Faculty Colloquium Series

“The Future of the Past in the Present Imperfect:Politics and the Subjects of History in Present-day France”Nathan Bracher | Department of International Studies Even amid the raucous debate of the current presidential campaign season,which is presenting as many if not more vicissitudes and surprises than the 2016 American presidential election season, and in the context of an acute economic, political, and social crisis affecting France and many of its European partners,  French history, the representation and narration of France’s past in all its forms, remains a vital concern because it is closely linked to its self-image or “national identity.”  For a variety of reasons, the subjects of history and the national narrative are likely to remain salient characteristics of French society for the foreseeable future.  My paper will explain how and why this unabated presence of the past remains such an important issue and what the debate over the “national narrative” (or “roman national”) in present-day French politics, culture, and society reveals on several levels.