French Laïcité, the Old and the New

Kantorowicz-Lecture by Joan W. Scott

In this lecture, Joan Scott will look at the history and the current uses - always polemical - of the principle of "laïcité", the French concept of secularism. The lecture will focus on the way in which secularists old and new have focused their attention on women - in the 19th and early twentieth centuries on the dangers posed by French women's supposed propensity to religion; in the 21st century on the threats to the Republic thought to be embodied by Muslim women wearing some form of veil. In line with the Cluster of Excellence focus on "normative orders", the lecture will insist both on the historicity of normative orders and on the continuing problem that differences of sex pose to them.

Joan W. Scott is Professor Emerita in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton NJ USA).  She is the author of the now classic "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis" and of many articles and books, including Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man, and The Politics of the Veil. Most recently, she has published The Fantasy of Feminist History. She is now at work on history of secularism and gender equality in modern western nation-states.

Location: Cas 1.801

Seit 2013 wird die Kantorowicz Lecture in Kooperation mit dem Exzellenzcluster „Die Herausbildung normative Ordnungen“ durchgeführt.