We are thrilled, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Sartre Studies International, to publish for the first time in English (thanks to Dennis Gilbert’s initiative and perseverance) two interviews on theater given by Sartre to Russia’s oldest continually running theater journal, Teatr, whose first issues date from the 1930s. Six years apart, these two interviews give us the flavor of Sartre addressing a Soviet audience, in early 1956, just before Russian tanks rolled into Hungary and then again in early 1962, as France negotiated its exit out of the disastrous Algerian War. While these interviews intersect at times with remarks made by Sartre in interviews and lectures during the same period in France (the need for theater to become a truly popular forum, the importance of Brecht as a model of politically engaged theater, etc.), the tone of the two interviews (the first in particular) is different, as Sartre seeks to connect with a socialist audience. These interviews also break new ground. Discussing contemporary playwrights, Sartre demonstrates, for example, his familiarity with Kateb Yacine and Algerian theater. More unexpectedly, addressing Russian readers, Sartre offers a much more positive assessment of Jean Vilar’s Théâtre National Populaire than he ever formulated in France. In short, beyond their content, these interviews help us appreciate even more the importance of the situation shaping Sartre’s pronouncements at any given moment.
John Ireland and Constance Mui
Few scholars today question the binary relationship between imperialism and violence, and French historians are no exception. In recent years, a multitude of studies have appeared concerning the violence inherent in the conquest of the nineteenth-century Gallic empire, the maintenance and defense of the colonial system, and the decolonization process—massacres and torture during the Algerian War, for example. Such works often reflect Etienne Balibar’s definition of “structural violence”: an essential component of a repressive system, maintaining unequal social relations while defending “the interests, power positions, and forms of social domination.”1 This hegemony took various guises at different times throughout the history of French imperialism, operating in tandem with assaults on the indigènes (the term adopted by the authorities for natives). It could involve surveillance and intelligence gathering, security forces, and judicial-penal institutions employed to harass and control the colonized. Yet it also resulted from the forced pacification of native peoples (Alice Conklin refers to this policy as an “act of state-sanctioned violence”) and the imposition of the indigénat—the loose collection of rules that granted extraordinary police and disciplinary powers to the colonial administration, along with the imposition of forced labor and taxation.2 The ultimate defense of this system, and indeed its brutal apogee, emerged during the wars of decolonization, in which tens of thousands of the colonized were killed in Algeria and Indochina, while countless others were subjected to torture and incarceration.
Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris's Banlieues
Melissa K. Byrnes
In the late-1950s, the Parisian suburbs of Saint-Denis and Asnières-sur-Seine launched major urban renovation projects to eliminate the bidonvilles, shantytowns that often housed North African migrants. While Asnières viewed the bidonville occupants as obstacles to modernization, Saint-Denis billed its efforts as a humanitarian project to provide migrants with better housing and to support migrants' rights and social welfare. Officials in Asnières used their renovation plans to bring new, metropolitan French, families into the reclaimed areas and redistribute the single male workers outside their city. Dionysien officials, however, aimed at inclusion, providing new accommodation within the city for many families and a majority of workers. The renovation efforts in these two cities demonstrate the diversity of French reactions to North African migrants, suggest the existence of alternative notions of local community identity, and highlight the importance of the Algerian War in defining France's migration framework.
It is one of Sartre's greatest strengths that his declared aim was 'to write for his own time'. From the 1940s onward, he became ever less interested in 'timeless' questions, and ever more concerned to explore the concrete realities of his own age. This engagement with the contemporary makes it particularly tempting to consider what Sartre's responses to the events of our own age would be. Ever since his death in 1980, those of us who have drawn insight and inspiration from Sartre's works have tended to ask how Sartre might have judged particular political developments. And because of the central place given to violence in his thought, as well as his detailed reflections on the Second World War and the wars in Algeria and Vietnam, it is only natural to ask how Sartre would have responded to the appalling events of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent 'war on terror'.
This article examines representations of traumatic memory within the context of psychological and poetic domains by analyzing two films: Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman (2008) and Cache (Hidden) by Michael Heneke (2005). These two films are coping with two events: the Sabra and Shatila's massacre that took place in Lebanon in 1982, and the 1961 massacre of Algerian demonstrators in Paris. In both events the films depict the intersection between private and collective traumatic memory. Analyzing the texts focuses especially on the arousing stage of the trauma from a long period of belatedness and is used as a model for questions referring to the act of translating the trauma concept from discourse of psychology to the poetic language of film.
Military Justice on Trial in Belle Époque France
French military justice constituted an "exceptional jurisdiction": a legal subsystem designed to serve not justice but discipline, and carefully insulated from external political intervention. Reformers had attempted to ameliorate its harshness. But when the Clemenceau government elected to abort further reforms in 1907-09, it strengthened the case of radicals who insisted that military justice was unreformable by the bourgeois state. Radicals sought not to improve the quality of military justice, but to expose its linkage to the class struggle (i.e., to portray the Army and its courts as devourers of proletarian youth). When Émile Rousset alleged that Albert Aernoult, his fellow prisoner in an Algerian compagnie de discipline, had been beaten to death by guards, he created an opportunity for radicals to advance that agenda. The Aernoult-Rousset Affair (1909-12) did breach the political insularity of French military justice. Yet the Affair's political and juridical outcomes were ambiguous.
pour un état des lieux de mémoire
In reviewing various commemorations that highlighted the year 2005 in France, this article points out the major evolutions of memory visible primarily in the press and media coverage of these events. If public memory remains as highly charged and polemical as it was in the 1980s and 1990s, attention is clearly turning away from the Occupation and Vichy to focus more on Europe and on France's colonial past, as we see not only in the ceremonies celebrating the "liberation" of Auschwitz, the Allied victory over Nazi Germany, and the dedication of the Mémorial de la Shoah, but also in the many articles devoted to Russian and Eastern European experiences of the war, as well as to the bloody postwar repressions of colonial uprisings in Algeria and Madagascar. Now that racial and ethnic tensions are exacerbating an increasingly fragmented public memory, the work of history is more urgent than ever.
In contrast to the "official history" of the Conseil d'État that presents it as a prestigious and neutral institution, new work ought to reflect on how the grand corps of the Conseil d'État has been implicated in the major issues and crises of French political history, especially in the twentieth century. Drawing on recent historiography, this article focuses in particular on the Conseil d'État during World War II and the Algerian War. It also analyzes the variety of everyday practices of the Conseil d'État and its role in the development of administrative law. Finally, this article examines the professional careers of the members of the grand corps that have staffed this institution. It thus seeks to chart, through the study of a single institution, a path for writing the political history of the state administration that engages with the work of legal scholars as well as political scientists.
Evelyn Bernadette Ackerman Liberalism under Siege: The Political Thought of the French Doctrinaires by Aurelian Craiutu
Sudhir Hazareesingh Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789-1996 by Avner Ben-Amos
Isabelle Merle Exile to Paradise: Savagery and Civilization in Paris and the South Pacific 1790-1900 by Alice Bullard
Jon Cowans Making Jazz French: Music and Modern Life in Interwar Paris by Jeffrey H. Jackson
Mary D. Lewis In the Aftermath of Genocide: Armenians and Jews in Twentieth-Century France by Maud S. Mandel
Sara B. Pritchard The Light-Green Society: Ecology and Technological Modernity in France, 1960-2000 by Michael Bess
Todd Shepard France and Algeria: A History of Decolonization and Transformation by Philip C. Naylor
Frank R. Baumgartner Party, Society, Government: Republican Democracy in France by David Hanley
Katherine Opello French Women in Politics: Writing Power, Paternal Legitimation and Maternal Legacies by Raylene L. Ramsey
Andrei S. Markovits Football in France: A Cultural History by Geoff Hare
Charles Cogan Qui a tué Daniel Pearl? by Bernard-Henri Lévy
Olympe Audouard, Hubertine Auclert, and the Gender Politics of the Civilizing Mission
Building on Joan Scott's argument that the struggles of feminists since the Revolution have been rooted in the paradoxes of republican universalism, this article explores how two nineteenth-century feminists—Olympe Audouard and Hubertine Auclert—sought to escape the problem of sexual difference through engagement with the civilizing mission. They criticized the civilizing mission as chauvinistic and misogynistic to reveal how republican universalism had failed to address inequalities of both sex and race. They also proposed more inclusive forms of universalism: in her writing on Turkey, Audouard advocated cosmopolitanism, in which all peoples, regardless of race or sex, could contribute to civilization, while Auclert, in her writing on Algeria, supported assimilation as a way to endow both French women and Arabs with the rights of French men. Yet their versions of universalism were no less paradoxical than republican universalism. Through cosmopolitanism and assimilation, they invoked new others and worked strategically to displace sexual difference with racial, national, and religious difference.