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ALLONS ENFANTS DE LA PATRIE: CHILDREN AND THE WARS OF 1870–71

4:45pm-6:00pm on Thursday 31 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 26th March. For events on or after 27th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

Cambridge University Library, Milstein Seminar Rooms, West Road, CB3 9DR

Join us for an exploration of how French children were represented during the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune, using literary and visual material from a historical collection of caricatures held in the Cambridge University Library

From September 1870 to May 1871, the siege of Paris by the Prussians was followed by a civil war which opposed the radical left-wing members of the Paris Commune to the more moderate Republicans leading the French government. The French military defeat, the hardships of life under prolonged sieges, and the political experiments of the Paris Commune –which ended in a massacre–, had a profound impact on the daily lives of Parisian people and especially children.

Their perspective is reflected in the works of writers such as Alphonse Daudet and Guy de Maupassant. In Paris, this fuelled the production of a flurry of caricatures which circulated widely, often disseminated by the illustrated press. They portray children as victims of the war as well as privileged witnesses of the historical events unfolding around them. If children are often used as beacons of hope, torchbearers for the progressive aims of the Commune, they are also invested with the ideology of revenge against the Germans…

This in-person talk is complemented by an on-demand short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lplJvx8lZtw.

Dr Irene Fabry-Tehranchi was a lecturer in French literature and culture in France and the UK before becoming a librarian. She is now in charge of French and Francophone collections at Cambridge University Library where she has curated an exhibition of Franco-Prussian Caricatures in the autumn of 2020.

Dr Marion Glaumaud-Carbonnier is a postdoctoral researcher in Nineteenth-Century French Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge. As a Marie Skodowska-Curie Fellow (European Commission), she is investigating the influence of the French defeat of 1871 on representations of the family in the French novel until the First World War.

Accessibility: Hearing loop; step-free access with slight gradient; narrowest point into the building is 82.5cm; accessible toilet; accessible parking.

Hosted by Cambridge University Library in partnership with the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics, and the Cambridge Alliance Française.

Booking/Registration is: REQUIRED

Queries relating to this event can be directed to events@lib.cam.ac.uk.

Additional Information

Age: Adults
Format: Talk, Exhibition
Timing: In person
Cost: Free
Event Capacity: 60
Theme: Discovery, Society
Accessibility: Step-free access, Accessible toilet, Hearing loop

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