The Colonial Legacy in France: Fracture, Rupture, and Apartheid

The Colonial Legacy in France: Fracture, Rupture, and Apartheid

The Colonial Legacy in France: Fracture, Rupture, and Apartheid

The Colonial Legacy in France: Fracture, Rupture, and Apartheid

Synopsis

Debates about the legacy of colonialism in France are not new, but they have taken on new urgency in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. Responding to acts of religious and racial violence in 2005, 2010, and 2015 and beyond, the essays in this volume pit French ideals against government-sponsored revisionist decrees that have exacerbated tensions, complicated the process of establishing and recording national memory, and triggered divisive debates on what it means to identify as French. As they document the checkered legacy of French colonialism, the contributors raise questions about France and the contemporary role of Islam, the banlieues, immigration, race, history, pedagogy, and the future of the Republic. This innovative volume reconsiders the cultural, economic, political, and social realities facing global French citizens today and includes contributions by Achille Mbembe, Benjamin Stora, Francoise Verges, Alec Hargreaves,Elsa Dorlin,and Alain Mabanckou, among others.

Excerpt

Who cannot see just how disquieting ideologies of separation have become?
Who has not been able to grasp the disastrous consequences of a religious worldview
in which everyone is assigned a set identity defined by an innate essence? By drawing
attention to the genealogy of the regimen and the art of governing mankind,
historians have thrown a harsh light on what remains of modernity.

Patrick Boucheron, “Ce que peut l’histoire,” Inaugual lesson
at the Collège de France, December 17, 2015.

Paris, November 13, 2015 … one hundred and thirty dead and almost four hundred injured … Earlier, in January 2015, French prime minister Manuel Valls had used the word war, a word he has since repeated on multiple occasions along with French president François Hollande as a way of describing the November attacks: “What I want to say to the French people, is that France is at war. What happened was a systematically organized act of war.” a few days later, on November 16, speaking in Versailles before a joint session of parliament, François Hollande declared “This was an act of war” and went on in the following days to explain the nature of this war. Then, on November 27, at a national ceremony held at the Invalides to honor the civilian victims of the . . .

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