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A new monthly seminar series "French Politics: A Neighbour's 'History of the Present'" will take place this academic year at the University of Westminster. The series is jointly organised by the Centre of the Study of Democracy and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, and with the support of the French Embassy and the Political Studies Association.

The seminar series aims to introduce the British audience to current thinking in French academia. It will engage with some of the most pressing challenges for French politics and political theory.

The series will be introduced by Eric Fassin (University Paris 8 Vincennes - Saint-Denis/LEGS) on Thursday 26 September, 5.30-7pm, in the Fyvie Hall. This session will cover the notions of racial, sexual, and liberal democracies in France and will be chaired by David Cunningham (IMCC).

The series will then be divided into three cycles:

1. An Authoritarian Spiral in France?

  • Sophie Wahnich (CNRS/TRAM): "Democracy Taken in Vice: Understanding the 'Yellow Vests' Event", Th. 10 October, 5.30-7pm, Room UG05
  • Ninon Grangé (University Paris 8/LLCP): on the state of exception, Th. 14 November, 5.30-7pm, Room UG05
  • Fabien Jobard (CNRS/CESDIP): "Liberal, Authoritarian, or Police State? Defining the French State According to its Police", We. 4 December, 6-7.30pm, Fyvie Hall

2. French Universalism vs. Alien Identities?

  • Syliane Larcher (CNRS/IRIS): on Afrofeminism and French universalism, Th. 30 January, 5.30-7pm, Fyvie Hall
  • Sébastien Chauvin (University of Lausanne/CEG): on LGBTQI struggles and French universalism, Th. 13 February, 5;30-7pm, Fyvie Hall
  • Norman Ajari (University Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès/ERRAPHIS): on the racialised man produced as a threat in France, March 2020 (TBC)

3. Can France Think of Itself as Postcolonial?

  • Elsa Dorlin (University Paris 8): on violence entailed by the denial of France as postcolonial, April 2020 (TBC)
  • Nacira Guénif-Souilamas (University Paris 8/CEFEG): on subjectivities who already live as postcolonial, Th. 11 June 2020

The seminars are free and open to all, but it is necessary to book on Eventbrite.

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