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Social Space, Technology, and Consumer Culture at the Grands Magasins Dufayel

Brian Wemp

The Grands Magasins Dufayel, a huge department store built on the northern fringe of late nineteenth-century Paris, had an important cultural influence on the city's working class. In a neighborhood with few public spaces, it provided a consumer version of the public square. It encouraged workers to approach shopping as a social activity, just as the bourgeoisie did at the famous department stores in central Paris. Like the bourgeois stores, it helped transform consumption from a personal transaction between customer and merchant into an unmediated relationship between consumer and goods. Through advertising the store portrayed itself as a space where the working-class visitor could participate in new and exciting forms of entertainment and technology. Its unique instore cinema and exhibits of inventions like X-ray machines and the gramophone created a new kind of urban space that celebrated the close relationship between technology and consumer culture.

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Sturdy Beggars and Political Crisis in 1730s England

Farid Azfar

This essay offers a close reading of a highly influential ballad, one that played a significant role in the excise crisis of 1733 when it helped turn public sentiment against Robert Walpole's government. The ballad, which plays upon Walpole's use of the term "sturdy beggars" to insult a group of petitioning merchants, manipulates both positive and negative visions of beggary. At the same time, the ballad aligns the merchants who opposed the excise bill with several cultural iterations of the strong and suffering type, including social bandits and martyred heroes. In the decades that followed, the sturdy beggars affair came to represent the extreme malleability of political rhetoric. It explains the emergence in the 1730s of a powerful strain of postpolitical exhaustion with demotic culture.

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Elite de Façade et Mirages de l’Independance

Les Petits Entrepreneurs Etrangers en France dans l’Entre-Deux-Guerres

Claire Zalc

In the literature, immigrant entrepreneurs are described as the élite of the best “integrated” immigrants. Histories of migrant communities all insist on the role of the entrepreneurs as the center of the community and the symbol of social success. In this paper, I will discuss the diverse social meaning attached to being an entrepreneur for an immigrant in Paris during the interwar period. In order to describe the social position of immigrant entrepreneurs, I worked on professional careers, based on the study of more than two hundred applications for French nationality from foreign entrepreneurs during the first half of the twentieth century. It's hard to conclude that there is a one-way social mobility of entrepreneurs, either ascendant or descendent. While some went from the working class to owning a shop, eventually able to spend and save money, others became entrepreneurs as a necessity rather than choice.

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Elites and their Representation

Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives

Jean-Pascal Daloz

The term “elite” was introduced in the seventeenth century to describe commodities of an exceptional standard and the usage was later extended to designate social groups at the apex of societies. The study of these groups was established as part of the social sciences in the late nineteenth century, mainly as a result of the work of three sociologists: Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca and Roberto Michels. The core of their doctrine is that at the top of every society lies, inevitably, a small minority which holds power, controls the key resources and makes the major decisions. Since then, the concept of elite(s) has been used in several disciplines such as anthropology, history or political science, but not necessarily in reference to this “classical elite theory.” The concept is strongly rejected, however, by many “progressive” scholars—precisely because of its elitist denotation.

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Elites et Histoire des Sciences en France

Le Cas des Chimistes de L’Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (CNRS), 1960–2000

Muriel Le Roux

Les chimistes des substances naturelles formèrent une communauté identifi able comme telle au cours des années 1960, moment où la discipline acquiert une autonomie. Relevant d’un domaine de recherche aussi bien académique qu’industriel, les personnels, suivant en cela l’évolution générale des métiers de la connaissance, sont devenus identifi ables comme chercheurs au cours de la même période. Si le mot même de chercheur employé pour défi nir le métier n’était pas dénué de puissance symbolique au début de la période, il apparaît que la situation présente une image inversée aujourd’hui. Une distinction s’est opérée entre lauréats et anonymes ; la distance s’est accrue entre le haut et la base de la pyramide professionelle imposant aux historiens de réinterroger la notion d’élite lorsque l’on cherche à écrire l’histoire des sciences du second XXe siècle.