Doctoriales civilisation

Mercredi 23 mai

Organisateurs : Luc Benoit à la Guillaume (Paris-Ouest Nanterre)

Répondants : Eliane Liddell (Perpignan Via Domitia) ; Jim Cohen (Paris 3-Sorbonne nouvelle) ; Mathilde Arrivé (Montpellier 3-Paul Valéry) ; Nathalie Caron (UPEC-Paris 12) ; Caroline Rolland-Diamond (Paris-Ouest Nanterre) ; Mark Meigs (Paris-Diderot-Paris 7)

Ces doctoriales sont dédiées à Naomi Wulf, in memoriam

Lieux : salle Multi du département de LEA (bâtiment Y, 2nd étage) durant la journée et Amphi Y (bâtiment Y, RDC) pour la réunion de 18h

Contact local des Doctoriales 2012 : Diane SABATIER


Salle Multi du département de LEA (Bâtiment Y, 2nd étage)

9:15 Welcome and opening comments

– 9:30-10:15 Workshop 1: Education since 1945

Respondent: Eliane Liddell (Perpignan Via Domitia)

– Marion Pulce, « The use of racial criteria in American educational policy after the 2007 Supreme Court decision Parents v. Seattle » (Lyon II)
– Laurie Béreau, « ‘Crisis in Education’ : the debate on education in the United States after 1945 » (Strasbourg)

10:15-10:45 Discussion

10:45-11:00 Coffee break

– 11:00-12:00 Workshop 2: Race, ethnicity and religion

Respondent: Jim Cohen (Paris 3-Sorbonne nouvelle)
– Nicolas Martin-Breteau, « Sports in the long civil rights movement : 1890s 1960s » (Paris, EHESS)
– Côme Perotin, « Studying an insular community in New York City : primary sources and independence with the Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn » (Paris 8)

12:00-12:30 Discussion

12:30-14:30 Lunch

-14:30-15:15 Workshop 3: Art and science

Respondent: Mathilde Arrivé (Montpellier 3-Paul Valéry)
– Angélique Quillay, « The Magic Lantern at the Institute of Pennsylvannia Hospital » (Paris Diderot-Paris 7)
– Cristelle Terroni, « Researching alternative spaces in the 1970s : the specificity of working on non-institutional entities » (Lyon 2)

15:15-15:45 Discussion

15:45-16:00 Coffee break

-16:00-16:45 Workshop 4: Louisiana before and after the Civil War

Respondents: Nathalie Caron (UPEC-Paris 12) & Caroline Rolland-Diamond (Paris-Ouest Nanterre)
– Mark Leon De Vries, « Political violence during Reconstruction in Louisiana’s Red River Valley » (Leiden, Netherlands)
– Andreas Hübner, « Off to Louisiana. Colonial Officers, ‘German’ settlers, and the making of the ‘côte des allemands’, 1720-1820 » (Giessen, Germany)

-16:45-17:30 Workshop 5: Political architecture

Respondent: Mark Meigs (Paris Diderot-Paris 7)
– David Assatiani, « Political architecture as a nation’s self-representation : the US capitol and the national Mall in Washington DC » (Hamburg, Germany)

Amphi Y (Bâtiment Y, Rez-de-chaussée)

18:00 : Arnaud Roujou de Boubee (Fulbright/ French American Commission) : Bourses et soutien à la recherche / Fellowships and support for researchers


Marion Pulce

The use of racial criteria in American educational policy after the 2007 Supreme Court decision Parents v. Seattle

In June 28, 2007, in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District N°1, the US Supreme Court—in a 5-4 decision—struck down plans designed by the Seattle and the Jefferson County, Ky., school systems making use of the racial criterion in the assignment of students to their public schools. Through the particular case of Seattle, the overarching goal of my Ph.D. dissertation is to study the policymaking role of the Supreme Court: how a social issue becomes an object of litigation, how it is framed by the federal judiciary, through a decision which is not devoid of political implications, and then how a strict judicial norm is concretely implemented and in turn affects the American society.

Moreover, the recent decision of the Supreme Court can be seen as part of a larger effort to dismantle the gains of the Civil Rights era. After decades of decisions that contained ambiguity as to the contours of desegregation law, for a few years and under the impulse of its conservative majority, the Court has been pushing to roll back racial equality policies (including affirmative action programs). Such manifest conservative judicial activism demonstrates how educational policymaking is increasingly shaped by the judiciary rather than the legislator—all the more easily as the legislative and the executive seem to have abdicated their influence on desegregation policy to the courts since the 1970s.

In my presentation, I will explain first why the educational public policies at stake were established in Seattle and how public dissatisfaction regarding those policies led to judiciarization. Indeed, as in many American cities, students in Seattle go to their neighborhood schools which are de facto segregated. Thus, Seattle appears as a good example of how the recent Supreme Court decisions limiting rights under school desegregation law, along with structural factors such as residential segregation, have led to a wave of resegregation that has been sweeping the U.S. since the 1990s. In order to redress the situation and promote racial diversity, the Seattle School District adopted in 1998 a “voluntary plan” which took into consideration the race of students—among other criteria—to assign them to the district’s high schools so that the racial make-up of the student body in each high school would reflect that of the district as a whole. However, in 2001, a group of dissatisfied parents formed an association called Parents Involved in Community Schools (PICS) and sued the school district claiming that their children had been refused attendance to their preferred school because of their race and were thus victims of discrimination.

The second part of my presentation will be devoted to the analysis of the Supreme Court decision declaring Seattle’s plan unconstitutional, in order to show how it rests on the Constitution and on legal precedents but most importantly on an ideological principle—colorblindness—and two conflicting judicial philosophies (textualism versus pragmatism).

Laurie Béreau

Crisis in Education ’ : The Debate on Education in the United States after 1945

The notion of a “crisis in education” in America is nowadays a staple of discussions about the state of the schools. It is regularly relayed by general interest media, which never fail to report on the decline of American children’s scores in international tests such as PISA or on the rampant mediocrity in the classrooms of the nations.

It was not always so. To trace back the first manifestations of this discourse pattern, we will turn to the period of the long 1950s.

In the aftermath of WW2, a debate on education emerged in the United States. It opposed the advocates of a return to the teaching of a core curriculum in schools to the followers of John Dewey’s educational progressivism and of modern pedagogy. While the term “crisis” had been used before in relation to the financial and material issues in schools, it came to designate at the time a questioning of the very foundations of education in America. What should schools teach and how should it be taught? Were schools meant to favor the personal development of children or to prepare them as future full members of society?

The Cold War context and the imperatives of the furious competition with the Soviet Union made these unresolved issues all the more critical. The stakes of the debate were raised, and matters of education made a matter of national security.

This research project is set at the crossroads between a variety of fields: history of education but also cultural history, the history of ideas and semiotics. It aims at understanding the dynamics of the debate, while evaluating its impact in society. To draw up a plural perspective of the different shapes the debate took, this dissertation will be grounded in a varied set of primary sources reflecting the period in which they were written, among which presidential discourse, newspaper editorials, essays and monographs meant for people at large, general interest magazines such as Life, and Hollywood films. All combined, those sources will enlighten the stakes of the debate and its repercussions.

This project is not meant to be an assessment of the positions taken in the debate and to determine whether modern pedagogy and progressivism outperform a traditional approach and a core curriculum system. It is an attempt at understanding the positions of both sides, at tracing the dynamics of the debate, at uncovering its ideological dimension, and at considering its political repercussions. While most studies in history of education tend to treat that field as an isolated entity whose evolutions are only remotely connected to developments in society, this research project is set on recontextualizing questions of education and tracing the influence of greater societal forces on its dynamics. The debate on education of the 1950s serves as a rich object of study due to its pivotal dimension, addressing the unresolved issues inherited from the creation of a unified school system while paving the way for subsequent significant debates such as the culture wars.

Nicolas Martin-Breteau

Sports in the long civil rights movement : 1890s 1960s

I would like to present some of the main results of my ongoing doctoral research on the meaning and role of sports in the long Civil rights movement, i.e., from the 1890s to the 1960s. My Ph.D. is focused on the African American communities of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Until today, sports has remained an overlooked facet of African Americans’ struggle for civil rights.
Few historians have taken this topic seriously. Yet, sport is of foremost importance to understand the
genesis of this long-lasting effort toward political equality launched by black people in America.

From the early 20th century, upper- and middle-class African Americans have consciously used
athletics as a means to “uplift” their whole “race” and to secure its social assimilation. In the
broader context of the toughening of violence toward black people since the end of the Civil War
and the abolition of slavery, sport was aimed to reinforce the “character” of the “race” by
developing African American youth’s discipline, courage, loyalty, team spirit, sportsmanship and
fair play. Educated in the best black high schools and colleges open to black people, these young
gentlemen and ladies were believed to be able to dismantle commonplace racist stereotypes on
African Americans’ alleged biological and moral inferiority.

Thus, athletics was aimed to create “real” men and women, equal in value and manhood to their white fellow citizens. This education, based on the Greek precept of a sound mind in a sound body,
should help young middle-class African Americans, once grown-ups, embody the image of race
men and women, that is, of leaders whose moral duty was to uplift their entire racial group, and to
to secure its symbolic recognition, social assimilation, and civil rights.
My presentation will present the first part of my Ph.D., that is, the ideology of the building of
bodily “character” through sports, and the institutions—like the high schools, the universities, the
YMCAs and YWCAs—which promoted a wide range of educative programs to reach this political goal.

More broadly, my presentation will explain the largely-shared opinion in the American society
between the 1890s and the 1960s stating that athletics was a means to promote equality, tolerance and
democracy. In other words, I will stress why athletics was (still is) situated at the very core of the
“American dream” political mythology.

Côme Perotin

Studying an insular community in New York City : primary sources and independence with the Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I’m currently a PhD candidate at the Institut Français de Géopolitique of Paris 8 University (IFG). My researches focuses on the Hasidic (Orthodox) Jewish community and the housing issues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY from the 90’s until nowadays. More generally, I’m trying to consider these matters in the bigger context of the New-York’s urban politics (and how to resist gentrification) and religious issues in the US. Following the recommendations of my advisor Frédérick Douzet, I applied and got a Fulbright scholarship to do field work in New-York, as a visiting scholar at the City University of New-York (CUNY) Graduate Center for the years 2010/2011.

My approach is geopolitical, which means I study one territory “Williamsburg”, the power rivalries that occurs on it, and the different strategies of the local stakeholders. That’s why it was necessary to spend as much time as possible in the field, observing and conducting interviews. I was also looking for electoral, urban planning, and housing data that were not available from France.

Having the Fulbright scholarship support was really helpful, but I was still confronted with several difficulties during my eleven months in New-York. Besides the obvious issues – finding a place to live in a very expensive city, interacting with bad skills in English -, my work was complicated because I was dealing with a very insular community that is does not welcome outsiders –I’m not Jewish-, especially not researchers. Most of the previous (sociological and anthropological) studies have been done with the blessing of the Rebbe, the religious leader of this community, by Jewish scholars. Moreover, housing in this neighborhood is a very hot (contemporary) topic with many political ties and fights. The local leaders, elected officials, and city agencies were sometimes reluctant to answer my questions or providing me with what I was looking for.

The first part of my effort has consisted in being accepted by the Hasidic leadership, without asking for the Rebbe’s blessing, and other local stakeholders by networking and showing my objectives and competences: I developed relationships with political operatives and finally worked for (and with) them. During that same year I also started questioning my objectivity and wonder how to use information given by people that trust me or which I collected data from, without their full consent, especially if it could do a disservice to them.

Now that I’m back in France and writing my PhD, I wonder firstly if I could have done a better job and how? With a blessing from the Rebbe? Secondly, I don’t know what information I should use or not. I don’t want to be at odds with the community whereas I would like to approach the subject differently.

Angélique Quillay

The Magic Lantern at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital

The magic lantern, precursor of today’s slide projectors, was used to amuse
children or to instruct adults. During the 19th and early 20th century, most
educational, religious and social institutions had magic lanterns and a collection of
glass lantern slides. The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, opened in 1841 as the
Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, retained its collection of old slides. They
were saved, partly because of the institution’s interest in history, but largely
because of the role that lantern slides played in the hospital’s early treatment of
the mentally ill.

Beginning in 1843, Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, the hospital’s superintending physician,
introduced the magic lantern into his ‘Evening Entertainments’, a series of lectures
and concerts designed for the patients. Kirkbride’s 1854 book, On the Construction,
Organisation, and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane, popularized the
details of his asylum philosophy. Kirkbride turned the therapeutic goals of ‘moral
treatment’ into a practical plan of asylum management, and visitors came from all
over the world to see his model mental hospital. The institution was known for the
environment that it offered its patients : the lantern slide shows, the Museum with
its curiosities, the musical instruments in every ward, the ornamented walks of the
hospital and its deer park.

By 1857, Dr. Kirkbride and his assistant physician Dr. Lee had developed an
Annual Course of Lectures and Evening Entertainments’ consisting of 122 lectures
over a nine month period. A carefully worked out progression of travelogs was
relieved by scientific demonstrations, concerts and literary evenings. The slide
shows began with views of the Hospital grounds and buildings, and familiar
Philadelphia views, and returned in the final lectures to Philadelphia views and the
grounds and friends of the Hospital. In between, the lectures took the audience to
Washington, Niagara Falls, New York, Paris, England, Ireland, Scotland, St
Petersburg & Moscow, Switzerland, Greece, India, Egypt and the Holy Land…

Kirkbride’s program of 1857, published with the hospital’s Annual Report of that
year, constitutes an early organization of materials. This was the shape that magic
lantern shows would take in popular theaters and halls outside the hospital.

I would like to comment on ‘moral treatment’ and choose a few series of images to
do so, in particular The International Centennial Exposition (1876) because the fair
took place in Philadelphia. The development of Fairmount Park during the late
1860s threw a vast landscape with scenic drives near enough to the Hospital to be
enjoyed by patients. Wilson’s firm produced over two thousand images of the
Centennial and one hundred were selected for the Hospital’s needs.

Then, I would like to put this part of my work in perspective and comment on the
staging of scientific curiosities outside the hospital.

Thomas Kirkbride died in 1883. Under the influence of neurology, the younger
generation of psychiatrists rejected moral treatment but the revival of interest in
‘milieu therapy’ in the United States in the 1950s underlined the contributions
made by Kirkbride in the field of psychiatry.

Cristelle Terroni

Researching alternative spaces in the 1970s: the specificities of working on non-institutional entities.

What are the problems we as researchers face when confronted with the study of non-institutional entities? What are the solutions we can offer in response? These are the two questions I will answer through the development of one specific example: the study of alternative spaces in the 1970s in New York and Buffalo (N.Y.). [[Provisional title of my PhD thesis: The Status and Artistic Production of Alternative Spaces in New York and Buffalo, 1969-1980: three case studies. (Title in French: Statut et Production Artistique des Espaces Alternatifs à New York et Buffalo, 1969-1980: 3 études de cas). ]]

In 2009 I chose to study three of these art spaces as a subject for my PhD thesis [[Artists Space in New York, 112 Greene Street Workshop also in New York and Hallwalls, a space located in Buffalo, upstate New York.]] , without being aware that their fragile and marginal status within the art world would determine so many parameters of my subsequent work. And yet, from the composition of a specific corpus of spaces to the methods of investigation I now use, the non-institutional nature of alternative spaces has deeply shaped my work. My intent in this paper is to present how and why.

Alternative spaces were born in the early 1970s in New York and in other important cultural centers in the United States, like Chicago or San Francisco. However, it is in New York that they flourished. From their early beginnings as alternative venues of experimental art, alternative spaces positioned themselves at the margins of the institutional and market-oriented art world of the early 1970s (composed of art galleries and museums mainly) It is the marginality of this status which is at the origin of the expression “alternative spaces”. [[Julie Ault gave an interesting definition of this expression in 2002: «I have applied a fairly broad definition of “alternative structure”, one that considers the roots and missions of organizations claiming to fill a particular kind of void; to counter the status quo of mercantile circuits; to address needs of artists and audiences not addressed elsewhere; or to define themselves as anti-establishment, anti-institutional, experimental, artist-initiated, artist-run, artist centered, or a combination of the above.» Julie Ault, Alternative art New York, 1965-1985 (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), p. 4. ]]
. The non-institutional nature of alternative spaces was at the origin of the first difficulties I faced as a young researcher on this subject, namely that of finding (available) archival documents on their artistic activities. I will first show how the scarcity of archives is inherent to the non-institutional nature of alternative spaces and how this initial difficulty shaped the first steps of my work, from the composition of a specific corpus of spaces to the search for additional primary sources (oral archives, interviews, exhibition catalogues and magazines as indirect sources of primary information).

In the second part of my presentation, I will explain how the non-institutional nature of alternative spaces decided on the two methods of study I use in my academic work on these spaces, the case study and the contextual approach. As non-institutional structures, alternative spaces indeed possess unique identities which require the use of case studies to be fully understood, whereas their oppositional stance as non-institutional entities can only be understood through the study of the political, artistic and economic context in which they are born.

Mark Leon De Vries

Political violence during Reconstruction in Louisiana’s Red River Valley

Throughout Reconstruction, neither the local Republican regimes nor the Federal government succeeded in establishing a viable and legitimate biracial democracy in the South. Despite three constitutional amendments, the various Reconstruction and Enforcement Acts, recurrent military intervention the majority of Southern whites succeeded in wearing down all efforts at fundamental reform through a sustained campaign of political violence and intimidation. This campaign did not so much ‘defeat’ the Reconstruction regimes, supported as they were by the Federal army, but rather undermined the legitimacy of both local and Federal government, which failed to provide the most basic function of any state: security and the rule of law.

Louisiana experienced the most prolonged Reconstruction effort of any Southern state, and often functioned as a testing ground and bellwether for various national policies. The Red River Valley suffered by far the most violence during Reconstruction of any region within Louisiana, and probably in the entire South. This region thus provides an excellent context to study the dynamics by which Southern whites succeeded in undermining the legitimacy of Republican regimes through legal and extra-legal opposition, and in particular through political violence and intimidation.

Developments in Northern public opinion and in national politics sealed the fate of the last Republican regimes in the South in the winter of 1876/’77. Northern support might have been more robust, however, if not for the failure of these regimes to provide a secure and legitimate governments. The failure of both local and Federal government to enforce the rule of law and provide stability within the South in the face of Southern white recalcitrance holds the key to understanding the failure of attempts to reform the South during Reconstruction. In retrospect, this failure in the face of organized violence and intimidation might appear inevitable. The historical record, however, shows that where local Republican leaders and Federal commanders offered a robust response, such violence could be quelled and freedmen could effectively participate in the political process.

Attempts to reform the political, economic, and racial institutions of the South clashed with the regions political and legal culture and would have required a long term commitment by the Federal government for their enforcement. Southern whites prevented this through a strategy of escalating violence and resistance to which neither local authorities nor the Federal government provided an adequate response. The central question this thesis addresses is how various manifestations of local and Federal governments responded to this escalating violence and intimidation throughout the Reconstruction period and why, ultimately, they proved either unable or unwilling to provide even a modicum of security and obedience to the rule of law. This analysis will take into account both structural factors, such as practical, ideological and legal obstacles faced by the Federal and local governments, as well as the practical strategies and repertoires developed by both the Southern whites and government agents in their struggle for dominance in the Red River Valley.

Andreas Hübner

Off to Louisiana: Colonial Officers, “German” Settlers and the Making of the Côte des Allemands, 1720–1820

From 1720 onwards, the so-called German Coast of Louisiana, located about 30 miles upriver from New Orleans, was settled by indentured servants. While originating from various regions of nowadays Germany and different places all over Europe, for instance from Alsace, Hungary or Switzerland, these migrants were altogether marked as Germans by early French census-takers. Accordingly, their settlement was named Côte des Allemands in French and Costa de los Alemanes in Spanish colonial times. The migrants themselves soon came to be known as the Germans of Louisiana. As such they entered the historiographies of colonial Louisiana as hard working man and diligent housewives and mothers (cf. Merrill). They were even to be incorporated into the narratives of the Louisiana Creoles, when nineteenth-century German-American filiopietists declared them to be the “Creoles of German descent” (Deiler).

Taking these observations as a starting point, my dissertation aims at exploring the cultural history of these migrants and at understanding the techniques of cultural labeling that shaped the image of these migrants in history. In depth, while concentrating on the space of the German Coast, the dissertation examines techniques of mapping and surveying, politics of demography and governance, and practices of everyday life and remembering under French, Spanish, and early American administrations. Historical sources considered include maps, land grants and claims, census records, administrative correspondence, sacramental records, memoirs, histories, and travel journals. Analyzing these sources, the dissertation explicitly asks how meaning, knowledge, and certain narratives are produced in colonial contexts and how long-lasting power relations and social hierarchies are being inscribed. Thus, I hope to sharpen our understanding of the formation of Creole culture in Louisiana, its social hierarchies, and its cultural labeling of ethnicities and identities. More generally, I hope to provide a reconceptualization of Creole cultures, hierarchies and identities in the Circum-Caribbean space from 1720 to 1820.

Regarding methodology, the dissertation draws from (German) cultural history (cf. Daniel) and Atlantic History (cf. Games). Especially the concept of cis-Atlantic History is of interest for it offers a way to put the developments and transformations at the German Coast into Atlantic perspective. The dissertation tries, for example, to connect emerging notions about German ethnicity and identity in colonial Louisiana with discussions on nationality, empire and race in France (cf. Vidal). With reference to cultural history, the dissertation means to stress the differences between self-descriptions, ascriptions, and inscriptions when studying the source material. The dissertation will, for instance, emphasize how early colonial descriptions of ‘German’ settlers as laborious were repeated over and over again and, hence, were inscribed into Louisiana’s collective memory. In this very sense, the dissertation hopes to discuss, challenge and deconstruct narratives and historiographies that out of the perception of a colony in crisis design a success story of its early ‘German’ migrants.

David Assatiani

Political Architecture as a Nation’s Self-representation: The United States Capitol and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

My doctoral thesis concerns itself with Washington, D.C. in terms of political architecture. The focus is primarily on iconological analysis of the Capitol of the United States and the National Mall in their historical perspective. The intention is to characterize important visual aspects of self-representation of the American nation. Above and beyond this visual perception, several other aspects also tend to be particularly interesting.

The United States Capitol is one of the distinctive US landmarks known throughout the world. It serves as an embodiment of democracy in the capital of each federal state. As is generally known, several European temples and cathedrals served stylistically and architecturally as prototypes for the building. Its significance is being variously accentuated through its size, use of forms and topography. However, above all else, the Capitol is a temple of popular government in its every possible manifestation which makes it truly unique. While constructed as a dome in its design vocabulary, the Capitol symbolizes United States’ democratic practices.

The history of construction of the Capitol, its placement specifics within the landscape of the capital city as well as awareness of citizens in dealing with this national symbol greatly aid in understanding the nature of American society. Yet a study of mere optical appearance of the building, disclosing the stunning symbolism in the Capitol can hardly suffice in achieving complete comprehension of the cultural significance of the Capitol to the Nation. One needs, moreover, to apply certain imponderables revealed through the symbols and conception of the building in relation to the cultural history of the country. It is therefore of essential importance to make use of analysis methods of history and cultural anthropology in order to fully grasp the emotional significance conveyed by the Capitol.

The American community spirit finds its expression in staging an exceptional visual and design culture. This is particularly remarkable in maintaining a comprehensive planning approach to what is commonly referred to as the Monumental Core of Washington, D.C. In this context, the mere building envelope of the Congress cannot be of exclusive interest, because the understanding of American democracy implies first and foremost participation of its citizens in the process of building political awareness. This framework, for instance, is consequently practiced by ingenuously and effectively integrating public spaces into the dynamics of everyday life. The National Mall which was pointedly designed to serve both people and politics, seems to be crucial in this respect. In combination with the Capitol, the National Mall creates a successful approach to political communication. Here, one might find a piazza-tradition of a sort where leisure and relaxation coexist with political opposition and demonstration under the wings of the common national symbol of Congress. The aim of the study is to show that the United States Capitol turns out not to be solitary in creating a visual aura of the American Nation. It appears to be dependent on a broad range of relationships in order to serve as a temple of democracy.