Skip to content


Michelle Zancarini-Fournel

Presentation of her recent publication on the politics of knowledge in France

Thursday, March 24, 12:00–1:30pm

Franke Institute, inside Regenstein Library

Prof. Zancarini-Fournel will speak in French about her most recent co-authored book, De la défense des savoirs critiques: Quand le pouvoir s’en prend à l’autonomie de la recherche (Paris: La Découverte, 2022). De la défense des savoirs critiques analyzes the series of recent attacks on the social sciences, in which it is claimed that they have been corrupted by “identity politics.” This book investigates the causes and consequences of the current debates and situates them in the context of three earlier moments when the autonomy of the university and of knowledge production was challenged: the Dreyfus affair, May–June 1968, and the protest movement of 2019–2020 against the new law governing the administration of research. This is a crucially important topic both in France and in the United States; she is eager for discussion on comparisons with the attack on Critical Race Theory and other topics in the US. (Please note: Although the talk will be in French, you may participate in the conversation in English.)

Please contact Leora Auslander to RSVP for the event so there can be an accurate count for the lunch provided.

Prof. Michelle Zancarini-Fournel is the author, among many other titles, of Le moment 68 : une histoire contestée (2008); Les luttes et les rêves. Une histoire populaire de la France de 1685 à nos jours (2016); Une histoire nationale est-elle encore possible ? (2018) and, Ne nous libérez pas, on s’en charge. Une histoire des féminismes de 1789 à nos jours, with Bibia Pavard and Florence Rochefort (2020).