Charlie Hebdo and Paris Today - A Round Table Discussion at Our Paris French Studies Center

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Anna Egan

The Paris French Studies Center organized a round table on Monday, February 9th, on the subject of “Charlie Hebdo and Paris Today.” The purpose of the round table was to discuss the recent terrorist attacks that have taken place in France and elsewhere, and to attempt to address the many questions that these attacks have engendered.

The bilingual round table included four presenters, three of whom teach for IES Abroad. The presenters offered a context for Charlie Hebdo, and for the tensions and misunderstandings about the publication; an analysis of terrorism and the long history of French political violence and social tensions; an overview of the many variations of Islam and its most radical fringes; and sociological and media perspectives on the Charlie Hebdo event.

Students, faculty members, and staff members from both the IES Abroad Paris French Studies Center and the Paris BIA Center were invited to attend. Participating students posed excellent questions about Islam, the place of satire in French society, and education.

The round table was followed by a reception that allowed further discussion of the topics.

Brief biographies of the presenters follow.

Dr. Jane Weston earned a Ph.D. in French literature and cultural history at Bristol University. Her doctoral dissertation was devoted to provocative humor, with a particular emphasis on Charlie Hebdo. Currently, she divides her time among teaching, translation, and research in the field of satirical and humorous press. Her articles on Hara Kiri and Charlie Hebdo are used as reference works through the English-speaking academic world.

David Vauclair graduated from McGill University (BA), Paris XII Val de Marne (DESS in Economics and International Project Management), and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Masters in International Relations and D.E.A in Contemporary History). He teaches at Université Paris Sud (Paris XI), at IES Abroad, and at various institutes and schools of Political Science and History. He is also pursuing a Ph.D. at University College London (UCL). His latest book is Les religions abrahamiques: judaïsme, christianisme, islam, published by Eyrolles.

Sophie Fesdjian is a faculty member with IES Abroad, and has been an Associate Lecturer in the Social Sciences Department at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris Val de Seine (ENSA-PVS) since 2000. She teaches several courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels on the subjects of social housing, immigrant housing, urban planning, and film related to architecture. The title of her thesis was "Français migrants á Montréal (1965-2014): Anthropologie transatlantique du processus de reconfiguration identitaire dans la ville en gentrification. Nationalité, ethnicité, communauté.”

Antoine Mégie is a faculty member at IES Abroad and at the Université de Rouen. He received his doctorate from the Institut des Sciences Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). He is Director of the journal Politique européenne, a member of the editorial board of the journal Cultures et Conflits, and associate researcher at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology (CICC) at the University of Montreal. His current research concerns the transatlantic relationships, especially with regard to security and counter-terrorism.


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Anna Egan

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