French History After Charlie Hebdo: Inclusion and Exclusion in the Wake of Empire

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher supermarket in January 2015 rocked France and shocked the rest of the world. While historians of modern France have long been interested in questions of immigration, race and national identity, these issues have taken center stage in light of recent events. This seminar will examine France's troubled politics of immigration and integration in the aftermath of the Algerian War while also discussing the country’s longer history of inclusion and exclusion. Topics will include the French Revolution’s legacy of laïcité and republican universalism; the Dreyfus Affair and its legacies for Jewish citizens; and the post-World War II creation of disenfranchised immigrant communities of North African descent. We will read several essays and discuss a range of primary sources and films that focus on recent controversies, such as the Headscarf affairs, the 2005 riots and the rise of the National Front as an anti-immigration party. We will also reflect on the usefulness of this scholarship for teaching France’s contemporary history.