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Laird Boswell

Professor

Department of History

Laird Boswell is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is an expert on modern French history, French politics and society, the history of nationalism, and the contemporary extreme right in Europe

Talks:

  • It has been over a year since terrorists killed ten journalists and cartoonists in a brutal assault on the editorial offices of the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, in the heart of Paris. Charlie Hebdo was targeted because it had published numerous satirical representations of the Prophet. Two days later, an accomplice stormed a Jewish supermarket on the edge of Paris, killing four, and taking a large number of hostages.
    The Paris terrorist attacks shocked French society and led to an outpouring of solidarity with the victims. One year later, however, how are we to understand these attacks? Do they represent a new form of domestic Islamic terrorism established at the heart of European societies? An attack on the values dear to French Republicanism by Muslims excluded by French society? Home to an increasingly diverse population, should France regulate freedom of the press so that it does not offend the religious beliefs of its citizens?

    Approximate Length of Talk: 30 minutes to 1 hour

  • It has been over a year since terrorists killed ten journalists and cartoonists in a brutal assault on the editorial offices of the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, in the heart of Paris. Charlie Hebdo was targeted because it had published numerous satirical representations of the Prophet. Two days later, an accomplice stormed a Jewish supermarket on the edge of Paris, killing four, and taking a large number of hostages.
    The Paris terrorist attacks shocked French society and led to an outpouring of solidarity with the victims. One year later, however, how are we to understand these attacks? Do they represent a new form of domestic Islamic terrorism established at the heart of European societies? An attack on the values dear to French Republicanism by Muslims excluded by French society? Home to an increasingly diverse population, should France regulate freedom of the press so that it does not offend the religious beliefs of its citizens?

    Approximate Length of Talk: 30 minutes to 1 hour