A great way to stay connected to France, Europe, topics relating to the French-speaking world as well as the relations between France and the US !
In the past we have presented several writers and journalists from world renowned newspapers to come speak to audiences in Atlanta about French media concerns and French-American relations. In the fall 2004, we presented both Claude Imbert From Le Point and Jacques Julliard from Le Nouvel Observateur. In Winter 2007, we presented Dueling Cartoonists : Plantu from Le Monde and Mike Luckovich 1995 & 2006 Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Most of our lectures are available online at Atlanta Forum Network. Search word "Alliance Française".
Scenic reading | French-German conversations | Voltaire & Frederik | November 19, 2012.
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A unique scenic reading “Voltaire and Frederick: A Life in Letters”
in honor of Frederick II’s 300th birthday, "Voltaire and Frederick: A
Life in Letters" is an overview of the pen-pal friendship between these
two great thinkers that spanned almost half a century. Their
intensive correspondence on everything from questions of torture and
human rights to good and bad governance, from handling a global
financial crisis to judging whether a war is justified or unjustified,
all in the context of a newly enlightened Europe, is surprisingly
modern. The play will run 75 minutes (in English)
When: Monday, November 19
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Alliance Française d'Atlanta, Colony Square, Plaza level,1197 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta GA 3036
Registration & more information
Astronaut Jean-François Clervoy: Living and Working in Space
est organisée par la Délégation générale de l’Alliance Française aux
Etats-Unis en partenariat avec Novespace et l’European Space Agency /
This tour is organized by the Délégation générale de l’Alliance
Française in the USA in partnership with Novespace and the European
At Alliance Française
Lecture :Living and Working in Space with Astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy
Thursday April 28th 7 pm
$10 members $15 non members
click to RSVP
Jean-François Clervoy is the French astronaut who has traveled to space the most and the only French astronaut to have had the privilege of going to the Hubble telescope in space. This presentation will explore all aspects of space travel: the incredible power of lift-off engines, weightlessness, a black sky in the middle of the day and the power and the beauty of the Earth. We will discuss work aboard a very complex space vehicle, as well as team spirit, procedures done by robots, space walks, maintenance of the solar panels and the overall risks.
“ He flirts with earth and with space, totally in love with the former and fascinated by the latter.
An explorer unlike any other, serving both man and science, he pursues his dream well beyond all
understanding.” Zellidja Foundation
Lecture: The Crisis, the G20 and the Future of Globalization
by Jacques Mistral
Thursday April 7th 7 pm
in partnership with the Ga Tech Center for European Excellence
At Alliance Française
Jacques Mistral is Professor of Economics, head of economic research at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales and a member of the Conseil d’Analyse Economique in the Prime Minister’s office in Paris.
For the past two decades, we have lived in the era of triumphal globalization. But the conjuncture of the gigantic financial crisis and a severe recession has shaken up the world order. What we have experienced is definitely behind us, but what does the future world hold in store?
Author Hubert Haddad
Cette tournée est organisée par la Délégation
générale de l’Alliance Française aux Etats-Unis avec le soutien de
l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
This tour is organized by the Délégation générale de
l’Alliance Française in the USA with the support of the International
Organization of Francophonie.
Crédits photo : Elisabeth Alimi
Friday March 4th, 7 pm
At Alliance Française
"Who wrote Palestine? A poet, whose magnificent language restores life and humanity to the daily pain of conflict (...) In its quivering prose, in the physical suffering of characters faced with totally mundane settings, in the enthusiasm of renewed discussions and beyond the suspended destiny of Cham, Palestine is a novel to be shared. This is probably one of the most beautiful books by a committed writer who challenges his contemporaries."
Le Monde des livres, Valérie Marin La Meslée
Born in Tunis in 1947, Hubert Abraham Haddad followed his parents into exile in France several years later, first to Belleville, Ménilmontant, and then to the housing projects. He lived the difficult life of the immigrant growing up with a shop-keeper father and a mother of Algerian origin who suffered from identity problems.
He evoked this childhood in his story le Camp du bandit mauresque (The Camp of the Moorish Bandit) (Fayard, 2005). While under the spell of adolescence-induced contemporary poetry, he founded the review, Le Point d'être (The Point of Being), influenced by surrealism, working with collaborators such as Stanislas Rodanski, Charles Duits, Robert Lebel, Michel Fardoulis-Lagrange and Isabelle Waldberg.
His first collection of poems, Le Charnier déductif (Deductive Mass Grave), appeared in 1967. His first story, written at the same time and entitled Armelle ou l'éternel retour (Armelle or the Eternal Return), was not published until 1989. Starting with Un rêve de glace (A Dream of Ice) (Albin Michel, 1974; Zulma, 2005), he has continuously produced novels and collections of stories, alternating with essays on art or literature, plays, and collections of poems.
After investigating the realm of the fantastic in a wild, hyper-realistic light, the author of Perdus dans un profond sommeil (Lost in a Deep Sleep) (Albin Michel, 1986), L'Univers (The Universe), a dictionary novel (Zulma, 1999) also ventured into the critical territory of history through myth and legend, notably with Le Chevalier Alouette (Knight Alouette) and La Double conversion d'al-Mostancir (The Double Conversion of Al-Mostancir) (both published by Fayard), dream-like fantasy (La culture de l'hystérie n'est pas une spécialité horticole (Growing Hysteria Is Not a Horticultural Specialty), Fayard, 2003), fictional investigation of contemporary myth (La Condition magique (The Magical Condition), SGDL’s Grand Prix for the Novel, Zulma, 1998) and topical current events (Palestine, Zulma, 2007).
Haddad’s use of different genres and subjects combined with his extensive experience with writing workshops led him to write Le Nouveau Magasin d'écriture (The New Writing Store)(Zulma, 2006), a sort of action encyclopedia of literature and the art of writing, including a number of new literary games in addition to reflections on books and authors. This volume was followed in 2007 by the Nouveau Nouveau Magasin d'écriture (The New New Writing Store), devoted to the splendors of the imaginary world, with two hundred engravings selected for their evocative power.
Hubert Haddad has received literary prizes for a number of his works, including the 1983 Georges Bernanos Prize for Les Effrois (The Terrors); the 1991 Maupassant Prize for Le Secret de l'immortalité (The Secret of Immortality); the 1998 SGDL (Société des gens de lettres/ Literary Society) Grand Prix for the Novel for La Condition magique (The Magical Condition); the 2008 Five Francophonie Continents Prize and the 2009 Prix Renaudot Poche for Palestine, a political novel of unrelenting tension, which raises romantic passion to the level of myth, and includes a deeply moving call for peace.
French Literature and Francophonie, or French as Language of the four corners of the earth
Current French language literature might as easily be composed in Africa, in the Middle East, or in the Caribbean as within France itself. A basic ingredient of its richness at the beginning of the 21st century comes from this prodigious nutritive excess, after-effects former colonial ambitions: the French language has remained on all of the continents, a sort of intangible booty to finally convey the otherness, the ampliative metaphor of “ elsewhere.”
Why does the Francophonie remain the last best hope for the langue d’ oïl (French)? What are the exclusive relations of a writer with his language, in Paris or on the other side of the world? How does he invest in language vis-à-vis his personal story? In this context, what do the ideological stances related to the influences and the perpetuation of literatures mean?
The comparison of unique, eminently atypical practices in Senegal or Haiti, in Beirut or Quebec might be fruitful, even if it might be a bit audacious to want to apply sociological-like schemas to the disparate exercise of subjectivities wrestling with the mystery of the world. Writing a novel or a poem in Tunis or in Pointe-à-Pitre is to reinvent French beneficially, to recharge its batteries on the edges of the symbol and signs, by a unique quality of memory and history, of distance and exile.
But literary Francophonie -beyond the destitution and splendors of a language- perhaps includes the best of contemporary French literature today due to the violence and singularity of the issues that it covers, assimilates and magnifies.
Film Screening and Lecture:
Nuit de la Pub with Anne St. Dreux
Friday March 11th 7 pm
The Night of the Ad (“La Nuit de la Pub”)
“ Advertising is one of the most pop examples of consumer society.”
"A major annual rendezvous, an explosive cocktail of rock-concert,
match and fair" (Le Monde - French Newspaper)
The Night of the AdEaters is a show that now runs in more that 40
worldwide dedicated to showing the production of advertising among 60
different nationalities on the Big Screen.
Screenings, lectures and discussions led by Anne Saint Dreux
In partnership with la Maison de la Pub in Paris
The Advertisement House (La Maison de la Pub)
We come looking for childhood memories and we go away with plans for the future. The “ Maison de la Pub” , a melting pot of ideas and images, is open to all continents. With a collection of 400,000 advertising films, from the first commercial by the Lumière brothers (1897) to current advertising campaigns, it offers incomparable research material on French and international advertising. Its multimedia archives are designed for professionals, students and the public at large and provide materials for numerous television programs and circulate in any number of festivals and large exhibitions in France and abroad.
The Night of the Ad (La Nuit de la Pub)
From the first film produced by the Lumière Brothers to the most sophisticated special effects, from French advertisements to the most distant creations, the “ Nuit de la Pub” proposes a trip in time and space. A convivial event during which the “ Maison de la Pub” proposes an uninterrupted projection of advertising films edited by themes. A unique chance to discover -or rediscover- the path taken between the advertisement of yesteryear and the advertisement of today, and to better understand how the advertising message has changed into a true spearhead for contemporary society.
Anne Saint Dreux is currently Director-Founder of the “Maison de la
Pub”in Paris and the official representative of the “Art Directors Club” of New York for France.
After studying literature and then studying at film school in England, Anne Saint Dreux began working for the information service of French television in London. Upon her return to France, she became the assistant to Agnès Varda before producing a dozen short films.
Torn between her interest in semiology and her profession as a filmmaker, she established the “ Centre National des Archives de la Publicité” (National Center of Advertising Archives) in 1980, and developed a business linked to her collection of advertising films.
In 1995, she established “ Le Prix de l’ Humour dans la Pub” (Humor in Advertising Prize) which became the annual meeting of agencies, advertisers and …good humor!
After being France’ s delegate to the Clio Awards (New York) for ten years, she was named official representative of the Art Directors Club of New York for France. From 2003 to 2009, The National Geographic(Washington) commissioned her to market its archives department (Digital Motion) in France.
As an academic, always attentive to the world of research, Anne Saint Dreux regularly speaks on subjects related to the life of advertising. Since she participates in research in the field, she has been able to bring a form cultural heritage -often not easily accessible- within the reach of both academics and professionals.
As a result, the promotion of French advertising production has also been extended beyond our borders through activities such as lectures and exhibits organized with the assistance of French Cultural Centers abroad.
Anne Saint Dreux was able to establish what we consider today to be an institution indispensable to the life of advertising: La Maison de la Pub. The objective of this organization is to detach the advertising message from its commercial context to restore its historical, economic, and sociological value.In 2008, Anne Saint Dreux was named Knight of the Legion of Honor.
Dr. Richard Long
Single Artist Museums in Paris--Delacroix, Moreau, Rodin, Bourdelle, Monet, Picasso.
Thursday, February 3rd 7 pm
At Alliance Française
Richard Long is a celebrated author, lecturer, cultural historian, and the Atticus Haygood Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Emeritus, at Emory University.
He has lectured widely on a variety of topics and has served as a consultant to many cultural organizations and institutions.
Lecture and Film Screening with Khadija Al-Salami
As Yemen's first woman film-maker, Khadija Al-Salami has made over 20 award winning documentaries for TV stations in France and Yemen. She has co-written a book with her husband, "The Tears of Sheba," about her experiences growing up in Yemen. She currently serves as the Press Counselor and Direction of the Communication and Cultural Center at the Embassy of Yemen in Paris.
Friday, February 11, 2011 at Alliance Française d'Atlanta
About the films:
A Stranger In Her Own City - 30 min- 2006
A captivating hilarious film following 13-year-old Nejmia who refuses
to wear a veil, plays in the streets with boys, rides a bicycle and
scooter, and generally does whatever she likes. She is cursed,
ridiculed, and threatened, but her truly indomitable spirit perseveres
with incredible good humor and a sense of perspective. This film won
first prize at the Berlin Film Festival and selected in the Best of New
York International Children's Film Festival.
Amina 53 Min - 2006
At the age of 11, Yemenite Amina al-Tuhaif was married in an arranged
union to a man many years her senior, at 14, she was sentenced to death
when a court found her guilty of murdering her husband.
Amina was screened in competition at the 2006 Dubai Film Festival
Marguerite Barankitse, "Maggy"
Asike Conversations and Maison Shalom present:
Humanitarian Activist Marguerite
Friday October 7th, 7 pm at Alliance
Barankitse, a Burundian, was witness to an unimaginable
event that forever changed her life.
On Oct. 24, 1993, Barankitse was
working for the Catholic bishop of Ruyigi, in eastern Burundi, Africa,
ethnic Tutsis stormed the bishop's residence, killing 72 Hutus. Amid
chaos and confusion, Barankitse managed to save 25 children and,
hope, thoughts of peace and a calling straight from God, set out to
a safe haven for the youngest survivors of unspeakable violence.
in 1993 as a home for the 25 orphaned children who survived the
Maison Shalom has grown into a multi-functional service agency helping
and support 30,000 young people and families centered on education,
vocational training and reconciliation and strives to change the
children to better the lives of all Burundians.
Maggy has received many awards for her
courage including the $1,000,000
Located in central Africa, Burundi has a long history of ethnic
between the Tutsis and Hutus. Only recently did Burundi emerge from
than 12 years of civil war, leaving 300,000 dead.
Dr. Richard A. Long
Friday, October 21st, 2011 at 7 pm
The Louvre: Castle, Palace, Museum /
Le Louvre: Chateau, Palais, Musee.
In partnership with the High Museum
Wine and cheese reception
Around 1190 a fortress-the first
version of the Louvre- was constructed. Some decades
later more courtly sections were added. In the 16th century a
renaissance palace began
to be constructed, a process that continued over generations. Louis
XIV at first proposed
over a century later a grand expansion; then he abandoned the project
and created the
royal center at Versailles. In 1791 the Revolution proposed a Museum
to occupy much
of the palace of the Louvre. The Grand Palace itself was completed
only in the 1860’s
under Napoleon III. More than a century later the Museum was expanded
virtually all of the Grand Palace.
Richard Long is a celebrated author,
lecturer, major cultural historian and the Atticus Haygood Professor of
Interdisciplinary Studies, Emeritus, at Emory University.
Laurent Cotta: "Classicisme et
About the speaker: Since 2002, art historian and fashion historian Laurent Cotta has been responsible for contemporary creation at Galliera, the museum of fashion in the city of Paris. In his time at the museum, Laurent Cotta has had the chance to mount a number of exhibitions paying homage to the great names in fashionm or launching young talent from the new generation of designers. Laurent Cotta has been regularly lecturing at l'Ecole du Louvre since 2004, and in 2010 was responsible for a series of courses devoted to the history of contemporary fashion. In addition, he gives lectures on Yves Saint Laurent at the Institut Français de la Mode ( French fashion Institute).
About the topic: Towards the end of his life, Yves Saint Laurent
defined himself as “the last great couturier” Before the end of his
career in 2002, he was certainly the last active couturier to have lived
through the period of glory of Parisian design in the 1950s.
Recognized by Chanel as her heir, taking after a classicism inscribed
in the French tradition, he offered an understated fashion which
glorified the woman, gave her the assurance that she needed to assert
herself in this transitional period.
He was the first to introduce street fashion into haute couture.
Although he was the champion of haute couture, he nevertheless designed
a ready-to-wear line, Rive Gauche, in 1966, also signing all of his
designs. Through his classics – the safari jacket, the tuxedo,
see-through clothes – he accompanied women in their emancipation and
fashioned a clothes-closet that is contemporary even to this day.
Co-Sponsored by the Alif Institute, an Arab
American non profit educational and cultural enrichment center
and Georgia State University's Middle
Thursday October 28th 7 pm at Alliance Française
Gaubert Vivant "showformance"
GAUBERT VIVANT! is a special performance project that pays tribute to one of the flute world's great 20th century artists: PHILIPPE GAUBERT.
French flutist Nicolas Duchamp is joined by duo-partner and celebrated American pianist Barbara McKenzie to perform Gaubert’s signature works for flute and piano
The French Art of Modern Flute playing gained its worldwide reputation through the work of Gaubert, considered by many as the «Father » of French flute music. This performance project introduces the audience to the full story of Philippe Gaubert: virtuoso flutist, composer, Paris National Opera conductor and leading teacher at the Paris Conservatory.
Thursday, October 14th 7pm at Alliance Française
Claudine François – World Music
A talented pianist and musician of multitudinous adventures (Don Cherry, Jim Pepper, Jane Bunnett…)
Claudine François is a many-faceted artist who, within the expression of her art, incorporates African, Caribbean and African-American post-bop influences without ever renouncing her European roots... She will discuss her musical evolution and travels and play excerpts from her music. (In English and French )
$10 members $15 nonmembers 404-875-1211 to rsvp
Wednesday, September 29th 7pm
At Alliance Française d'Atlanta 1197 Peachtree St. Colony Square, Plaza Level
Join the Alliance and the Atlanta Ballet for a unique
look behind the scenes of the Moulin Rouge.
What does it take to bring Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris to life
as a can-can kicking, cabaret style ballet ?
A former principal dancer and student of the Paris Opera, and
the current choreographer of the Moulin Rouge at the Atlanta
Ballet, Jorden Morris will discuss the upcoming ballet and give
a unique perspective on his creative process creating the first-
ever Moulin Rouge ballet in history!
Morris originally created the production for the Canadian Royal
Winnipeg Ballet and Atlanta Ballet is the first and only
American company to perform the Ballet.
A former principal dancer and student of the Paris Opera, and
the current choreographer of the Moulin Rouge at Atlanta
Ballet, Jorden Morris has also choreographed the work of
Alexandre Dumas and was commissioned by the Royal
Winnipeg Ballet to choreograph works for the visit of Queen
Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 7 p.m.
We Were Dancing On Volcano by Joe Gatins
Author Joe Gatins chronicles his family's remarkable history, including his great-grandfather who built and operated Atlanta's famous Georgian Terrace Hotel and his French heiress grandmother, Egle Gatins, whose description of her own life between the wars in Paris gives the book its evocative title. A richly illustrated, compelling saga and biography, this unsentimental social history follows the adventures of more than five generations of families that made their mark on both Atlanta and Paris. The narrative especially highlights one grandmother's brave work with the French Resistance in World War II and her untiring efforts to successfully help her only son escape from Nazi prisoner of war camps.
$5 members, $10 nonmembers RSVP 404-875-1211 or email@example.com
Program held at Alliance Française d'Atlanta
(Books Available on sale at AF for $20....get your copy today !)
Thursday April 29th, 7 pm
“Jean Béraud’s St. Mary Magdalene in the House of Simon the Pharisee:
The Demi-Mondaine in Late Nineteenth-Century Paris” by Diana Guber
Join Diana Guber, an art historian who recently graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design, for a presentation of one of the most controversial paintings at the Paris Salon of the late 19th century, St. Mary Magdalene in the House of Simon the Pharisee, 1891, produced by French painter Jean Béraud (1849-1935). Mary Magdalene was an extremely popular figure in the moralistic discourses and the arts of the 19th century, and commonly portrayed as the sinful yet reformed courtesan. The image of the Magdalene in the guise of a demi-mondaine in Béraud’s religious painting, however, is more than a contemporary clothing of this subject. Modeled on a notorious courtesan of La Belle Epoque, Liane de Pougy (1869-1950), it reflects fundamental changes in the perceptions of feminine morality in late 19th-century France.
$5 members, $10 non members
RSVP: 404 875 1211 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Guber was born in Ukraine, and since 1998 has been living in the United States. She earned a B.F.A. in Fashion Design and Marketing from American Intercontinental University, Atlanta. In 2005, Diana joined the museum community as a Docent Volunteer at the Atlanta History Center, and since then she has been leading the tours at Swan House. In 2009, she received an M.A. in art history from the Savannah College of Art and Design, specializing in French art of the 19th century. Diana was a guest speaker at the Englishman Gallery and the Atlanta Toulouse Sister Cities Committee. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and daughter.
Thursday, April 1st at 7 p.m.
An informal, illustrated lecture and discussion will survey sexuality and eroticism as a subject in French painting and sculpture from the medieval period to the present. It includes a wide range of
suprising topics, from the sculptures of
Romanesque churches to Gustave Courbet's L'origine du monde.
By Dr. Joe A. Thomas, professor of art history and chair of the Department of Visual Arts at Kennesaw State University. His research focuses on the history of sexuality in visual culture.
$5 members $10 non members
RSVP 404-875-1211 or email@example.com
At Alliance Française d'Atlanta
Image to left: Gabrielle d'Estrées and Her Sister (late 16th century) the School of Fontainebleau. Artist Unknown.
La Beauté des Maths par Monica Neagoy, en français
Thursday, March 4th at 7pm
Whether subjective or objective, ephemeral or eternal, arousing the senses or charming the intellect, the definition of beauty has forever challenged artists and philosophers alike. This engaging and highly visual presentation invites you to ponder the meanings of beauty, examine the mathematics behind the beauty of things and enjoy aspects of mathematics that delight students, teachers, mathematicians, and all lovers of mathematics.
This lecture is designed in three parts:
Part 1: A general discussion on “beauty.” How artists, philosophers, and writers have tackled the problem of defining and expressing beauty.
Part 2: An exploration of mathematics through the beauty of nature and human creations in our western culture. Monica Neagoy will attempt to explore the math hidden behind art such as sculpture, music and theatre, as well as the wonders of nature.
Part 3: An exploration of what can be considered as “beautiful” in mathematics. How can we explain reactions such as, “That’s wonderful!”, “That’s marvelous” or “That’s beautiful!” when talking about mathematics? Monica Neagoy will explain the passion that professors, students and math lovers have for the subject. ”
Dr. Monica Neagoy was educated in the French school system, grades 1-12, in Asia and the US. She has a B.S. in mathematics and philosophy from Georgetown University, an MA in Mathematics from The Catholic University of America, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from The University of Maryland. Her exposure to many cultures, her mastery of several languages, and her professional involvement in both the arts and the sciences provide her with a unique perspective on the learning and teaching of mathematics. Her lecture, “The Mathematics of Beauty and the Beauty of Mathematics,” combines her passion for mathematics and for art. Her lecture has been received with enthusiasm for its seriousness and for the quality of its presentation and content.
RSVP: 404 875 1211 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MathMagic by Monica Neagoy
Sunday, March 7th at 4pm
Children of all ages—as well as adults—are fascinated by magic. But behind all magic, there is always a logical explanation. This exciting, entertaining, and interactive show presents a series of thought-provoking magic tricks and paradoxes, with mathematical explanations of a selected few at the end of the show. They cover all areas of school mathematics: arithmetic, computation and operations, number sense, geometry, spatial sense, pre-algebra and algebra, probability, and more.
Dr. Monica Neagoy was educated in the French school system, grades 1-12, in Asia and the US. She has a B.S. in mathematics and philosophy from Georgetown University, an MA in Mathematics from The Catholic University of America, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from The University of Maryland. Her exposure to many cultures, her mastery of several languages, and her professional involvement in both the arts and the sciences provide her with a unique perspective on the learning and teaching of mathematics.
Targeted towards 5th through 8th graders
RSVP: 404 875 1211 or email@example.com
Lectures by AF board president, Dr Andre Teissier duCros
André Teissier-duCros is Founder and co-Principal of TARGON-GEAN Overseas,
Inc. His consulting activities address global strategies for manufacturers,
and have involved some three hundred corporations in the U. S., Europe,
Japan, Latin America, the Middle East and recently China. They led to some
sixty strategic acquisitions and joint ventures, often across frontiers. His
30-year business practice of negotiations between different countries,
cultures and ethnics’ combined with his study of history and of the way it
impacts on business cultures provide him with a global and long ranging
viewpoint on world issues. These benefit all his clients and give him the
material for original and challenging lectures. He has run his own
independent business in France and the U. S. since 1972. He was an Atlanta
resident from 2003 to 2007 and lives now in the Cevennes, his country of
origin in France. He is an FAA-licensed IFR private pilot, was flying his
own plane from PDK Airport from 1998 to 2008. He is a U. S. citizen, born
from a Scottish mother and a French Huguenot father.
Thursday, Feb. 4th 2010, 7 p.m.
How Germany and France work together in 2010
How two neighboring countries evolved from 139 years (1806-1945) of
mutual hostility, antagonism and mutual prejudices (at times
institutionalizing and legitimating hatred), to a unique level of intimate
cooperation, going beyond contractual ties implied by the European Union,
NATO, the U. N., or Free World loyalties. How and why this cooperation
originated. How it really works. Assessing its astounding success, which
affected better than ever expected the lives of 500 million Europeans. Why
successive French and German heads of State (Charles de Gaulle and Konrad
Adenauer; Georges Pompidou and Ludwig Erhard; Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and
Helmut Schmidt; François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl; Jacques Chirac and
Gerhard Schroeder; Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel…) always end up working
closer together. Where the Germans and the French see eye to eye today:
Institutions; economy and business management; maintaining world security;
integrating immigration notably from the Arab World; preserving the planet;
upholding liberty, dignity, and prosperity; using and nurturing cultural
life to preserve a common heritage, roots, and values…
Friday, Feb. 5th 2010, 7 p.m.
France seen through 25 Paradoxes - Everything you wanted to know about the French and never dared to ask
This conference is organized around 25 unique characteristics of the French nation and the French people:
Why do the French produce 240 kinds of cheese?
What is the real reason (hint: It has to do with taxation)
why they make the best wines in the world? ?H
How do the French manage to enjoy the highest birth rate in Europe and the highest life
expectancy in the world (3 years more than the US)? ?
Why did the French immigrate so early to North America, and then stopped after a certain period (which one?) leaving the room to Italians, Germans, Poles, Russians,
Spaniards, Asians and others?
Why did France and Germany express for each other an extreme hostility punctuated by many bloody wars from 1806 to 1945,and then very quickly became the strongest supporters of a European Union?
How come that France is supposedly one of the most highly taxed countries
in the world, and yet France ranks 2nd in Europe for the level of US
Why does France count one of the lowest population of lawyers in the developed world, while the US has by far the highest? ?
Why do the French always express, more than European average, the most constant
hostility regarding free trade and free markets?
Which Frenchmen really contributed to the US final victory against Britain in Yorktown (no, it
Why, when and how did jazz music obtain first international audience in and through France?
Why are the French in love with nuclear energy? Etc.
Alliance Française 1197 Peachtree St.
Atlanta GA 30316
$5 members $10 nonmembers
RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-875-1211
January 5th 2010 , 7 pm Michel Besson
LECTURE TOPIC: Sur Les Traces Du Camino Dans Paris
Camino de Santiago - Sur les chemins de Compostelle a solo exhibit by Walter Cumming
New Watercolors and pastels of Spain and France from the artist's recent travels by bicycle and on foot along the French Pilgrim's route to Santiago de Campostella.
Walter Cumming created award winning art for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 28 years.
In 2008 he chose to leave the paper and become a full time, independent artist.
The exhibit will be on display and artwork for sale until January 4th, 2010
1197 Peachtree Street, Colony Square, Plaza Level, Atlanta, GA, 30361
This event is co-sponsored by the Atlanta-Toulouse Sister cities Committee and the Honorable Vice Consul of Spain, Mr. Ignacio Taboada
Mireille Guiliano : Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire
Wednesday, December 2, 2009; 7:00 PM
$5 for Alliance Francaise members; $10 for nonmembers
For reservations, call 404.814.4150 (ask for discounted rate for Alliance Francaise members)
Lecture and signing takes place at the Margaret Mitchell House, 990 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30309 (Limited free parking is located in the lot on Crescent Ave.)
In Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire, readers will not learn the five keys to running a better meeting or the six essentials for dealing with difficult colleagues. Instead, they will find a wealth of strategic ideas, lessons, stories, essays, and invaluable advice culled from Guiliano’s decades of life experience—showcased in a fresh and utterly original way. Not just another “business” book, this is a book about life: How to make the most of it, and how to find balance when working long days and trying to be happy and fulfilled at the same time. Guiliano shares her thoughts on everything from acing a job interview, to surviving the indignities of a long business trip, to hosting a business dinner in a restaurant, and segues easily from the small details to the big picture. In essence, she makes her readers feel like they are her trusted, longtime confidantes.
Born and raised in France, Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat and French Women for All Seasons, is the former CEO of Clicquot, Inc. and has appeared on countless national television programs, including Oprah, Dateline, and the Today Show, while being profiled in a myriad of publications, including the New York Times, Time, and Newsweek.
Laurent Cohen-Tanugi November 200913th, at 7 pm
Barack Obama’s America: What Are the Implications for Europe?
Les Sentinelles de la liberté, L’Europe et l’Amérique au seuil du XXIème siècle (Odile Jacob, 2003)
[An Alliance at Risk, the United States and Europe since September 11]
The election of Barack Obama stirred great enthusiasm in Europe, as elsewhere in the world. The new president seems to Europeans to be not only the antithesis of George W. Bush, but also closer to European values and sensibilities in the international realm.
Myth or reality? What will Barack Obama’s foreign policy be like? How will the trans-Atlantic relationship evolve? Is the new American really more in step with Europe?
College of Management Room 200
800 West Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members
free for GA Tech students, staff and faculty
RSVP: 404 875 1211
International lawyer and member of the Paris and New York bars, Laurent Cohen-Tanugi specialized in trans-national mergers and acquisitions and international arbitration. He was an associate with the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, then with the firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton from 1991 to 2003. He was also Senior Vice-President and member of the executive committee of Sanofi-Synthélabo, the European pharmaceutical group, in 2004.
In October 2007, the French government asked him to conduct a study on the future of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Employment in the European Union. This mission led to the publication of a report entitled Beyond Lisbon: A European Strategy for Globalization.
He holds a degree from the Ecole normale supérieure and the Institut d’études politiques de Paris [Institute of Political Studies of Paris]. He also has a degree in French language and literature and is a graduate of both Paris and Harvard Law Schools. He is the author of numerous works, including Le Droit sans l’Etat [Law without the State] (PUF, 1985), a comparative essay on French and American political and legal traditions, and l’Europe en danger [Europe in Danger] (Fayard, 1992), a work which predicted the current political crisis in Europe.
His recent publications in English include An Alliance At Risk, The United States and Europe since September 11 by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003 (French title: Les Sentinelles de la liberté, L’Europe et l’Amérique au seuil du XXIème siècle) which explores the current state and the perspectives on the evolution of transatlantic relations; The End of Europe? (Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005, volume 84, # 6, French title: La Fin de l’Europe?), an analysis of the situation in the European Union after the French and Dutch rejection of the European constitutional treaty; and more recently, The Shape of the World to Come, Charting the Geopolitics of a New Century, (Columbia University Press, 2008) (French title: Guerre ou paix, Essai sur le monde de demain), on the geopolitics of globalization.
A limited number of the most recent book by the speaker will be available for purchase for $ 20 at the event:
The Shape of the World to Come: Charting the Geopolitics of a New Century
This lecture is organized by the delegation of Alliance Française U.S.A with the support of la Radio des cinq académies de l’Institut de France and co- sponsored by Alliance Française d'Atlanta and
The European Union Center of Excellence at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Friday, October 23rd, 2009, at 6:30pm
Colonel Armand Tuffin [1751 - 1793], Marquis de la Rouërie, in the American War of Independence
Presented by Dr. Regine Reynolds-Cornell
The role "Colonol Armand's Legion" played from Massachusetts and New York to Savannah, Georgia, and to the capture of Yorktown gained him the admiration of George Washington, who promoted him to Brigadier General of the American Army before he returned to France. The lecture will also touch upon how the French played an important role in America's War of Independence including in the Carolinas and Georgia.
Wine and reception prior to lecture.
(Lecture starts at 7pm | in English)
$5 per person
Discounted parking available in garage beneath the building . Please bring your parking stubs to be stamped at Alliance Française.
RSVP: 404-875-1211 or email@example.com
Friday May 8, 2009
Christian Chesnot, Reporter
Topic: Journalists in High risk zones: balancing safety and information.
34 Broad Street, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30303-2378
$5 for members, $10 for non-members RSVP 404 875 1211 (reception 6-7 and lecture starts at 7pm)
This program is organized by the Délégation générale of Alliance Française in the United States with the partnership of The Atlanta Press club.
About the Speaker:
Christian Chesnot, a journalist for Radio France Internationale, graduated from the Centre de Formation des Journalistes. In the late 1980s, he was assigned as a volunteer in Egypt – in lieu of military service – for the French-language daily Le Progrès égyptien. He then stayed on in Cairo to work as a correspondent for several French newspapers.
Along with his coworker, Georges Malbrunot, and their Syrian driver, Mohamed Al-Joundi, Chesnot was kidnapped by Islamic forces in Iraq on August 20, 2004. He was held in detention for 124 days and was finally liberated on December 21, 2004. In bargaining for his release, the kidnappers gave the French government an ultimatum: revoke the law on laïcité within 48 hours.
Christian Chesnot has published numerous works, including La Bataille de l'eau au Proche-Orient (L’Harmattan, 1993); Palestiniens 1948-1998 : Génération fedayin, de la lutte armée à l'autonomie (Autrement, 1998) ; L’Irak de Saddam, portrait total (Editions 1, 2003); Les Années Saddam (Fayard, 2003); Mémoires d'otages (Calmann-Levy, 2005).
Journalists in high risk zones: balancing safety and information
More than ever, the information war has become strategic for the warring parties, whether they are traditional armies or armed groups. In these conflicts, journalists have long benefited from a sort of immunity, which is no longer the case. Today, there are more and more examples of journalists being kidnapped, threatened, and sometimes.
In such conditions, how is one able to do one’s job? Is information worth all of these risks? How can a journalist protect him or herself? Where do you draw the line between reporting on the ground and the safety of journalists?
Christian Chesnot will address these questions and attempt to respond based on his personal experience.
Thurs., April 30th 2009, 7 pm
DIDIER ROUSSELET, Actor, Stage Director, Writer, Doctor in Theatrical Studies
Location: Goethe Zentrum | 1197 Peachtree Street NE (colony square, plaza level) | Atlanta GA 30361FREE PARKING
Free for members and $10 non-members, RSVP 404 875 1211
From Paris to Berlin: An 850-Mile Walk
In the spring of 2007, Didier Rousselet walked from Paris to Berlin to celebrate the 62-year-old peace between France and Germany. In a presentation illustrated by photographs he took along the way, he describes his personal hiking experience and the diversity of his discoveries. He addresses the history of France and Germany, the relationship between these countries and the state of Europe today. He will gladly entertain questions from the audience after his talk.
Didier studied with Ariane Mnouchkine (Théâtre du Soleil), Jacques Lassalle and Jacques Lecoq. He participated in theatrical experiments conducted in France by Billedstoftheatre (Denmark) and Pupi e Fressede (Italy).
He directed and performed in France and Switzerland several productions including his own one-man-show in cafés-théâtres in Paris and in Festival dAvignon. In the United States, he wrote the text for, and performed in For J.B., a show by choreographer Blondell Cummings with an original score by Lester Bowie. Along with Monica Neagoy, he directed No Exit for Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta.
In 1987 he founded and created LE NEON French-American Theatre. In 16 seasons he directed or co-directed more than 50 productions, in French and in English, and performed in most of them. His roles includ
- Garcin in No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre,
- Sganarelle in L'amour Médecin by Molière,
- Monsieur Martin in The Bald Soprano by Eugène Ionesco,
- Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, and
- Lead in The Man who Laughs by Victor Hugo.
Under his direction, LE NEON Theatre, known for its unique art form of stylization and physicality, received raving reviews, two Theatre Lobby's awards, three Helen Hayes nominations and one Helen Hayes award. Didier received Arlington Commission for the Arts 2003 Star Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Since 1995, Didier has regularly been doing voice overs in French for U.S.I.A, and in English and French for various TV programs.
In 2003, he wrote and directed Globalmania, a play about globalization, performed at the International Monetary Fund.
In 2004, he directed Cyrano at the Kennedy Center.
In 2005, he wrote Mes espaces, a book about our relations to spaces and places.
In 2007, he walked from Paris to Berlin and wrote De ces lieux, de ces jours about this experience.
In 2008, he created Une paix réussie, an exhibition about the reconciliation and the friendship between France and Germany, and wrote an essay for the photo book Crossing Glances/Regards Croisés, Arlington-Reims.
Didier has also a B.A. in History and a M.A. in Geography. He has taught history, geography and drama in France, La Réunion, Tunisia and the United States.
Wed., April 2009 22nd, 7 pm
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF QUETTAN ON 4/22/09!!!
Saurel Quettan, Public Relations officer, The Haitian Alliance, Inc.
Alliance Française d'Atlanta 1360 Peachtree St. Suite 850
$5 members, $10 nonmembers, RSVP 404-875-1211
TRANSFORMING HAITI AND THE GEORGIA HAITIAN COMMUNITY: The challenges and how you can make a difference
ABSTRACT: The Haitian Alliance is committed to Haiti Green and Literate by 2030. Join Mr. Quettan, Public Relations Officer of The Haitian Alliance, for an account of the state of Haiti that reveals the current challenges, and proposes a roadmap for the transformation of the country. The intention is to deepen our understanding of the critical role that the international community plays in perpetuating the status quo, and in creating a transformed future.
The Haitian Alliance, Inc. is a registered 501 (c) (3) organization whose
purpose is to transform Haiti.
Fri., April10th 2009 at 7 pm
Historian and political analyst
Diversity or "communautarisme"- Integration the American way or Integration the French Way.
Georgia Institute of Technology
College of Management
800 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
$5 members and $10 non-members
Free for students
RSVP 404 875 1211
About the speaker:
Nicole Bacharan is a historian and political scientist specializing in American society and French-American relations. She is a researcher with the National Foundation for Political Science (Science-Po) and a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California.
Famous for her books and her TV and radio appearances in France and the United States, she is the author of numerous essays including Faut-il avoir peur de l’Amérique ? (Should We Be Afraid of America?) and Américains-Arabes, l’affrontement (Americans-Arabs, The Confrontation). In collaboration with Dominique Simonnet, she also writes novels in the Némo series.
On September 11, 2001, live from the France 2 evening news show hosted by David Pujadas, she left a mark on French television-watchers when she said “Tonight, we are all Americans,” a phrase repeated the following day in the newspaper Le Monde.
In France, Nicole Bacharan is a radio contributor for Europe 1 on international politics, questions concerning the United States, and transatlantic relations. In the United States, she covers these same topics for The New York Times and The Washington Post, and sometimes appears on CNN and NPR.
From 1997 to 2002, she taught a seminar in English at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris on contemporary America (The New American Dream). She is also a member of the scientific committee of the Blois Historical Association and the History-Science Commission on Man and Society at the National Book Center.
Diversity or "communautarisme"? Integration the French way,Integration the American way
Many French people are convinced that, far from being united, American society is divided into communities, within which the most disadvantaged are said to be victims of constant discrimination. Depending on their origins, citizens are thought not to have the same rights, with blacks always pushed to the fringes of society. In ghetto neighborhoods, immigrants stay divided into competing groups. And the “races” are tallied up, with varying treatments and quotas applied, which in turn cultivates disparate identities that pose a threat to national cohesion.
What is the real situation? What is the reality of affirmative action, which, strangely, is translated into French as “positive discrimination”? How does it work? What are the results?
France has often denounced “American communalism” by making it the model to avoid. But does the French model work better? Is France truly the country of equal rights where each citizen is integrated, irrespective of gender, religion, or ethnicity? Is it fair, or in keeping with the republican ideal, to refuse to take into account citizen’s gender or race – which also has the effect of making it impossible to take a poll on the real situation of minorities? In the name of important principles, doesn’t France run the risk of achieving the very opposite of what is sought? The unprejudiced comparison of the French and American systems holds some surprises, and allows us to learn useful lessons for better integration.
This program is organized by the Délégation générale of Alliance Française in the United States and with the partnership of Georgia Institute of Technology's European Union Center of Excellence Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, and the support of Banta immigration Law.
This program is organized by the Délégation générale of Alliance Française in the United States and with the partnership of Georgia Institute of Technology's European Union Center of Excellence Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, and the support of Banta Immigration Law.
Thursday, March 12th 2009 at 7 pm
The Art of Chocolate Tasting
Thurs March 12 at 7 pm
The art of tasting chocolate and selecting the perfect accompanying beverage.
Location: Goethe Zentrum | 1197 Peachtree Street NE (colony square, plaza level) | Atlanta GA 30361FREE PARKING
cost: $10 members and $15 non-members ( price includes chocolate tasting)
RSVP 404 875 1211
About the Speaker:
Benjamin Desmartins comes from a family of chocolate-makers in the heart of the Gâtinais region of France, where, from a very early age, he showed a particular interest in chocolate. During his studies at the Ecole de Paris des Métiers de la Table (Paris School of Culinary Arts), from which he graduated as valedictorian, he was trained by Pascal Caffet, a well-known Parisian chocolate-maker, Meilleur ouvrier de France (Best Worker in France) and world champion. This advanced training allowed him to rub elbows with the greatest names in the French chocolate business and to achieve excellence in this national tradition. He then took up the family chocolate-making business, “Comptoir du Cacao” (Cocoa Counter) and created the brand “France Cocoa” to develop his skills while offering a range of simply crafted chocolates that use the best ingredients on the market.
Benjamin Desmartins has been working in the Loiret since 2001 and is betting on the success of traditional production. His creations are inspired by imagery of the spice route. According to Pierre Hermé, who added a personal commentary on his behalf, the praline rolled in salted-butter caramel and sprinkled with chocolate, the dark-chocolate praline with hazelnut paste and the dark-chocolate “crunchies” and crystallized oranges are evidence of a “beautiful achievement, both technically and taste-wise.”
The passion and discipline which drive Benjamin Desmartins were recognized by his peers: he received first prize for praline-filled chocolates at the 2003 Chocolate Fair and first prize for creativity from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Friday, November 2008 7th, 7 p.m.
"Tricks of Memory: The First Black Artists in France"
Lecture, screening,and discussion with Patrick Bensard, filmmaker, film and dance historian, Directeur de la cinémathèque de la danse.
Mr. Bensard will show and discuss three historic film shorts. These rare films trace the images and the impact of early African American artists and performers who found acclaim and notoriety in France. Josephine Baker, Johnny Hudgins, Katherine Dunham, the Nicholas Brothers, Duke Ellington, Sydney Bechet and many more were destined for fame and found it in Paris. Featured in the films are dancers Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham. Also shown will be an early silent film by the Lumiere Bros., Following in the tracks of the cake-walk…A performance attended by Jean Cocteau in 1902 which he recalls more thanthirty years later in 1935. The first performance took place at the Nouveau Cirque, and it was probably one of the dance performances Cocteau attended. The cake-walk was a dance performed byBlack slaves on the plantations in the South. The dance was invented as a satirical parody of the formal European ballroom dances preferred by white slave owners, and featured exaggerated imitations of the dance ritual by slaves dressed in large, exaggerated bow ties, suits, canes, and top hats. As a reward, the best of them received a large slice of hoecake, hence the name “cake walk”. This dance was the forerunner of many jazz dances. These films are a must see for film, dance or history enthousiasts.
High Museum of Art - Hill Auditorium
Co-sponsored by First Congregation Church with the support of Several Dancers Core
This lecture is organized by the Délégation générale de l’Alliance Française aux Etats Unis
Media Sponsor: 91.9 WCLK
Please join us after the screening for a complimentary cocktail at Trois
Friday October 24 2008 at 6:30 pm
"The Unification of Europe"
by Dr. Jacques Andréani, former French Ambassador to United States
What does the building of a United Europe mean for France?
A plus for the prosperity and the material and moral well-being of each member state, first of all for France herself. A guarantee for peace in Europe, through reconciliation between member states, especially France and Germany, and the dissemination throughout the European continent of a way of thinking based on the refusal of violence as a means of attaining national goals. A key element in world balance. An unequalled and valuable experiment in consensus building and the search for compromise. An additional chance offered to the West to settle on a common language with the peoples of the South, alleviating the risk of a “clash of civilizations.”
A true union requires that nations should pool together traditional state powers that they often have difficulty in relinquishing. This process has been underway for a long time, and transfers of sovereignty from national governments to the Union have already produced immediate results in the everyday lives of Europeans. We can cite numerous examples of this observation. This process of erosion of national sovereignty is running up against resistance in all EU countries, even in those where the official discourse is very much in favour of a supranational European Union. This resistance is being expressed in a particular way in France, where national identity is highly valued. But national resistance to European unification is no stronger in France than elsewhere in Europe. Though some French leaders speak in terms of “economic patriotism”, in a tone that may at times sound protectionist, an objective observer would probably say that the European spirit is rather more entrenched in France than in a number of other EU nations.
Georgia Insitute of Technology College of Management room 300
Cost: $5 members and $15 non-members
This lecture is co-sponsored by: The European Union Center of Excellence at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Alliance Française d'Atlanta, Goethe Zentrum, and the French Consulate in Atlanta.
Organized by the Délégation générale de l’Alliance Française aux Etats-Unis with the support of the Fédération Des Alliances Françaises USA.
Friday October 3 2008 at 6:30pm
France in America
Lecture and presentation about the diversity and richness of French architectural heritage in the United States, from the Canadaian border the Gulf of Mexico.
There will be booksigning after the lecture.
Location: The Englishman Antique and Fine Arts
The Galleries of Peachtree Hill, Suite 28 425 Peachtree Hill Avenue, Atlanta GA 30305
Cost: $15 AF members & FHS and $25 for non-members. Wine and Cheese reception will be served. Please RSVP 404 875 1211
Date: June 25, 2008 Noon to 1:30pm
Distinguished Speaker Series
As part of Istanbul Center's new Distinguished Speaker Series, the Center is proud to host Dr. André Teissier-duCros , President of Alliance Française d'Atlanta, who will speak about the trilateral relations between France, Turkey and the U.S. on June 25, 2008 from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 P.M.
Born of French and Scottish parents, a U.S. citizen since 1988, Dr. André Teissier-duCros obtained his Ph.D. degree in Materials Sciences from the Advanced Institute for Industrial & Mechanical Materials, 1963. Teissier du Cros has worked on issues such as tax policies and innovation, "start-your-own-business" programs, with state and local governments and agencies in France, Italy, Belgium, India and Quebec. He was from 1988 to 1999 President of the U.S. Southeast Chapter of the French Foreign Trade Advisors (C.C.E.F.), and is Adjunct Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Management, where he was teaching from 1994 to 2001 the course on Strategic Competitiveness Assessment. His consulting activities have involved corporations such as Boeing Corp., Aerospatiale (now EADS), Century Aluminum, Hoogovens Aluminium (now Corus), SNECMA, National Southwire Aluminum (NSA), Kodak-Europe, ITT-Europe, BellSouth, Pechiney Group, Michelin Tires, Peugeot S.A., General Mills, and many more. He is a private pilot and member of the Civil Air Patrol.
The Center will provide complimentary Turkish cuisine.
Suggested Donation: $5
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Ms. Kasan Whitehead at 678-990-1717 on or before 12:00 P.M. on June 23, 2008
Space is limited. Please RSVP to attend.
May 15th 2008 at 7pm Goethe Institute
Christopher Thompson - "Giants of the Road" or Dopers ? The Contested Heroism of Tour de France Racers
MESSAGE FROM Hélène:
Everything you’ve always wanted to know about this world famous bicycle race: LE TOUR DE FRANCE
Indeed baseball is played in many countries, but it is uniquely embedded in the American culture. For the French, since the late nineteen century, it is bicycle-racing. And the Tour de France, the major bicycle race more than a century old, is world famous. Jean Gabin, impersonating a French WW1 pilot in the classic Grand Illusion movie, discusses it at length in 1916. Isn't it surprising that the best expert knowing the Tour de France's origins, history, impact on French culture and way of life, happens to be an American professor?
Well, he will talk to us this Thursdays, May 15th at the Goethe Institute!
From the first Tour de France in 1903 the race's participants have been celebrated as heroic "giants of the road" whose exceptional courage and perseverance in the face of great suffering would inspire a nation repeatedly confronted throughout the twentieth century with challenges to its survival. The grueling physical and psychological conditions of the Tour and the racers' status as national heroes also placed them at the center of French debates about work and class. In the polarized politics of pre-World War II France, those debates were shaped by competing images of the racers. Some commentators extolled Tour racers as respectable, self-disciplined "pedal workers" whose uncomplaining acceptance of arduous working conditions, if emulated by industrial workers nationwide, would defuse class conflict. Other observers, on the contrary, pitied Tour racers as "slave laborers" whose ferocious exploitation by the Tour's organizers and commercial sponsors replicated the widespread exploitation of workers in French factories, and whose resistance against inhumane racing conditions might inspire a broader revolt by France's proletariat against industrial capitalism.
After World War II, although images of the racers as model workers and slave laborers were rarely revived, Tour racers continued to feature prominently in French debates about working conditions and workers' rights. The central issue now was the racers' longstanding but increasingly sophisticated practice of illicit performance-enhancing doping. This practice has had important implications for the racer's century-old image as "giants of the road." Simply put, can racers who dope be heroic ?
Christopher Thompson was born in Morocco in 1959 and raised in Africa, Europe and the United States. Educated during his childhood and adolescence in French schools in Algeria and Belgium, he went on to study at Harvard University (B.A. in French Literature) and Middlebury College (M.A. in French). After a five-year career in secondary education, he enrolled at New York University where he earned an M.A. in French Studies and a Ph.D. in French Studies and Modern European History. His dissertation on the social, cultural, and political history of cycling under the Third Republic earned him the Outstanding Dissertation Prize in 1997. Now in his eleventh year at Ball State University in Indiana, he is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the History M.A. Program.
Christopher Thompson’s research on the social and cultural history of French cycling seeks to integrate the history of sport into broader themes of modern French history—to use sport as a means of generating fresh insights about key moments and developments in France’s tumultuous twentieth century. These include the World Wars, class and gender issues, public health debates, and a variety of hopes and fears sparked by modernity. Professor Thompson’s original approach has been rewarded by prestigious grants (a Chateaubriand Scholarship from the French government and a Summer Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities). His scholarship has been published in leading academic journals in Germany and France, as well as in English-language publications, and culminated recently in the publication of his first book, The Tour de France: A Cultural History (University of California Press, 2006), which has already attracted considerable positive attention from both academic and mainstream reviewers.
ANTOINE SFEIR - Islam and Islamism
Antoine Sfeir is a journalist, managing editor of the journal Les Cahiers de l’Orient, a review of Asian politics, and he has been president of the Center on Near Eastern Studies since 1990.
He has contributed to the magazines La Croix and L’Express, as well as to several reviews such as Esprit and Etudes. He teaches at the University of Paris’s School for Advanced Studies of Information Sciences (CELSA) and lectures at the Institute for Advanced Studies of National Defense (IHEDN), the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (IHESS), and the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations. (INALCO).
He is also the author of a series of studies on the Arab region which were created for the French government (Defense Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
He is the author of a number of books on different religions (God, Yahweh, Allah, Important Questions on the Three Religions, 100 Answers to Children’s Real Questions, Bayard Children 2004), on Islam and Islamism (notably, the Paths of Allah, Plon 2001); on communitarianism and secularism (with René Andrau, Freedom, Equality, Islam, published by Tallandier 2005); as well as books on the Middle East (with Nicole Bacharan, Americans, Arabs: the Confrontation, published by Seuil, 2006, and Toward a Complicated Orient, Grasset 2006).
LECTURE TOPIC: Islam and Islamisms
All over the world Islam is the subject of tensions that the media brings to light daily. Islamic terrorism, Iraqi guerrillas, demands for the charia to be applied, etc. At the same time, certain commentators explain that this religion is more problematic than any other because it is less reconcilable with modernity. So, one question remains for us: Are these judgments well founded?
The number of Muslims is estimated at more than one billion, with Arabs making up less than 20 percent. They have in common the belief in just one god (Allah), a prophet (Muhammad) and a holy book (the Koran). Born in the seventh century, this religion includes one powerful concept, that of the “oumma” (the community of believers), which is essential for better understanding and defining the current situation.
Antoine Sfeir then proposes to deflate these concepts and to return to the sources, to the Koran and to history in order to understand to what extent Islamism is not Islam, far from the confusion too often bandied about. What’s more, he will show by studying various existing currents, that there isn’t one Islamism but, rather, there are many.
This lecture is organized with the support of the Délégation générale de l’Alliance Francaise aux Etats-Unis
April 11, 2008 at 7pm Alliance Française d'Atlanta
Jean-Louis Chiflet - Thirty Years of Humor and Peadagogy in the Life of a Happy French Publisher
Jean-Louis Chiflet was born in Lyon in 1942. Following law school and a year spent in New Orleans to perfect his English, he joined the Hachette publishing group in 1967 as head of the foreign rights department before being named director of the international encyclopedia department.
In 1981, he started a publishing consulting firm, and in 1982 he became director of the international division of the Larousse publishing group. In 1985 he founded an editorial packaging company, Bookmaker, which he ran till 1995. After having done concept work and management of humor books for such publishers as Laffont, Payot, and Mango, he founded his own publishing house in 2005, Chiflet and Co.
But Jean-Loup Chiflet is not only a publisher, he is also the author of over fifty humorous books on language, the most famous of which is Sky My Husband! (Ciel mon mari!), published in 1985. After this book, which sold over 300,000 copies and pilloried the amusing literal differences between the French and English languages, Jean-Loup Chiflet devoted himself to tracking down, whether in his own books or in the ones he was publishing, the strangeness and eccentricities of the French language. With his playful yet donnish denouncements of the difficulties of language, he has made for himself a solid reputation as a “rogue grammarian.” Jean-Loup Chiflet has also adapted and translated into French cartoons from The New Yorker. He has also been a reporter for France Inter and regularly publishes editorials in Figaro Madame.
LECTURE TOPIC: Thirty Years of Humor and Pedagogy in the Life of a Happy French Publisher
Everything started in 1985, when, as director of the international division of a large French publisher, I published a little book to amuse my friends Sky my Husband/Ciel mon mari. This was a small tome with two hundred phrases playing with the ambiguities between French and English; immediate success, 300,000 copies sold. It had behind it the simple principle that “les carottes sont cuites” is not translated by “the carrots are cooked,” but by “the die is cast.” With the great reactions from teachers of English who thereby discovered that you can laugh and teach at the same time, I gained acceptance, little by little, as a fun-loving cultural commentator. As author or publisher, I perpetuated the dissemination of some sixty of these kinds of books: an impertinent French grammar, having fun with arithmetic, English grammar (“I’m Learning English with the Queen,” modern latin: Ad aeroportum! in which one discovers that at the Vatican there’s this surreal dictionary of contemporary words like jazz (nigritarum musica) or McDonald’s (Filius Donaldi), etc.
Other interesting subjects would include how to teach literature by imagining sequels to the classics. I’ll talk as well about the famous French exception, or, rather, about certain exceptions which make our language one of the most difficult ones in the world. We will also skim through such insolent French books as the famous works from the early 20th century having to do with good manners.
This lecture is organized with the support of the Délégation générale de l’Alliance Francaise aux Etats-Unis.