Within the burgeoning literature on Whiteness studies in France (to which this special issue also contributes), 1 the theme of anti-White racism has acquired a certain prominence. This article intends to critically zoom in on this notion
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Tzvetan Todorov, On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism in French Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993)
Sue Peabody, “There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)
Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 1995)
Maxim Silverman, Deconstructing the Nation: Immigration, Racism and Citizenship in Modern France (London and New York: Routledge, 1992)
Philip H. Gordon and Sophie Meunier
The nature of the French economy has changed radically in recent years. Breaking with its mercantilist and dirigiste past, France has since the early 1980s converted to market liberalization, both as the necessary by-product of European integration and globalization and as a deliberate effort by policymakers. Whereas the French state used to own large sectors of the economy, partly to keep them from foreign control, now even a Socialist-led government proceeds with privatization, with scant regard for the nationality of the buyer.
Policing the French Empire
Colonial Law Enforcement and the Search for Racial-Territorial Hegemony
variety of models in use within the diverse array of locales. However, only rarely have collections focused exclusively on the French empire, and then principally sub-Saharan territories along with Madagascar. 5 Yet the entire “très grande France
Alice L. Conklin
Post-Colonial Cultures in France, Alec G. Hargreaves and Mark McKinney, eds. (London: Routledge, 1997)
Jean-Loup Amselle, Vers un multiculturalisme français, l’empire de la coutume (Paris: Aubier, 1996)
The Iraq Crisis and France
Heaven-Sent Opportunity or Problem from Hell?
In early 2003, in the midst of the debates in the United Nations over what to do about Iraq, but before the French definitively threatened to use their veto, Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a clear though implied reference to France, remarked that, “with some of our friends, we have been in marriage counseling for 225 years.” The secretary did not say which partner was which in the marriage.
Saving France's "lost Boys "
Vichy and the Reform of Juvenile Justice in France
Laura Lee Downs
In 1944, Léo Joannon's now-forgotten film Le Carrefour des enfants perdus opened in cinemas across France. The film (which starts in August 1940) recounts the struggle of impassioned journalist Jean Victor and a small group of friends to found a new kind of reform school without locks on the doors or bars on the windows, a vocational school for the professional training of delinquent youth whose methods were to be based on forging bonds of trust with the young offenders, rather than on their simple repression. Victor and his friends had all experienced firsthand the terrible bagnes d'enfants (children's penal colonies) of the Third Republic's pitiless juvenile justice system in their youth, and the story of the Carrefour (as their school was named) turns on the dedicated faith of these men in the abilities of children, even those deemed "guilty" in juvenile courts, to remake their own lives along healthier lines. Over the course of the film, the adventures of the Carrefour's 400 "enfants perdus" unfold inside an unexpected blend of progressive pedagogy (confidence in the children) and Vichy's fascistic elevation of the chef (organization of the school in hierarchically-ordered teams, run by older street toughs who are converted from caïdisme to the purer, if no less masculinist, ideology of the chef).
If the Resistance as a whole is part of French identity, the different types of resistance, among them that of women, do not benefit from the same status. On the contrary, official commemorations of the Resistance are based upon two implicit statements: that the Resistance and the nation are somewhat equivalent— the Resistance being viewed as the uprising of the whole nation—and that to differentiate among the resisters would go against the very principles of the Resistance, its universalism, its refusal to make any distinction in race or origin. The assimilationism that is part of the ideology of the French Republic hinders the recognition of particularisms, whether regional, cultural or gendered.
The Moral Rearmament of France
Pierre Nora, Memory, and the Crises of Republicanism
The article traces the transformation of the idea of memory in the writings of Pierre Nora. His multi-volume Les Lieux de mémoire is read as a response to historiographical and historical crises of the 1970s, an attempt to write the history of France in which memory served as the new basis of national unity. However, the new national synthesis of memory that emerged merely resembled a liberal republicanism, whose enemies were variously immigrants, multiculturalists, neo-nationalists, dissenters from the anti-totalitarian consensus, or anyone who emphasized Vichy or France's colonial past. Ultimately, memory proved no more capable of dealing with the troublesome aspects of historical narrative or memory than traditional history.
Laura L. Frader
Siân Reynolds, France Between the Wars: Gender and Politics (London and New York: Routledge, 1997).
Mary Louise Roberts, Civilization Without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927 (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1994).
Laura Lee Downs, Manufacturing Inequality: Gender Division in the French and the British Metalworking Industries 1914-1931 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995).