Friday, April 30
John B. Davis Lecture Hall
12:00 PM
Mark Schuller
Fault Lines: the Earthquake and Aftermath in Haiti from the Ground
Coordinated by Joelle Vitiello

Mark Schuller is Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology at York College, the City University of New York. In addition to understanding contemporary Haiti, Schuller’s research contributes to globalization, NGOs, civil society, and development. Winner of the APLA paper prize, Schuller has published a half-dozen peer-reviewed articles and a couple book chapters about Haiti in addition to several articles in public media including Counterpunch, Common Dreams, and the Center for International Policy. He co-edited Capitalizing on Catastrophe: Neoliberal Strategies in Disaster Reconstruction (2008, Alta Mira) and Homing Devices: the Poor as Targets of Public Housing Policy and Practice (2006, Lexington). Schuller is also co-producer and co-director of documentary Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (2009, Documentary Educational Resources). He chairs the Society for Applied Anthropology’s Human Rights and Social Justice Committee and is active in a range of grassroots efforts, including earthquake relief.

Monday-Tuesday, April 19-20
John B. Davis Lecture Hall
Rwanda: Genocide, Denial and Hope -Genocide, Denial and Prevention
Coordinated by Jean-Pierre Karegeye

From April to July 1994, an estimated one million people were killed in Rwanda, 10,000 every day for three months. This conference explores the history of genocide in Rwanda against Tutsi, artistic responses, the genocide denial phenomenon, strategies and obstacles to arrest genocide planners in exile, and subsequent progress and policy. A multi-disciplinary roundtable will discuss the possibilities and difficulties in preventing mass violence in the future.

Conference Organizer: Jean-Pierre Karegeye, Assistant Professor, French & Francophone Studies, Macalester College.


The First Arrests of Genocidaires in Exile, the Failure of 

International and Bilateral Efforts to Bring Planners and 
Organizers to Justice and Suggestions for Action 
– Susan 
Allen, Director of Rwanda/Zambia AITRP at the Emory University 
School of Medicine


Genocide Denial Diminishes All of Us – Tom Ndahiro, Journalist and Human Rights Activist


The Rwandan Tutsi Genocide and US Policy: The Origins of Genocide Denial and the Promise of Future Genocide Prevention -James D. Boys, Assistant Professor of International Political Studies at Richmond, the American International University


Question and Answer Session


Moderator: Joëlle Vitiello, Associate Professor, French & Franocphone Studies, Macalester


Susan Allen, Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, GA lived in Rwanda from 1986-1994 where she conducted HIV prevention research. In the wake of the 1994 genocide, she fled to Zambia. In August 1994 Allen returned to Kigali to rebuild the HIV research site known as Projet San Francisco and now directs HIV prevention programs in both Rwanda and Zambia ( The following year Allen’s group received death threats from alleged Rwandan genocidaires exiled in Zambia. The investigation of those death threats led to the arrests of the first three perpetrators convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Allen continues to advocate with law enforcement, human rights organizations, and individuals to bring these perpetrators to justice.

Tom Ndahiro is a Rwandan journalist and human rights activist. He served as Editor-in-Chief of a weekly paper, when he was elected by the parliament to be one of seven members of the Rwandan Commission for Human Rights. For seven years, he was in-charge of Civil and Political Rights. Ndahiro lectures and publishes internationally on the subject of genocide. He left the commission in 2006 to work on his book titled “The Friends of Evil” which will be published in 2010.

James D. Boys, MA, PhD, is the Director, International Relations Postgraduate Program at Richmond, the American International University in London where he specializes in the study of the American system of government and the role of the US on the world stage. Boys’ work straddles history, politics and international relations, examining politics as history and history as politics. These issues are considered in his work, in which he takes a multi-disciplinary approach, blending history and politics with a personal insight into political and historical developments. His work reaches a global audience as a regular on-air consultant with the BBC and Aljazeera English. He was the only UK based source used by the BBC in its coverage of President Obama’s inauguration and has been called on to cover all major events dealing with US domestic politics and UK/US relations since 2007.

Tuesday, April 13
Humanities 401
Joël Andriantsimbazovia
Are Human Rights Universal?
Coordinated by Martine Sauret

Joël Andriantsimbazovina holds a PhD in public law. He is a university professor, Dean of the School of Law, Political Science and Management in La Rochelle and Vice-President of the University of La Rochelle, responsible for international and European action.

His research and work deal with European and International Protection of Human Rights and Procedure at the European Court of Human Rights. He collaborates with the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, established by René Cassin.

On anthropological, historical and philosophical bases, the usual affirmation of the universal character of human rights is regularly contested. They are said to be marked by western individualism and might undermine the self-determination of peoples. Moreover, they are said to be counter to certain non-western cultures in which a collective, holistic conception prevails.

Andriantsimbazovina will maintain the universal and necessary nature of human rights, from philosophical, political and legal points of view. Human rights constitute a regulatory instrument against the perverse effects and negative consequences of globalization dominated by the economy.

Wednesday, March 10
Humanities 401
4:45 PM
Delphine de Vigan
From “Intimate” writing to the social novel?
Coordinated by Martine Sauret

Delphine de Vigan will speak about her novelistic career, starting with autobiography, Jours sans faim (Days without Hunger) and so-called ‘intimate’ writing, Les jolis garçons (The Pretty Boys), Un soir de décembre (A December Evening). Her newest novels No et moi (No and I) and Les heures souterraines (The Underground Hours) are grounded in the contemporary world, mirror violent and painful social reality.

Can we necessary speak of the social novel?

In order to answer this question, Delphine de Vigan will discuss the genesis of writing: how the idea for a novel comes about, the way in which she documents her work (meetings, reading, assorted research) and the role played by this documentation in writing, the choice of narrative mode, the role of fiction, the relevance – or lack thereof – of the idea of political activism, etc.

Monday, March 8
Humanities 401
4:45 PM
The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as performed by the inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade
Coordinated by Joëlle Vitiello

What are the limits of art? Asking powerful questions about rhetoric, revolution, and the roles of the writer in society, MARAT/SADE ignited the world theatre with its inventive structure and assault on the sense. Framed as a play within a play, Peter Weiss’ text grapples with the ethics and poetics of the French Revolution as seen through the gaze of two of the era’s most notorious provocateurs and a cast of prisoners. Relentless, witty, and as potent today as when it premiered in West Berlin in 1964, it’s a pageant and a spectacle “designed to crack the spectator on the jaw.” Or so said Peter Brook, one of its most notorious interpreters. In this production, guest artist Rachel Perlmeter spins it forward into the future, ramping the time-bending up a notch. Are you engagé?

Rachel Perlmeter is a crossmedia artist working in the interstitial spaces between theatre, dance, sound, and installation art. Her writings for the stage have been developed and supported by the Playwright’s Center and the Soap Factory in Minneapolis; Soho Think Tank’s Sixth Floor Series and Mabou Mines’ Suite artist residency program in New York; the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Lost Nation Theater in Vermont; and the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a Masters’ in Theatre History and Criticism and was the recipient of two Foreign Language and Area Studies grants for her interdisciplinary work on Russian theatre, a Social Sciences Research Council grant for excellence in the humanities, and a Morton Brown Scholarship.

Tuesday, February 23
Humanities 401
4:45 PM
Scott Carpenter
Arts of Mystification in Nineteenth-Centruy France
Coordinated by Joëlle Vitiello

Early nineteenth-century literature is commonly associated with Romanticism, a movement broadly considered to champion notions of originality and authenticity. However, an aesthetics of fraudulence emerges in parallel, challenging established boundaries — often in entertaining ways. This talk will introduce some general considerations about mystification and falseness, drawing principally on two examples: nineteenth-century caricature, and the image of the artist in the works of Balzac.

Dr. Scott Carpenter teaches courses on the representation of “otherness,” nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry, arts of brevity, the aesthetics of falseness, and literary theory. He has published extensively (sometimes with students) on such authors as Charles Baudelaire, George Sand, Honoré de Balzac, and Prosper Mérimée. In addition to Acts of Fiction (1996, on political representations in nineteenth-century literature) and Reading Lessons (2000, an introduction to literary theory), he has co-edited an intermediate French reader (Vagabondages littéraires). His most recent book focuses on literary and cultural mystifications: Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France: Frauds, Hoaxes and Counterfeits (2009).

Thursday, November 12
Olin Rice 100
11:45 AM
Anna Tahinci
The Louvre and the Masterpiece: partnerships and perspectives for French Museums in the 21st century
Coordinated by Martine Sauret

In our era of globalization the Louvre is faced with unprecedented historical, financial, administrative, and political challenges: the ethics of lending artworks for a fee, the neglect of permanent collections in favor of blockbuster temporary exhibitions, the necessity of being profitable due to less governmental support, the centralized character of culture in the French political system, the requirements for introducing contemporary art in the context of a rich cultural heritage exporting its brand and its masterpieces. Discussion will analyze the aims and ideology of the current exhibition “The Louvre and the Masterpiece” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (which is part of the three-year partnership between the Louvre and the High Art Museum in Atlanta). It will uncover the secrets, the logistics and the challenges of exporting French art and culture in the 21st century.

Dr. Anna Tahinci has a Master’s in History and Archaeology from the University of Athens. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne with a dissertation on “The Collectors of Rodin’s sculptures during his lifetime.” She has worked at the Musée Rodin, the Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre and the Harvard University Art Museums. In 2004 she co-curated the sculpture exhibition that was organized in Athens for the Olympic Games. She is currently a consultant co-curator for the preparation of the exhibition “Rodin in America” at Stanford University, a Faculty Advisor at SPAN (the Student Project for Amity among Nations) at the University of Minnesota, and an adjunct Lecturer at the Alliance Française and at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Thursday, November 5
Humanities 401
4:30 PM
Diane Seligsohn
1989-2009: French and American media coverage of sub-Saharan African from the end of the Cold War to the Obama Presidency
Coordinated by Jean-Pierre Karegeye

Using examples from French and American sources, Diane Seligsohn takes stock of Western news media portrayals of sub-Saharan Africa over a twenty year period, from the end of the Cold War to the beginning of the Obama presidency. The end of the Cold War marked a transition in the way the Western media treated the continent. In the aftermath of World War Two until 1989, coverage of Africa was largely confined to an East-West framework, mirroring the struggle for power and influence between the Western nations and the Soviet Union.

With the demise of the Soviet Union, Africa lost much of its strategic importance to the West; its media coverage declined and changed focus accordingly. Since then, the limited coverage has been largely negative and sterotypical, generally presenting an image of a hopeless continent plagued by poverty, conflict, corruption and HIV/AIDS.

A major exception was the positive coverage of the “new” South Africa from the abolishment of apartheid through the election of Nelson Mandela as President. However, recent developments including the role of some African countries in fighting terrorism, competition with China for resources and business in Africa, and the election of a US president of African heritage have been changing the perspective of Western news coverage of the continent. Ms Seligsohn will also examine the contrasts between French and American media portrayals of Africa, resulting from different historical and linguistic ties, foreign policy goals and immigrant populations.

Diane Seligsohn is an American journalist and university lecturer who has lived in Paris for the past 3 decades. She first visited Africa in 1997, when as Head of Media Relations for the French doctor’s group Médecins du Monde, she led a press trip to visit the organization’s AIDS prevention and care programs in Uganda and Tanzania. Her work as a reporter for Radio France International and freelance journalism trainer has since taken her to 17 countries across the African continent,. She currently teaches Masters-level courses on the images of Africa in the Western media at tthe Sorbonne’s journalism School, CELSA and at Sciences-Po Paris.

The pilot episode of her educational documentary film series, The African Slave Trades: Across the Indian Ocean, was shown at last year’s New York African Film Festival.