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Les études nord-américaines en France et en Europe

North American Studies in France and Europe

Bilan et perspectives

State of the Art and Future Prospects

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Publié le lundi 02 juin 2014 par João Fernandes

Résumé

In 1980, François Furet established the first visiting chair in North American studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in partnership with the French-American Foundation. Yet, it was not until 1984 and the election of Jean Heffer as permanent full professor that the Center for North American Studies (CENA) came into being. Despite pioneering efforts in some English departments and the creation of the first university chair in North American history at the Sorbonne in 1967, there was significant disparity between the importance of the USA in the contemporary world and the weakness of North American studies in France. Over the last thirty years and under the supervision of Jean Heffer and François Weil, the CENA has become one of the leading institutions for North American scholarship in France and Europe.

Annonce

Argument

In 1980, François Furet established the first visiting chair in North American studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in partnership with the French-American Foundation. Yet, it was not until 1984 and the election of Jean Heffer as permanent full professor that the Center for North American Studies (CENA) came into being. Despite pioneering efforts in some English departments and the creation of the first university chair in North American history at the Sorbonne in 1967, there was significant disparity between the importance of the USA in the contemporary world and the weakness of North American studies in France. Over the last thirty years and under the supervision of Jean Heffer and François Weil, the CENA has become one of the leading institutions for North American scholarship in France and Europe. Its professors, researchers, and graduate students wish to mark this 30-year anniversary with an international conference that both takes stock of past research and look into new heuristic and interdisciplinary approaches in history, anthropology, sociology, geography, and political science. The goal is to further promote North American studies, which have remained marginal in the French academic world, and to participate in transatlantic dialogue with scholars of the United States and Canada.

International conference organized for the thirtieth anniversary of the Centre d'Études Nord-Américaines (Center for North American Studies), in partnership between EHESS and Fondation Singer-Polignac

The conference will be divided into five thematic sessions. The speakers’ papers will be pre-circulated, and after being presented, will be commented upon by a discussant. Three keynote lectures will also be given. The conference will be audio-video recorded. It will be held in English.

Pre-registration is required for attendance by May 26. To pre-register, please write to cena@singer-polignac.org, and specify the dates when you will attend the conference.

Program

Wednesday 4 June, EHESS

09:00–09:30 AM: Registration

09:30–11:00 AM: Official Opening

  • Mr. Pierre-Cyrille Hautcœur, President of the EHESS;
  • Mr. Philip Breeden, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, Embassy of the United States of America (to be confirmed);
  • Ms. Sylvie Bédard, Director of the Canadian Cultural Centre;
  • Representative of the Région Île-de-France;
  • Mr. Arnaud Roujou de Boubée, Director of the Franco-American Commission;
  • Ms. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Director of the Paris Office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States;
  • Mr. Richard Rechtman, Director of the LabEx TEPSIS;
  • Mr. Michel Wievorka, Administrator of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme;
  • Mr. Jean-Michel Blanquer, President of the Institut des Amériques;
  • Ms. Isabelle Alfandary, President of the French Association of American Studies;
  • Ms. Hélène Harter, President of the Association française d’études canadiennes;
  • Ms. Véronique Boyer, Director of Mondes Américains – UMR 8168 (CNRS/EHESS);
  • Ms. Cécile Vidal, Director of the CENA.

11:00-12:00 AM: Keynote Lecture by François Weil, EHESS, Recteur de l’Académie de Paris, Chancelier des Universités: “North American Studies in Transnational Perspective”

12:00 AM–02:00 PM: Cocktail

02:00-05:00 PM: International Perspectives on North American Studies

North American studies have so far been marginal in France, especially when compared to the massive body of literature produced every year in the United States. This reality prompted the members of the CENA to reflect on the very object of their research, whether in the collective book Chantiers d’histoire américaine (1994), the AMNOR project on the history of North American studies in France, or, more recently the European undertaking Historians Across Borders (2014). Looking back on thirty years of research, two evolutions seem obvious. CENA members have mostly focused their research on the US. This raises the question of the relative weight of the histories and historiographies of the US and Canada. What place does the category “North America” hold in our research? Can we look across and beyond national boundaries to better account for its continental dimension? Moreover, while North-American studies scholars in France used to collaborate mostly with their American or Canadian counterparts, they are now in close dialogue with other European researchers working on similar topics. How will this affect the field of North-American studies in Europe? How is the North American history produced in Europe different from the literature coming from other continents?

02:00-03:20 PM: Does North America Exist?

Chair: Jacques Portes, Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, CENA/Mondes Américains

  • Catherine Desbarats and Allan Greer, McGill University: “North America from the Top Down: Visions of New France”
  • Pekka Hämäläinen, Oxford University: “Among Empires: Jurisdictional Enclaves and Interpenetration in the American Southwest
    • Discussant: Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis

03:20–03:40 PM: Break

03:40-05:00 PM: North American History Outside of the United States

Chair: Isabelle Richet Udry, Université Paris Diderot, LARCA

  • Maurizio Vaudagna, Università degli Studi di Torino e del Piemonte Orientale: “Is There such a Thing as a European Perspective on North American History?”
  • Greg Robinson, UQAM: “The Impact of Francophone Historiography on the Writing of United States History”
    • Discussant: Paul Schor, Université Paris Diderot, LARCA  

Thursday 5 June, Fondation Singer-Polignac 

09:30–10:00 AM: Registration

10:00 AM-01:00 PM: Disciplinary Boundaries

Among the centers dedicated to area studies at the EHESS, the CENA is both strongly attached to a disciplinary approach between history and anthropology, and to a research tradition that claims the unity of the social sciences. Difficulties arise from the highly uneven development of North American history and anthropology combined with the relative lack of interest coming from other disciplines. What is the status of the field for researchers who work on the United States? A research object, an analytical framework, a case study? In what way is our perception of the North American field shaped by our discipline? Do our specific methodologies influence our perspective? Is our approach affected by the fact that we work on a society that is close to our own? Beyond the increasing injunction for interdisciplinarity as the sole source of innovation, in what ways can we actually cross disciplines in our daily research practices? How does the lack of sociologists and political scientists within our research center impact our perspective on North American studies?

10:00-11:20 AM: The United States: A Case Study for a Comparative Approach?

Chair: Marie Mauzé, CNRS, LAS

  • Loïc Wacquant, University of California at Berkeley: “Recasting Relegation: Foibles and Fruits of Studying Urban Marginality in America
  • Anne Raulin, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, LAIOS: “Toward a Reciprocal Anthropology: A Dialogical and Comparative Approach between France and the United States”
    • Discussant: Sébastien Chauvin, University of Amsterdam 

11:20–11:40 AM: Break 

11:40 AM-01:00 PM: The United States: A Field of Interdisciplinary Dialogue

Chair: Christian Topalov, EHESS, CMH

  • - William J. Novak, University of Michigan: “Law, History, and the American State”
  • - Nicolas Martin-Breteau, EHESS, CENA/Mondes Américains: “Perfectionism from Civil War to Civil Rights: For an Interdisciplinary Reframing of Contemporary African American History (1870s-1970s)
    • Discussant: Daniel Sabbagh, Sciences Po, CERI 

01:00–02:00 PM: Lunch 

02:00–05:00 PM: Counting and Analyzing: North American Studies as Social Science

At a time when the narrative form of history writing and the cultural turn are far from losing their power of attraction on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, what place should be granted to quantitative and longitudinal studies? Should we still favor an approach based on comparisons, generalizations and modelizations? The CENA was founded by an economic historian both close to the Annales School and a staunch advocate of cliometrics. The Center has remained committed to ever more diversified and innovative disciplinary and methodological research directions. In this framework, are these epistemological and methodological choices leading us toward a different history of North America, and new analyses of the relationships between individuals and society on one hand, and between the various spheres of politics, the economy, the social, and the cultural, on the other?

02:00-03:20 PM: America's Weight: Measuring, Quantifying and Understanding the United States

Chair: Jean Heffer, EHESS, CENA/Mondes Américains

  • Colleen Dunlavy, University of Wisconsin: “Whatever Happened to (American) Economic History—and Could the ‘History of Capitalism’ Become the ‘Newer’ Economic History?”
  • Alexia Blin, EHESS, CENA/Mondes Américains, and Pierre Gervais, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, CREW: “Cliometrics Today”
    • Discussant: Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University

03:20-04:40 PM: Another View? Questioning the American Model

Chair: Denis Lacorne, Sciences Po, CERI

  • Olivier Zunz, University of Virginia: “Philanthropy and American History”
  • Vincent Michelot, Institut d'études politiques de Lyon: “Political Science: A Transatlantic Empire?”
    • Discussant: François Cusset, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense 

04:40–05:00 PM: Break 

05:00-06:00 PM: Keynote Lecture by Jean Heffer, EHESS: “From Analytic Narratives to Cliometric Models” 

Friday 6 June, Fondation Singer-Polignac 

09:15–09:30 AM: Registration 

09:30-12:30 AM: North American Space and Scales

The analysis of space and attention to scales have been characteristic of many works done at the CENA, drawing inspiration both from the long French tradition of bringing history and geography together, and the historical geography school in the United States. At the time of a much-talked about spatial turn, the inclusion of the CENA into the Mondes américains research unit, which puts together five research centers covering all the Americas, prompts us to rethink the configuration of North America at the hemispheric, Atlantic, and imperial scales. Can they help reshape historical narratives long told within the national frames of Canada and the United States? How do our scales of analysis shape our understanding of space as it was historically experienced? Do those various intermediate scales help us rethink local history at a time of global history? 

09:30-10:50 AM: Rethinking the Local: The Construction and Appropriation of Space

Chair: Annick Lempérière, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, CRALMI/Mondes Américains

  • Yann Philippe, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, CENA/Mondes Américains, and Aurélien Gillier, EHESS, CENA/Mondes Américains: “At the Urban Scale: The Control and Appropriation of Social Space”
  • Nicolas Barreyre, EHESS, CENA/Mondes Américains, and Tangi Villerbu, Université de La Rochelle, CRHIA: “Constructing Space at the Regional Scale: The Case of the Midwest”
    • Discussant: Renaud Le Goix, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, Géographie-Cités 

10:50–11:10 AM: Break 

11:10-12:30 AM: Hemisphere, Atlantic, Empire: The Larger Scales of North America

Chair: Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, Université Paris Diderot, LARCA

  • Manuel Covo, EHESS, CENA/Mondes Américains, and Romy Sánchez, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CRALMI/Mondes Américains: “Intertwining Scales: The Caribbeanization of the Americas”
  • Alexandre Dubé, Washington University in St. Louis: “Rethinking Continental Space: North America as Imperial Playground”
    • Discussant: Jean-Frédéric Schaub, EHESS, CRBC/Mondes Américains 

12:30 AM–01:30 PM: Lunch 

01:30-04:30 PM: North American Fields

As his research interests have evolved, Jean Heffer has constantly explored new places, such as the port of New York, the Pacific Ocean as an “American lake”, and Lincoln County, Missouri. Following his lead, the CENA’s members have worked on a variety of North American territories over the years. In particular, they have focused on major urban centers, such as New York, Chicago, and New Orleans, or on cross-border areas in the North-East, the Midwest and the Great Lakes, Louisiana and the Caribbean, and the West Coast and the Pacific. Such scholarly agendas have emerged for complex reasons, which this conference seeks to address. Since the exploration of new fields stems not from a desire to fill in historical gaps but rather from new interpretative frameworks, this session will also analyze the relationships between local and regional history on the one hand and national and continental history on the other. How does the choice of place affect the role we play in the debates over the dominant paradigms that govern North American history? In what way do we alter the narratives of national or continental history by writing from distinct territories or regions considered peripheral in North America? Is it possible to write a polycentric history that takes into account the variety of actors and places from which changes occurred? 

01:30 - 02:50 PM: The Reconfigurations of Political History

Chair: Annick Foucrier, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, CRHNA

  • Daniel Carpenter, Harvard University, and Romain Huret, Université Lumière Lyon 2, CENA/Mondes Américains: “Petitions, Local History, and National Narrative”
  • Andrew J. Diamond, Université Paris-Sorbonne: “The Paradigmatic City? Chicago and the American Urban Experience”
    • Discussant: Thomas Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania 

02:50–04:10 PM: North American History from the Margins

Chair: Emmanuel Désveaux, EHESS, LIAS

  • Emmanuelle Perez, EHESS, CENA/Mondes Américains: “North American History from a West Coast/Pacific Perspective”
  • Raymond J. DeMallie, Indiana University, and Gilles Havard, CNRS, CENA/Mondes Américains: “Writing the History of North America from Indian Country. The View from the North-Central Plains, 1800s-1870s”
    • Discussant: Richard White, Stanford University 

04:10–04:30 PM: Break 

04:30-05:30 PM: Keynote Lecture by Nancy F. Cott, Harvard University: “Where is Gender in North American Studies?” 

The conference is sponsored by: EHESS, Fondation Singer-Polignac, CENA, Mondes Américains-UMR 8168 (CNRS/EHESS), Région Île-de-France, LabEx TEPSIS, United States Embassy, Franco-American Commission, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Institut des Amériques, Programmes Scientifiques de la FMSH.

Lieux

  • EHESS, Amphithéâtre François Furet - 105 BOULEVARD RASPAIL
    Paris, France (75006)

Dates

  • mercredi 04 juin 2014
  • jeudi 05 juin 2014
  • vendredi 06 juin 2014

Mots-clés

  • Études nord-américaines, historiographie, épistémologie, Amérique du Nord, États-Unis, Canada

Contacts

  • Cécile Vidal
    courriel : cecile [dot] vidal [at] ehess [dot] fr

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Cécile Vidal
    courriel : cecile [dot] vidal [at] ehess [dot] fr

Pour citer cette annonce

« Les études nord-américaines en France et en Europe », Colloque, Calenda, Publié le lundi 02 juin 2014, http://calenda.org/287898