Keynote Speakers

David Bell, “Farewell 1789: The Idea of France and the Idea of Revolution”

Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe, “Montesquieu est-il encore vivant ?: Apparition et développement d’un contrôle de constitutionnalité des lois en France”

Lawrence Kritzman, “The Jews Who Are Not One: French Intellectuals, Philosophy, and the Politics of Nationhood”

Domna Stanton, “The Exclusive Nation Challenged: Universalism and Frenchness”

Laurence Grove, "The Idea of France in Comics Old and New"


John Bowen on his book Can Islam be French?: Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State

Christie McDonald and Susan Suleiman on their edited volume French Global: A New Approach to Literary History


Keynote Speakers

David Bell

Farewell 1789: The Idea of France and the Idea of Revolution

David A. Bell is a historian of early modern France, whose particular interest is the political culture of the Old Regime and the French Revolution. He attended graduate school at Princeton, where he worked with Robert Darnton, and received his Ph.D. in 1991. From 1990 to 1996 he taught at Yale, and from 1996 to 2010 at Johns Hopkins, where he held the Andrew W. Mellon chair in the Humanities, and served as Dean of Faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences. He joined the Princeton faculty in 2010.

Bell has written three books. Lawyers and Citizens (Oxford University Press, 1994) examined the politicization of the French legal profession in the eighteenth century, showing how spaces for radical criticism of the French monarchy first opened up within the structure of the French state itself. The Cult of the Nation in France (Harvard University Press, 2001) argued that nationalism, as opposed to national sentiment, was a novelty of the French Revolutionary period, and that it arose both out of, and in reaction to, Christianity. The First Total War (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), is a general study of the political culture of war in Europe between 1750 and 1815, which showed how an aristocratic culture of limited warfare gave way to a world in which total war was possible—and in which, between 1792 and 1815, it actually took place. His major current project is a dual biography of the French Revolutionaries Armand-Louis Gontaut and Charles-Philippe Ronsin—a project that he hopes will illuminate the relationship between politics, literature and war in the age of Revolutions.

In addition to his research and teaching, Bell writes frequently for a range of general-interest publications, particularly The New Republic, where he is a contributing editor. He is committed to the proposition that serious history can be readable, enjoyable, and accessible to an interested general public.


Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe

Montesquieu est-il encore vivant ?: Apparition et développement d'un contrôle de constitutionnalité des lois en France

M. Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe, conseiller d'État, a été nommé président de la section sociale, à compter du 1er Mars 2011. Il remplace Mme Yannick Moreau, président de section au Conseil d'État, qui occupait ces fonctions depuis avril 2006.

Diplômé de l'Institut d'études politiques de Paris et licencié en droit, Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe est nommé auditeur au Conseil d'État en 1975 à sa sortie de l'ENA (promotion Léon Blum).

Responsable du centre de documentation de 1977 à 1979, puis commissaire du gouvernement près l'assemblée du contentieux de 1981 à 1986, il était depuis 2010 rapporteur à la section sociale.

Olivier Dutheillet de Lamothe a effectué une partie de sa carrière à l'extérieur du Conseil d'État comme conseiller technique au ministère de la santé et de la sécurité sociale de 1979 à 1981, puis conseiller auprès du ministre des affaires sociales et de l'emploi de 1986 à 1987, avant d'occuper les fonctions de directeur des relations du travail à ce ministère de 1987 à 1995.

Conseiller social à la présidence de la république (1995-1997), puis secrétaire général adjoint de l'Elysée (1997-2000), il a été membre du Conseil Constitutionnel de 2001 à 2010 avant de réintégrer le Conseil d'État en mars 2010.


Lawrence Kritzman

The Jews Who Are Not One: French Intellectuals, Philosophy, and the Politics of Nationhood

Prof. Kritzman is the John D. Willard Professor of French, Comparative Literature and Oratory, and Director of the Institute of European Studies at Dartmouth. He is a well-known figure both in Renaissance studies and in contemporary French cultural studies. Among many other publications, he has edited Auschwitz and After: Race, Culture, and 'the Jewish Question' in France (1995), the English edition of Pierre Nora's Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past (1996), and The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought (2006). His latest book is the The Fabulous Imagination: On Montaigne's Essays (2009). He is completing 'Death Sentences: On Loss in Contemporary French Texts' and a new edition of Montaigne's Essays in English for Stanford University Press. He has been visiting professor at Harvard, Stanford and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, and is a frequent commentator on Contemporary French Politics and Intellectual Life in Le Monde, Liberation, Le Figaro, and the Boston Globe. He directs the summer Institute of French Cultural Studies at Dartmouth and is editor of the series European Perspectives at Columbia University Press.


Domna Stanton

The Exclusive Nation Challenged: New Universalism and Cosmopolitanism versus the French Republican Subject

Domna Stanton is a renowned scholar of seventeenth-century and early-modern French studies with an influential feminist perspective. Her first book, The Aristocrat as Art: A Study of the Honnête Homme and the Dandy in 17th- and 19th-Century French Literature, is considered a classic. Her most recent book is  Women Writ, Women Writing: Gendered Discourses and Differences in Seventeenth-Century France. Her edited volumes include: The Defiant Muse: French Feminist Poems from the 12th to the 20th Centuries; The Female Autograph; Discourses of Sexuality from Aristotle to AIDS; and Feminisms in the Academy. In 2010, her co-edited volume, A Woman Who Defends all the Persons of Her Sex: Selected Philosophical and Moral Writings of Gabrielle Suchon, appeared in The Other Voice series, as did Enchanted Eloquence: Fairy Tales by Seventeenth-Century French Women Writers in 2011. Among her extensive professional accomplishments, Professor Stanton was the first female editor of PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association; she assumed the presidency of the MLA in 2005. Previously the Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan, she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Professor Stanton is now also teaching and writing on international human rights and she co-edited with Judith Butler in 2006 a special issue of PMLA  on  Human  Rights in the Humanities; she served on the  board of  Human Rights Watch for ten years. Stanton is presently completing a book on The Monarchy, the Nation and its Others: France in the Age of Louis XIV. She has written several essays on aspects of "the Franco-American Dis-Connection."

Laurence Grove

The Idea of France in Comics Old and New

Dr Grove's research activities centre upon word/image interaction from the early days of printing onwards. He is interested in the technical conditions that led to the success of hybrid forms, particularly the emblem book (and related material) in the Early Modern period, and the bande dessinée today. In some respects he sees his work as an attempt to update and 'Frenchify' the ideas of Theodor Holm Nelson and Marshall McLuhan.

More specifically, in the field of emblematics Dr Grove has provided a bibliography of secondary sources for The French Emblem (Droz, 2000, with Daniel Russell) and in Emblematics and Seventeenth-Century French Literature (EMF, 2000) he underlines the way in which an applied knowledge of the subject can increase understanding of the works of mainstream authors of the period. In related studies he has presented and analysed 'lost' texts by Tristan L'Hermite and Charles Perrault.

Dr Grove is Director of the Centre for Emblem Studies and General Editor of Glasgow Emblem Studies. He is currently organising Breaking the Renaissance Code, an exhibition on the broad concept of emblematics (Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow; June-October 2011), and Looking Forward and Looking Back: The Ninth International Emblem Conference, that will take place at the University of Glasgow from 27 June to 1 July 2011.

Following his work on the Glasgow manuscript of Tristan's emblematic poems, Dr Grove has devoted more time to the quirky poet and is now Vice President of Les Amis de Tristan L'Hermite and a member of the comité de rédaction for the Cahiers Tristan L'Hermite. He was part of the editing team for his Oeuvres complètes (Champion, 1999 onwards) and recently edited and contributed to a volume on Texte/Image à l'époque de Tristan (Cahiers Tristan L'Hermite XXXII, 2010).

Bande Dessinée: subsequent to the 1999 and 2001 Glasgow International Bande Dessinée Conferences, Dr Grove has published several articles and co-edited The Francophone Bande Dessinée (Rodopi, 2005). He is President of IBDS, an international society for the study of the BD and co-editor of European Comic Art (Liverpool University Press), which since 2008 has produced two volumes a year. His Comics in French (Oxford: Berghahn, 2010) is one of the few monographs in English on the European bande dessinée in context, and provide a general introduction and overview of the subject, albeit with a historical bias.



John Bowen on his book Can Islam be French?: Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State

My current research focuses on comparative social studies of Islam across the world. My own ethnographic studies take place in Indonesia, France, and England, but I work with students and colleagues with field sites across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In particular, I analyze how Muslims (judges and scholars, public figures, ordinary people) work across plural sources of norms and values, including diverse interpretations of the Islamic tradition, law codes and decisions, and local social norms.

My first three books examined issues of religion, culture, and politics in Indonesia, looking outward from a long-term research site in the Gayo highlands of Aceh. I studied a century of changes in oratory, song, and historical narratives; everyday practices of (and debates about) Islam in a highland farming community; and the interpretive work of judges in Indonesian Islamic and civil courts. In my next two books I looked at Islam in France: first, why non-Muslim French people supported a law against religious signs in schools; secondly, how Muslims in France create new Islamic institutions and new views on how to interpret Islam. I am now working on Shari’a Councils in England and North America. Along the way, I have written on ethnic conflict, comparative methods, schooling, and the anthropology of religion.

I work with colleagues in several other departments as director of the Pluralism, Politics, and Religion Initiative. We hold regular workshops on questions of religious and political pluralism, and have created a collaborative graduate training program with partner universities in Europe—as of 2009, in Paris, Utrecht, and Göttingen.


Christie McDonald and Susan Suleiman on their edited volume French Global: A New Approach to Literary History

McDonald is Smith Professor of French Language and Literature in the department of romance languages and literatures and professor of comparative literature at Harvard. A former chair of the department of romance languages and literatures, she is currently co-master of Mather House. Her books include The Extravagant Shepherd (1973, 2007), Dispositions (1986), The Dialogue of Writing (1986), and The Proustian Fabric (1991); The Ear of the Other (edited in 1988), Transformations: The Languages of Culture and Personhood after Theory (co-edited in 1994). She published Images of Congo in 2005 and Painting My World in 2009. Rousseau and Freedom, edited with Hoffmann, and French Global: A New Approach to Literary History, edited with Suleiman, have both been published in 2010.

Suleiman is C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and professor of comparative literature at Harvard, where she has chaired the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature. Her books include Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre (1983), Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde (1990), Risking Who One Is: Encounters with Contemporary Art and Literature (1994), the memoir Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherbook (1996), and Crises of Memory and the Second World War (2006). She has edited several volumes, including most recently French Global: A New Approach to Literary History (with C. McDonald). Suleiman has won many honors, including the Radcliffe Medal for Distinguished Achievement (1990), and a decoration by the French Government as Officer of the Order of Academic Palms (Palmes Académiques) in 1992. She has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, and been an invited Fellow at the Collegium Budapest Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest and at the Center for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo; in 2005-06 she was a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute. During the 2009-2010 academic year, she was the invited Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.