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Conference of Professor Vincent Martigny at Stanford University

Dr. Vincent Martigny (PhD Sciences Po, Phil Cantab, MSc LSE) is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at École Polytechnique. He was invited by Stanford University on 18th January to present his new book "Dire la France. Culture(s) and national identities in France" released in 2016.

Professor Vincent Martigny was invited at the French Cultural Workshop of Stanford University on Thursday 18th January to present his book Dire la France. Culture(s) and national identities in France released in 2016 at Presses de Sciences Po.

"In the last ten years in France, the argument over the issue of national identity has torn apart political parties, divided the academic and intellectual world, and nourished great controversy within the French society. The origins and genealogy of this obsession about identity has never been investigated and remains misunderstood. It is however typical of a forgotten history, when in the 1980s, the definition of French national identity became imbedded into that of French culture.

How did the notion of French culture become a major stake during these years, and ended up constituting the core of the French national narrative? Proposing a fresh perspective linking an analysis of the cultural policies during the two mandates of François Mitterrand, the fight against American ‘cultural imperialism’, the multicultural policies known as the ‘Right to Difference’ and their decline, and the concept of French ‘cultural exception’ born in 1993, Vincent Martigny brings back to life the atmosphere of a crucial decade for anyone who wants to decipher the contemporary quarrel over identity. Beyond the French case, he builds on his knowledge of nationalism to provide an examination of how cultural questions, especially in relation to immigration and majority identities, have become the core of an intense political strife in most countries of Western Europe."

Dire la France. Culture(s) et identités nationales, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2016.