French Politics Culture & Society (Fr Polit Cult Soc )

Publisher: Conference Group on French Politics and Society; New York University. Institute of French Studies; Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (Harvard University)

Description

FPC&S is the journal of the Conference Group on French Politics & Society. It is jointly sponsored by the Institute of French Studies at New York University and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. French Politics, Culture & Society explores modern and contemporary France from the perspectives of the social sciences, history, and cultural analysis. It also examines the relationship of France to the larger world, especially Europe, the United States, and the former French Empire. The editors also welcome pieces on recent debates and events, as well as articles that explore the connections between French society and cultural expression of all sorts (such as art, film, literature, and popular culture). Issues devoted to a single theme appear from time to time. With refereed research articles, timely essays, and reviews of books in many disciplines, French Politics, Culture & Society provides a forum for learned opinion and the latest scholarship on France.

  • Impact factor
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  • 5-year impact
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  • Website
    French Politics, Culture and Society website
  • Other titles
    French politics, culture and society (Online), French politics, culture and society, FPC & S, Journal of the Conference Group on French Politics and Society, French politics, culture & society
  • ISSN
    1537-6370
  • OCLC
    49780402
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the past three decades modern French history has undergone important changes, introducing new methodologies and taking up new questions. Two directions are especially promising. Since the “global turn” of the 1990s, many French historians have shifted their focus outside of the hexagon to examine France in a global and transnational context. Their work has explored the contradictions of France's democratic heritage and exclusionary practices evident in the history of colonialism, immigration, and ethno-racial exclusion. A second body of research has addressed the gender dimensions of French colonialism and has examined how colonialism deployed sexuality and sexual difference in maintaining colonial rule. Both strands of research have demonstrated how France's engagement beyond the hexagon has shaped French institutions and social life.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Senghor was a German prisoner of war for twenty months. The article examines his claims about his captivity in light of archival evidence, in particular an unknown report about his experiences in two POW camps that he deposited at the French diplomatic mission for POWs a few months after his dismissal. The article confirms that Senghor identified himself foremost as a French patriot but argues that his claims about having been a Gaullist and resister of the first hour rest on insecure ground. In particular, Senghor after the war dramatized the story of his combat experience and made dubious claims about having been sent to a reprisal camp as a punishment for helping some prisoners escape. His captivity report, however, provides much evidence on the effects of German pro-Islamic propaganda and on corrupt prisoner networks. The report also describes many experiences reflected in his poetry cycle Hosties noires.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: The present article argues that Hélène Berr's Journal goes well beyond mere testimony to provide an astute analysis not only of the persecutory measures, arrests, camps, and deportations but also of the various attempts to camouflage the violence and even of the wider implications of what she ultimately recognized to be a systematic extermination. Hélène Berr thus presents an extraordinary case of a young French Jewish student at the Sorbonne who, steeped in literature but untrained in history, nevertheless achieved a degree of historical lucidity that, in view of the confused, limited, and often unreliable information available to her in Nazi-occupied Paris, we can only consider as remarkable. Above all, Hélène Berr's very personal confrontation with history, as it unfolded in all the sinister complexity of what we now know as the Holocaust, enables us to better understand these events in the human terms in which they were experienced and with the ethical dimensions that they take on for us today.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Among the best-selling French literary works of the twentieth century, Vercors' novella has enjoyed an exceptionally rich afterlife thanks to numerous print editions as well as several influential stage and screen adaptations: Jean-Pierre Melville's 1947 feature film, Jean Mercure's 1949 play, Vercors' own 1978 theatrical rendering, and a 2004 television movie written by Anne Giafferi and directed by Pierre Boutron. Taking a comparative approach that weighs the aesthetic and ideological priorities of these authors and directors alongside shifts in historiography and French political culture, this article traces the evolution of Le Silence de la mer as a contested site of national memory and a means of negotiating the ethically-charged concepts of collaboration and resistance.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: In 1954, Pierre Mendès France committed the state to curbing alcoholism as part of an effort to reorient important agricultural sectors and improve French economic performance, using milk as a symbol of his government's new direction. While Mendès France's milk drinking was often portrayed as the whim of a maverick politician, this article shows instead that it was the expression of a broadly based movement to modernize the economy. Challenging the view of an insular state that exclusively served the powerful alcohol lobbies, this article contends that the success of alcohol reform hinged on Mendès France's ability to overcome parliament and pit other economic sectors and a public health movement against those lobbies. Although it would require the more centralized authority of the Fifth Republic to implement lasting reforms to the alcohol sector, the Mendès France government helped raise public awareness about the purported link between alcoholism and agricultural subsidies that kept uncompetitive producers on the land at the taxpayer's expense.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Several parties throughout the world are democratizing their internal processes. The most notable tools for achieving this aim are the primary elections through which electoral candidates and party leaders are selected. This article seek to analyze these “selections” by using survey data relating to primary elections held in October 2011 by the French Socialist Party. In particular, we make use of survey data to describe extensively some social and political characteristics of the voters and to connect them with the electoral performances of the candidates.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
  • French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: This article offers a genealogy of the impact of French and Francophone Studies during the past decades in order to offer suggestions about how the field might be reconfigured and re-imagined in the present. We argue that the best way forward will be to dispense with traditional boundaries and borders within the field and instead embrace a general identity as Francophonists in order to bring together work on and from different regions of the globe.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores representations of Franco-German friendship through two complementary lenses: through the post-liberation trial dossier of a female collaborationist in southwestern France, and through Dolce, the second part of Ir?ne N?mirovsky's compelling novel, Suite Française. The primary aim is to illuminate and contrast the roles that historical and fictional narratives play in our interpretations and understanding of Franco-German relations in occupied France. The article also assesses the ethnographic value of the novelist's notes that accompanied the unfinished manuscript of Suite Française. Located at the intersections of history, ethnography, and literature, the article examines the ways in which the methods of the historian and the ethnographer, on the one hand, and the novelist, on the other, overlap and differ.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: This essay considers changes in the symbolic boundaries of French society under the influence of neo-liberalism. As compared to the early nineties, stronger boundaries toward the poor and blacks are now being drawn, while North-African immigrants and their offsprings continue to be largely perceived as outside the community of those who deserve recognition and protection. Moreover, while the social reproduction of upper-middle-class privileges has largely remained unchanged, there is a blurring of the symbolic boundaries separating the middle and working class as the latter has undergone strong individualization. Also, youth are now bearing the brunt of France's non-adaptation to changes in the economy and are increasingly marginalized. The result is a dramatic change in the overall contours of the French symbolic community, with a narrowed definition of cultural membership, and this, against a background of growing inequality, unemployment, and intolerance in a more open and deregulated labor market.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Most studies of the social and political upheavals of the Second Republic treat violence as the main way people resisted the military coup and repression of 1851 and view political dissent through the lens of class. But the suppression of unorthodox political voices in the academy brings another form of resistance to light. Close personal networks and the organizational culture of the French academy distinguished the universitaires' animosity toward Louis Napoleon. To map the patterns of teachers' dissent, I use the proceedings of the Carnot Commission, an organ created by the emergency government of 1870 to gather information about the universitaires who had suffered political persecution around the time of the 1851 coup and offer them restitution. The Commission's work reveals a pattern of personal connections and distaste for authoritarianism that reflected the republican consensus as it emerged in the 1870s.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: At the beginning of the twentieth century, due to the spread of helmet diving beyond engineering communities, people started to attend to the remarkable qualities of underwater optics, differing radically from seeing through air. With the revelation of this unfamiliar planetary environment to a broader public, creators across the arts took inspiration from underwater optics to structure fantasy spaces of dream, hallucination, and marvel. To show the properties of underwater optics inspiring these fantasy spaces, this article analyzes undersea paintings by Walter “Zarh” Pritchard, reputedly the first artist to have painted en pleine mer. It then turns to aquatically-inspired works of surrealism, the movement offering the most famous appropriation of underwater optics for the arts, focusing notably on André Breton's L'Amour fou and Jean Vigo's L'Atalante.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: France Télécom has been at the center of intense public scrutiny since 2008, following a sharp rise in workplace suicides at the company. This macabre reputation now stood in sharp contrast with the company's image during the 1980s and 1990s as a showpiece for successful liberalization and as a former state-owned enterprise that was blazing a trail toward a new globalized economy. Drawing on Emile Durkheim's seminal work, Suicide (1897), the article examines the social conditions that precipitated workplace suicides at France Télécom. It situates the suicides within the context of the rise of a new model of finance capitalism that profoundly transformed the status and perceived value of the individual worker in the production process. Far from representing a tragic accident or an aberration in an otherwise smooth-functioning economic order, the France Télécom suicides were the outcome of a management strategy that set out to fulfill the imperatives of finance capitalism by eliminating what was seen as an unacceptable obstacle to its economic goals: the company's own employees.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(3).
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes the results developped in the recently published La Civilisation du journal, histoire culturelle et littéraire de la presse (ed. Dominique Kalifa, Philippe Régnier, Marie-Ève Thérenty, and Alain Vaillant), a collaboration between historians and literary scholars working together for eight years to write a synthesis about the history of the French press during the nineteenth century. It offers a comprehensive encyclopedia of journalism, the genres and forms of the periodical press, the principal figures of nineteenth-century French journalism, and the modern culture of the press. The article describes the different projects between history and literature that could be developed after this project. This kind of methodology should be extended to the relations between press and literature during the twentieth century, to women's journalism and to the globalization of the media during the nineteenth century. These projects could be developed with the help of the website Médias19.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Jean Dutourd's novel Au bon beurre (1952) and Claude Autant-Lara's film La Traversée de Paris (1956) offer the best-known depictions of black market activity in Occupied France, appreciated by audiences who had lived through the war. This article looks at the black market stories they tell and their reception in France in the 1950s. It focuses on the fictional stories in relation to the historical experience from which they were drawn, and analyzes their selective representation of behaviors and the key relationships on which black market activity relied. Both works capture widely shared Occupation experiences of food shortages and exploitation. They highlight popular resentment of profiteers, the ability of the wealthy to escape wartime hardship and postwar justice, and the corruption and incompetence of the state in managing shortages and postwar purges.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: With the “colonial turn” in French studies now on the wane, this article attempts to assess its contributions. It suggests that one of the main thrusts of the “colonial turn” has been the reconsideration of the “Republic” as a framework for understanding modern French history: the colonies being the place where the Republic “contradicted itself” or, on the contrary, where its deepest tensions revealed themselves. While this perspective has been essential in underlining the importance of race in modern French history, it can be regarded as no more than an attempt to write a history of “France” enriched by the imperial perspective: indigenous worlds appear only secondarily in these analysis of the “imperial Republic.” This shortcoming echoes other criticisms that can be addressed to the “colonial turn” in French studies: the ahistorical use of the category of the “colonial” in the singular and the lack of satisfactory analysis of the “postcolonial.”
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: It is argued that the concept of “French studies” originally embodied in this journal was born of a unique constellation of social, cultural, and political forces characteristic of the middle years of the Cold War. The unity of the field defined by that moment was subsequently challenged by tensions inherent in the shift to a more transnational comparative perspective. A return to a ”reflective equilibrium” between the local and the global anchored in an emphasis on language and culture is advocated.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: With FPC&S embarking on its fourth decade of publishing work on the study of France and the francophone world, the journal invited scholars in several disciplines to write short essays on where they thought the field of French Studies should head in the future. This essay introduces the resulting dossier on “French Studies and Its Futures.” It situates the project in the current context in which the field is thriving intellectually but struggling with menacing institutional pressures. It goes on to describe the particular formulation of French Studies that the journal came to represent in its early years in the 1980s, how it evolved since, and what that experience suggests about how scholars can respond creatively to the challenges and opportunities the future may hold for the field.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(2).
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    ABSTRACT: The essay is a detailed cinematic and cultural analysis of Ça commence aujourd'hui by Bertrand Tavernier (1999), Être et Avoir by Nicolas Philibert (2003) and Entre les Murs by Laurent Cantet (2008). It contrasts the cinematic depictions of three French schools in rural, urban, and suburban France. Through a comparison of locations, pedagogy, and student expectation, the essay shows a contrasted and diffracted vision of the French educational system portrayed in the films. In the context of school reforms debated in France, the essay points out the variety and complexity of different schools visualized through the cinematic lens, and it questions the French Republic's ability to successfully fulfill its mission to educate young citizens of various social, racial, and cultural backgrounds.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(1).
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    ABSTRACT: This article considers the emergence of pan-European discourse and the creation of transnational networks by the intellectual extreme Right during the interwar and occupation years. Through a close reading of the essays, speeches, and texts of French fascist intellectuals Abel Bonnard, Alphonse de Châteaubriant, and Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, the author contends that it was during the interwar and wartime decades that the French extreme Right transitioned from its traditional ultranationalism to a new concept of French national identity as European identity. More importantly, these three leading fascist intellectuals worked to distinguish their concept of European federation and transnational cultural exchange as anterior to and independent of submission to Nazi Germany. It was, therefore, in the discourse and the transnational socio-professional networks of the interwar period that we can find the foundation for the new language of Europeanism that became ubiquitous among the postwar Eurofascists and the Nouvelle Droite today.
    French Politics Culture & Society 01/2014; 32(3).