The series, titled ‘French Politics: A Neighbour’s ‘History of the Present’’, is a free monthly seminar series organised by the Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture.
The seminars will tackle some of the most pressing challenges of French politics and political theory today. The series is divided into three cycles: ‘An Authoritarian Spiral in France?’, ‘French Universalism vs. Alien Identities?’ and ‘Can France Think of Itself as Postcolonial?’
The first cycle invites Sophie Wahnich from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) with her paper ‘Democracy Taken in Vice: Understanding the ‘Yellow Vests’ Event’, Ninon Grangé from University Paris 8 and her paper tackling the issue of the state of exception in France, and Fabien Jobard from CNRS with his paper titled ‘Liberal, Authoritarian, or Police State? Defining the French State According to its Police’.
The second cycle invites Silyane Larcher from CNRS to explore the issues of Afrofeminism and French universalism, Sébastien Chauvin from University of Lausanne to tackle the matters of LGBTQI struggles and French universalism and Norman Ajari from University Toulouse-Jean Jaurés to discuss the idea of the radicalised man produced as a threat in France.
The third cycle invites Elsa Dorlin from University Paris 8 to tackle the issue of violence entailed by the denial of France as postcolonial and Nacira Guénif-Souilamas from University Paris 8 to discuss the issue of subjectivities who already live as postcolonial.
The series is supported by the French Embassy in the UK, through its Higher Education Research and Innovation Department, and the Political Studies Association.
Emmanuel Jouai, Visiting Lecturer and PhD student, who organised the series said about its significance: "This seminar series intends to introduce the British audience with the crème de la crème of French academia, making the University of Westminster a centre for research cooperation across the Channel.
“Within the University, this series strengthens the collaboration between the School of Social Sciences and the School of Humanities, initiated on the teaching level, and extends it to research."
The introductory session will take place on 26 September at Fyvie Hall with Eric Fassin from University Paris 8 presenting his paper titled ‘Intersectional France: Sexual democracy, racial democracy and liberal democracy’.