Paris as a City of Memory | Newberry

Paris as a City of Memory

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

9:30am - 12:30pm

The Newberry Library

Dr. Julia Elsky, Loyola University Chicago
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Please Note: This seminar will be conducted in French. This seminar will offer participants a chance to study the special role Paris has played in representations of the past. We will explore how modern and contemporary writers, filmmakers, and historians search for traces of the past in the cityscape of Paris. Participants will analyze the ways in which Paris forms a site of memory–and of forgetting–of central events of the twentieth century. Reading texts from Pierre Nora’s edited collection, Les lieux de mémoire (Realms of Memory), we begin by analyzing the notion of a lieu de mémoire and the cultural and political symbolism of the city. We will then turn to the Second World War with texts by Patrick Modiano, Georges Perec, and Ruth Zylberman about walking the streets and visiting the apartment buildings of Paris to search for an elusive understanding of the war. Finally, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the massacre of October 17, 1961, we will study a text by Leïla Sebbar about uncovering and commemorating this crime.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for all NTC seminars opens Friday, September 10, 2021 at 8 a.m. (Central Time). Registration instructions and pricing information can be found here. Once open, registration for this seminar will be available through this link. For more information about NTC purchases, please contact Cate Harriman, Teacher & Student Programs Coordinator, at

A link to the assigned pre-readings for the seminars, as well as instructions for accessing virtual seminars, will be distributed to participants via email.

If you believe you are registered for this seminar but have not received an email confirmation or reminder, please contact Teacher Programs staff at