A Lesson in French National Identity
Modern Languages students at Cheadle Hulme School explored the concept of French National Identity when they were visited by The University of Manchester's Dr Barbara Lebrun.
In a lunchtime lecture called ‘Integration and Racism in the French Republic’ – the latest in a series of ‘Language Matters’ talks – Sixth Form students considered different ideas of identity and how to make sense of them in modern day France.
Dr Barbara Lebrun, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary French Politics and Culture at the University, who specialises in French Music and music as a voice of protest for those marginalised in society, said: “I produced this talk in response to the recent terror attacks to help us better understand the response of the French people and their different relationships as part of the national system.”
Part conceptual analysis and part cultural overview, the students in Years 12 and 13 learned about the definitions of France’s ‘Republican’ terminology and Republicanism’s core values. Dr Lebrun also spoke of the post-colonial origins of the French political system and the resulting integration challenges faced by today’s society.
The session ended with a Q&A from the students who asked about current political strategies in France as well as what to be expected from studying languages at university.