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Keynote speaker: Thomas Chatterton Williams
With Nell Irvin Painter and Marie-Anne Matard-Bonucci, and moderator James McAuley

The denunciation of racism, in the wake of Black Lives Matter, has put questions of systemic discrimination in the US and in France into relief. But these two countries, with their different histories, have a distinct relationship to the notion of race, a word that is even taboo in France. While the United States grapples with a long history of slavery, France is often blamed for its supposed colorblindness and the difficulty it faces in addressing its colonial legacy. How do these different narratives translate into contemporary debates, such as accusations of historical revisionism or criticism of cultural appropriation?

    Thomas Chatterton Williams is a writer and a journalist. He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and a columnist at Harper’s, where he launched “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” (July 7, 2020) signed by 153 public figures denouncing the intolerance of opposing views.

    Nell Irvin Painter is an American historian, a writer, and a visual artist. She is Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University.

    Marie-Anne Matard-Bonucci is Professor of Contemporary History at the University Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis. A specialist of fascism and anti-Semitism in France and Italy, she is the author of L’italie Fasciste et la Persécution des Juifs (Perrin, 2007) and Totalitarisme fasciste (CNRS, 2018). Matard-Bonucci is president of ALARMER (Association de Lutte contre l’Antisémitisme et le Racisme par la Mobilisation de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche) and director of RevueAlarmer, which specializes in issues of racism and anti-Semitism. She is in charge of the first university training course on the fight against racism and anti-Semitism at the University of Paris 8.

    James McAuley is a Global Opinions contributing columnist focusing on French and European politics and culture for The Washington Post.