H-France is a scholarly organization promoting the study of French and Francophone history and culture online. Since its origins in 1991, H-France has grown into a central source of scholarly information and publications related to French history, literature, art history, musicology, film studies, and philosophy. Publishing five open access journals and supporting a discussion list, a Scholars Registry, and a website, the H-France Editorial Team is composed of a large group of volunteers whose efforts are the heart and soul of its operations.
WSFH, SFHS, H-FRANCE, and FCHS Response
to the Events of January 6, 2021
The Western Society for French History, the Society for French Historical Studies, H-France, and the French Colonial Historical Society endorse the American Historical Association’s powerful statement in defense of our democracy: Ransacking Democracy: AHA Statement on the Events of January 6 (see below). In addition to endorsing these remarks, however, we think it critical to foreground the dynamics of racism, antisemitism, misogyny, and religious intolerance in the events of January 6, 2021.We are outraged by the ways that structural racism and white supremacy were once again made evident in the starkly different approaches to policing in the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol versus the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. This observation leads us to redouble our commitment to foster the teaching and study of race and racism, slavery and its afterlives, forms and legacies of colonialism, gender and sexuality, histories of law enforcement practices and criminal justice, violent insurgency and demagoguery, as well as processes that sustain free and fair elections, peaceful transitions of power, and democracy in the Francophone world and beyond.
AHA Statement on the Events of January 6
Approved by AHA Council, January 8, 2021
The American Historical Association condemns the actions of those who, on January 6, stormed the United States Capitol, the seat of the nation’s legislature, the heart of its democratic form of governance. This assault on the very principle of representative democracy received recent explicit and indirect support from the White House and from certain senators and representatives themselves. Not since 1814, when the British looted and burned the Capitol, has the United States witnessed such a blatant attack on the “People’s House.”
Everything has a history. What happened at the Capitol is part of a historical process. Over the past few years, cynical politicians have nurtured and manipulated for their own bigoted and self-interested purposes the sensibilities of the rioters. We deplore the inflammatory rhetoric of all the political leaders who have refused to accept the legitimacy of the results of the 2020 election and thereby incited the mob—and this on the day when the nation reported 3,865 COVID-19 deaths, the highest number reported in a single day since the pandemic began.
We note with dismay the iconography of the banners carried by the mob—the flag with the visage of the president emblazoned on it, as if loyalty were due an individual and not the rule of law, and the flag of the Confederacy, signaling violence and sedition. Not by coincidence, those people who attacked the Capitol have been described by the current president and his advisers as “great patriots” and “American patriots.” The rioters were neither.
A day that began with two significant “firsts”—the election of Georgia’s first African American senator and that state’s first Jewish senator—ended with Congress performing its duties according to the Constitution. Yet during the day we witnessed the unprecedented spectacle of a group of Americans desecrating the sacred space of the nation’s Capitol, and terrorizing everyone in it.
As historians, we call upon our fellow citizens and elected representatives to abide by the law and tell the truth. Our democracy demands nothing less of ourselves and of our leaders.
As many faculty are having to transfer their courses mid-semester to an online environment, H-France has begun collecting resources that may assist faculty in doing so. We hope to keep enriching this collection so please check back as you have need. If you have resources that might be of use to others,please send them to H-France Editor-in-Chief David Kammerling Smith at email@example.com. The resources may be found at https://h-france.net/online-teaching-resources/
♦Publication of the Month♦
Discussion and debate, interpretation and re-interpretation, new angles of analysis and new theories to consider–all of these are vital to the scholarly enterprise. H-France Forum encourages such activities by developing forums around recently published books. A forum begins with four scholars offering their various responses to a specific book. Afterwards, the book’s author responds to these reviews, taking the opportunity to further develop the books ideas and to defend the interpretive decisions made. The result is a substantial investigation of new interpretations, methods, and theories.