French Studies

French Studies


Interviews with scholars of France about their new books.

Adam Zientek, "A Thirst for Wine and War: The Intoxication of French Soldiers on the Western Front" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2024)

May 24, 2024

A Thirst for Wine and War

Adam Zientek
Hosted by Jana Byars

Adam Zientek, Assistant Professor of History at UC Davis joins Jana Byars to talk about his new book, A Thirst for Wine and War: The Intoxication of F…

Nicholas Underwood, "Yiddish Paris: Staging Nation and Community in Interwar France" (Indiana UP, 2022)

May 21, 2024

Yiddish Paris

Nicholas Underwood
Hosted by Roxanne Panchasi

Nick Underwood's Yiddish Paris: Staging Nation and Community in Interwar Paris (Indiana University Press, 2022) is a captivating study of the culture …

Alexandra Paulin-Booth, "Time and Radical Politics in France: From the Dreyfus Affair to the First World War" (Manchester UP, 2023)

May 19, 2024

Time and Radical Politics in France

Alexandra Paulin-Booth
Hosted by Richard Northrop

People experience and comprehend time in different fashions in response to events occurring around them. The experience of time and the speed at which…

Francesca Trivellato, "The Promise and Peril of Credit" (Princeton UP, 2019)

May 5, 2024

Promise and Peril of Credit

Francesca Trivellato
Hosted by Mark Klobas

In 1647, the French author Étienne Cleirac asserted in his book Les us, et coustumes de la mer that the credit instruments known as bills of exchange …

Céline Bessière and Sibylle Gollac, "The Gender of Capital: How Families Perpetuate Wealth Inequality" (Harvard UP, 2023)

May 3, 2024

The Gender of Capital

Céline Bessière and Sibylle Gollac

In many countries, property law grants equal rights to men and women. Why, then, do women still accumulate less wealth than men? Combining quantitativ…

Éric Fassin, "State Anti-Intellectualism and the Politics of Gender and Race: Illiberal France and Beyond" (CEU Press, 2024)

April 30, 2024

State Anti-Intellectualism and the Politics of Gender and Race

Éric Fassin
Hosted by CEU Press

In this episode of the CEU Press Podcast, host Andrea Talabér (CEU Press/CEU Review of Books) sat down with Éric Fassin (Université Paris 8) to discus…

Alexander Statman, "A Global Enlightenment: Western Progress and Chinese Science" (U Chicago Press, 2023)

April 25, 2024

A Global Enlightenment

Alexander Statman

Alexander Statman's book A Global Enlightenment: Western Progress and Chinese Science (U Chicago Press, 2023) is a revisionist history of the idea of …

Jeremy Black, "Paris: A Short History" (Thames & Hudson, 2024)

April 20, 2024


Jeremy Black
Hosted by Charles Coutinho

Once described as "that metropolis of dress and debauchery" by the Scottish poet David Mallet, Paris has always had a reputation for a peculiar joie d…

Liz Tregenza, "Wholesale Couture: London and Beyond, 1930-70" (Bloombury, 2023)

April 17, 2024

Wholesale Couture

Liz Tregenza
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Wholesale Couture: London and Beyond, 1930-70 (Bloomsbury, 2023) by Dr. Liz Tregenza seeks to revise the notion that wholesale couturiers were simply …

Kerry Wallach, "Traces of a Jewish Artist: The Lost Life and Work of Rahel Szalit" (Penn State UP, 2024)

April 16, 2024

Traces of a Jewish Artist

Kerry Wallach
Hosted by Paul Lerner

Graphic artist, illustrator, painter, and cartoonist Rahel Szalit (1888-1942) was among the best-known Jewish women artists in Weimar Berlin. But afte…

Tzafrir Barzilay, "Poisoned Wells: Accusations, Persecution, and Minorities in Medieval Europe, 1321-1422" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2022)

April 8, 2024

Poisoned Wells

Tzafrir Barzilay
Hosted by Ari Barbalat

Between 1348 and 1350, Jews throughout Europe were accused of having caused the spread of the Black Death by poisoning the wells from which the entire…

Sarah Horowitz, "The Red Widow: The Scandal That Shook Paris and the Woman Behind It All" (Sourcebooks, 2022)

April 5, 2024

The Red Widow

Sarah Horowitz
Hosted by Roxanne Panchasi

Sex. Lies. Murder. Sarah Horowitz's The Red Widow: The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind It All (Sourcebooks, 2022) is a book I literally …

Stefanos Geroulanos, "The Invention of Prehistory: Empire, Violence, and Our Obsession with Human Origins" (Liveright, 2024)

April 3, 2024

The Invention of Prehistory

Stefanos Geroulanos
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Books about the origins of humanity dominate bestseller lists, while national newspapers present breathless accounts of new archaeological findings an…

Marie de Vignerot, Richelieu's Forgotten Advisor and Heiress: A Conversation with Bronwen McShea

April 2, 2024

Marie de Vignerot, Richelieu's Forgotten Advisor and Heiress

Bronwen McShea
Hosted by Annika Nordquist

Despite being one of the most influential women of 17th century France, Marie de Vignerot has been largely forgotten. The niece, heiress, and advisor …

W. B. Allen, "Montesquieu's 'The Spirit of the Laws': A Critical Edition" (Anthem Press, 2023)

March 31, 2024

Montesquieu's 'The Spirit of the Laws'

W. B. Allen
Hosted by Caleb Zakarin

The Spirit of the Laws not only systematizes the foundational ideas of “separation of powers” and “balances and checks,” it provides the decisive resp…

Oliver Wunsch, "A Delicate Matter: Art, Fragility, and Consumption in Eighteenth-Century France" (Penn State UP, 2024)

March 31, 2024

A Delicate Matter

Oliver Wunsch
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Eighteenth-century France witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of materially unstable art, from oil paintings that cracked within years of their c…

Ada Maria Kuskowski, "Vernacular Law; Writing and the Reinvention of Customary Law in Medieval France" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

March 16, 2024

Vernacular Law

Ada Maria Kuskowski
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Custom was fundamental to mediaeval legal practice. Whether in a property dispute or a trial for murder, the aggrieved and accused would go to lay cou…

Ali Bhagat, "Governing the Displaced: Race and Ambivalence in Global Capitalism" (Cornell UP, 2024)

March 14, 2024

Governing the Displaced

Ali Bhagat
Hosted by Lamis Abdelaaty

Governing the Displaced: Race and Ambivalence in Global Capitalism (Cornell UP, 2024) answers a straightforward question: how are refugees governed un…

Julie Kalman, "The Kings of Algiers: How Two Jewish Families Shaped the Mediterranean World During the Napoleonic Wars and Beyond" (Princeton UP, 2023)

March 14, 2024

The Kings of Algiers

Julie Kalman
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

On July 27th, 1827, the dey of Algiers struck the French consul over his country’s refusal to pay back its debts–specifically, to two Jewish merchant …

Yolanda Ariadne Collins, "Forests of Refuge: Decolonizing Environmental Governance in the Amazonian Guiana Shield" (U California Press, 2024)

March 12, 2024

Forests of Refuge

Yolanda Ariadne Collins

Forests of Refuge: Decolonizing Environmental Governance in the Amazonian Guiana Shield (U California Press, 2024) questions the effectiveness of mark…