Patrick Weil, University of Paris

Denaturalization Processes in France, the United Kingdom and the United States

Thu, 11/18/2010
12:00 PM, 165 Wallace Hall
Event Category: 
Special Event
By Invitation Only

Please join us for a discussion with Patrick Weil, to discuss “Denaturalization Processes in France, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

Patrick Weil  is a Visiting Professor at Yale Law School this year; he is also the Director of Research at the CNRS in Paris.  He is a distinguished historian who has worked on issues of migration and multiculturalism.    His most recent book, translated into English as How to be French:  Nationality in the Making since 1789 (translated by Catherine Porter, 2008; French original 2005) got him into a very public sparring match with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, over Sarkozy's programs for strengthening national identity.   But lest one think that Patrick is necessarily a proponent of multiculturalism, he was also a member of the commission that banned the veil in public schools in France.  The commission argued for the ban on the grounds that women had been subjected to bullying to make them wear the veil, and a ban would free them to resist.     

Much of Weil's historical work has focused on immigration and national identity.  He is the author of Liberté, Égalité, Discriminations. L'« identité nationale » au regard de l'histoire (2008) and La République et sa diversité. Immigration, intégration, discrimination (2005).  His new project focuses on the attempts by the French, UK and US government to take citizenship away from "undesirables" in the 1920s and 1930s. Based on substantial archival research in the three countries, Weil's new project shows how all three countries used political criteria and harsh methods to deprive their own citizens of the most basic of rights.  

Cosponsored with the Center for Migration and Development, and the EU Program.