French History @IHR: Nuclear France

On Monday 24 May 2021, we are delighted to welcome Roxanne Panchasi (SFU) and Joseph Bohling (PSU) to discuss their prepared papers below.

Often we talk about France radiating culture, but perhaps less frequently do we discuss cultures of radiation. Our speakers in this session will be looking at how shifts in French nuclear policy were inflected with cultural, social and economic markers of the time. Ruptures in policy surrounding weapons, defense, energy generation and economic policy are all central to the understanding of the French Fourth and Fifth Republics, and so this discussion will offer consideration of some burning issues and hopefully provoke interesting reactions (though not nuclear ones).

Here you can watch some prepared papers from our speakers in advance:

Roxanne Panchasi (Simon Fraser University) ‘The General’s Two Bodies: Figures of the First “French” Atomic Bombs’

Roxanne is an Associate Professor at Simon Frasier Universirty. She is interested in a wide range of cultural objects and moments from the French past, and  is currently in the early stages of a book project on the cultural politics of the atomic age in postwar France. Her prior publications include Future Tense: The Culture of Anticipation in France Between the Wars (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013) and ‘“No Hiroshima in Africa”: The Algerian War and the Question of French Nuclear Testing in the Sahara”’ in History of the Present, 9.1 (Spring 2019): 84-112. Panchasi is also the host of the well-known New Books in French Studies podcast.

Joseph Bohling (Portland State) ‘The Nuclear Exceptionalists: Confronting the Crisis of Fossil Capitalism in France, 1969-1974’ 

Joseph is Associate Professor at Portland State University in Oregon. His current project, ‘’The Electro-Nuclear Switch: Confronting the Crisis of Fossil Capitalism in France, 1969-1974’, examines how the oil crisis forced a rethinking of state power and France’s place in the world. Prior publications include The Sober Revolution: Appellation Wine and the Transformation of France (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018) and “Colonial or Continental Power? The Debate over Economic Expansion in Interwar France, 1925-1932,” Contemporary European History, 26.2 (May 2017).

Then, on 24 May 2021, you can join us for a live Q&A discussion



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