Founded in 2013 as part of MIT Foreign Languages and Literatures's Global Studies Initiative, RSFFS aims to bring together MIT faculty, instructors, and graduate students interested in the study of French and francophone cultures across disciplines.
Each semester, leading American and international scholars in the field of French and francophone studies present their research. RSFFS is also a space for discussing current research projects by MIT faculty, instructors, and graduate students, as well as recent readings and translations.
RSFFS is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend and participate.
Theme for Fall 2013: Identities, Communities, and Spaces
Being gay-friendly in Park Slope and Le Marais: a Comparative Study of New York and Paris
Professor Sylvie Tissot (Universithy of Paris 8)
Same-sex marriage became legal in France in May 2013. Large protests against gay marriage erupted despite opinion polls revealing a growing acceptance of homosexuality. Tissot compares two neighborhoods—Le Marais in Paris and Park Slope in Brooklyn—to examine “gay-friendliness.” To what extent are gay-friendly attitudes shared in these communities? What underlies these attitudes? To what extent have they become the social marker of a specific social layer?
Sylvie Tissot is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Paris 8. Before studying gay-friendliness in Paris and New York, she did fieldwork on gentrification and upper middle class culture in Boston, and on urban policies in the outskirts of Paris. Her most recent book, De bons voisins (Good Neighbors. Researching Upper Middle Class Progressives), was published in French in 2011 and will be published in English in 2014.
Date: Monday September 23, 2013
Time: 4:15 PM
Location: Cabot Room, Busch Hall, Harvard University
French Discourses about Jewish Memory in the 1980s and 90s
Professor Carolyn Dean (Yale)
This talk will address the way that French intellectuals and journalists on both the Left and Right used debates about Nazism and Stalinism to address the question of Jewish memory in the wake of the “Vichy Syndrome” the trials of Klaus Barbie and Paul Touvier, and fears of the emergence of a “new anti-Semitism.”
Carolyn J. Dean is a Professor of History at Yale University who specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of Europe as well as in gender and sexuality studies. She is the author of several books, including The Frail Social Body: and Pornography, Homosexuality, and Other Fantasies in Interwar France (Berkeley, 2000); The Fragility of Empathy after the Holocaust (Ithaca, 2004), and most recently Aversion and Erasure: The Fate of the Victim after the Holocaust (Ithaca 2010).
Date: Thursday October 3, 2013
Time: 4:00 PM
A Transatlantic History of Urban Underworlds
Professor Dominique Kalifa (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne)
Dominique Kalifa is a Professor of History at the University of Paris I (Sorbonne), where he is director of the Center for 19th-Century History. He specialises in the history of crime, transgression, social control, and mass culture in 19th and early 20th France and Europe. His talk will present his latest book: Les Basfonds. Histoire d'un imaginaire (2013). He is also the author of Biribi. Les bagnes coloniaux de l'armée française (2009), Crime et culture au XIXe siècle (2005), Naissance de la police privée (2000), L'Encre et le Sang. Récits de crimes et société à la Belle Époque (1995). Talk in English.
Talk co-sponsored by the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department at MIT and the French study group, at the Center for European Studies, Harvard.
Date: Friday November 22, 2013
Time: 2:00-4:00 PM
Location: CES Cabot Room (Center for European Studies, Harvard University, 27 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138)