Memory, Reparation, and Reconciliation in the United States and France

Panel discussion with Michael Dawson (University of Chicago) and
Pap Ndiaye (Sciences Po), moderated by Anne Bazin (Sciences Po)

Tuesday 11 March at 7 PM

Sciences Po - Amphithéâtre Eichthal - 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, Paris 7ème

In Europe and the United States many have made the argument that only by forgetting or at least downplaying past darkness can one build the type of collective unity able to engage in critical, collective projects and shared sacrifices, and that such forgetting is the best guarantee for building an egalitarian society in the future.  Others have argued that the act of forgetting makes it impossible to level a playing field severely skewed by past actions, resulting in the likelihood that the collective will repeat the mistakes of the past; instead, it is only by acknowledging past crimes that a genuinely collective unity can become a possibility for the future.  What role should collective memory and the politics of the past play in contemporary politics and public policy?  What role are these debates playing in contemporary politics?