Faculty Directors of the France Chicago Center

Robert Morrissey

Executive Director

Wieboldt #219
(773) 702-8479

Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Arnold Davidson

Faculty Director

(773) 702-9849

Professor, Department of Philosophy and the Divinity School

Juan De Pablo

Faculty Director

ERC #231

Liew Family Professor, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering & Vice president for National Laboratories

Keith Moffat

Faculty Director

(773) 702-2116

Professor, Biochemistry, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics

Paolo Privitera

Faculty Director


Professor, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics; Enrico Fermi Institute; and the College

Jennifer Wild

Faculty Director

Classics 314B

Associate Professor, Departments of Cinema & Media Studies and Romance Languages & Literatures.

Understanding Inequality and What To Do About It

with Thomas Piketty | November 6, 2015 | 1 hour 27 minutes

In this discussion, French economist and expert on welath and income inequality Thomas Piketty presents his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He focuses on the long-run dynamics of income inequality, highlighting that institutions and policies greatly impact income and wealth concentrations from country to country. He then explains the current shift towards a return to a patrimonial or wealth-based society, citing what he calls "the metamorphosis of capital." In conclusion, Piketty draws from his research and data and comments about the future of wealth concentration.

Dan Bertsche

Associate Director

Gates-Blake #513
(773) 702-3662

Adminstrator of the France Chicago Center

My Three Lives: an artist talk

with Agnès Varda | October 9, 2015 | 1 hour 46 minutes

In this discussion, acclaimed artist Agnès Varda speaks and reflects on various stages of her career as a photographer, filmmaker and visual artist. She discusses her modest beginnings in photography, saying she was a photographer long before she was a filmmaker. The discussion continues with various excepts and clips from many of her films including Uncle Yanco, Vagabond, Cléo from 5 to 7 and her autobiographical documentary, The Beaches of Agnès. She also meditates on what it means to be a filmmaker and the importance to follow one's joy, excitement, and surprise. 

Rob Chaskin

Associate Professor & Deputy Dean for Strategic Initiatives in SSA

(773) 702-1707

Jean Decety

Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry

(773) 834-3711

Daisy Delogu

Professor, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures

(773) 702-4115

Philippe Desan

Professor, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures

(773) 834-0354

Alison James

Associate Professor, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures

(773) 702-4267

Jean-Luc Marion

Professor, Department of Philosophy, Committee on Social Thought, and the Divinity School

(773) 702-8244

Françoise Meltzer

Professor and Chair, Department of Comparative Literature, Professor of the Philosophy of Religions

(773) 702-8177

Larry Norman

Professor, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures

(773) 702-4383

Thomas Pavel

Professor, Departments of Romance Languages 7 Literatures and Comparative Literature

(773) 702-8485

Bill Sewell

Professor Emeritus, Departments of History and Political Science

(773) 702-0900

Martha Ward

Associate Professor, Department of Art History

(773) 702-9497

David Wray

Associate Professor, Departments of Classics and Comparative Literature

(773) 702-8563

Who is Charlie?: A Conversation on Freedom of Expression

with Zineb El Rhazoui (Charlie Hebdo Journalist) | February 26, 2015 | 1 hour 30 minutes

Zineb El Rhazoui, a human rights activist and a journalist for Charlie Hebdo explores in depth the themes of blasphemy, censorship, and freedom of expression following the reactions to the events of Charlie Hebdo's publications of cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. The French concept of "laïcité," secularism, and the history of the Charlie Hebdo publication are also discussed.

The Art of Intervention: Diplomacy and Deployment after Iraq

with Dominique de Villepin (former Prime Minister of France) | November 14, 2014 | 1 hour 38 minutes

Drawing from his exceptional knowledge and experience, Former French Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Dominique de Villepin presents an in-depth analysis of international crises facing the world today.

The Future of the Humanities

with Julia Kristeva and Arnold Davidson | October 11, 2013 | 1 hour 52 minutes

In this discussion, Julia Kristeva and Arnold Davidson discuss the future of the Humanities in North America and Europe. Referencing several thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Primo Levi, and Immanuel Kant, this discussion touches on a range of issues concerning the humanities. The program starts with Kristeva’s presentation of the crisis of civilization. Then, Arnold Davidson presents his idea of humanism and the concept of “humanities.” Moving on, he describes reading as a spiritual exercise and the importance of communication. 

Philippe Etienne

Ambassador of France to the United States

The Franco-Arab Thing: Exploring Centuries of Franco-Arab Relations

with Henry Laurens | April 29, 2014 | 1 hour 8 minutes

Henry Laurens, one of France's foremost experts on the Middle East, explores in depth the complex and fascinating relationship between France and the Arab world, from colonialism to present-day tensions, on a quest to uncover the “Franco-Arab thing.” The program begins with an explanation of the origin of the phrase “the Franco-Arab thing” before moving on to an overview of the history of the relations between France and the Arab world. He concludes with dual, shifting dimensions of the history of France and their modern day manifestations.

Gaëtan Bruel

Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States

Yves Frénot

Counselor for Science and Technology at the French Embassy in the United States

Neither Whores nor Submissive: The Burqa Ban in France

with Fadela Amara | May 22, 2013 | 1 hour 20 minutes

Fadela Amara (Ni Putes Ni Soumises founder and former French minister) describes the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the predominantly poor immigrant neighborhoods surrounding French cities (banlieues) that led to the ban on face coverings. She explains why she considers the wearing of face coverings in public to be both oppressive for women and an assault on the values upon which the French Republic is founded. Furthermore, she discusses the aftermath of the ban in France, the goals that Ni Putes Ni Soumises continues to pursue, its partners at home and abroad, and the impact of the national and international political climate on men and women in the banlieues.

Guillaume Lacroix

Consul General of France in Chicago