"Exploring Diversity in France" at Yale University

Please join Humanity in Action and Yale University for "Exploring Diversity in France," a special discussion series sponsored by the Embassy of France to the United States.

"Exploring Diversity in France" brings together American and French scholars, students and audiences to examine the role and concept of diversity in contemporary France. The program is sponsored by the Embassy of France to the United States and developed in partnership with Humanity in Action, The New School, Yale University, Georgetown University and the University of Missouri.

Lunch and refreshments will be served.



October 11, 2011
12:00 to 2:00 p.m.


Calhoun College Fellows Lounge
Yale University 
189 Elm Street
New Haven, CT



Maurice Samuels

Maurice Samuels specializes in the literature and culture of nineteenth-century France and in Jewish Studies. His first book, The Spectacular Past: Popular History and the Novel in Nineteenth-Century France (Cornell UP, 2004), examines new forms of historical representation—including panoramas, boulevard theater, and the novel—in post-Revolutionary France. It won the Gaddis Smith International Book Prize given by Yale’s MacMillan Center. His second book, Inventing the Israelite: Jewish Fiction in Nineteenth-Century France (Stanford UP, 2010), brings to light the first Jewish fiction writers in French. It won the Scaglione Prize, given by the Modern Language Association for the best book in French studies. He is currently co-editing a Nineteenth-Century Jewish Literature Reader and working on a new book on the relationship of antisemitism and philosemitism in France, from the French Revolution to the present. He has also published articles on diverse topics, including romanticism and realism, aesthetic theory, representations of the Crimean War, and boulevard culture. Professor Samuels is also the Director of the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism (YPSA).

Patrick Weil

Patrick Weil is a Senior Research Fellow at the French National Research Center in the University of Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne. Professor Weil's work focuses on comparative immigration, citizenship, and Church States law and policy. Dr. Weil has worked with the French government including participation in a 2003 French Presidential Commission on secularism, established by Jacques Chirac, and writing a report on immigration and nationality policy reform for Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in 1997 which led to the implementation of new immigration laws adopted the following year. Dr. Weil also holds an appointment as Professor at the Paris School of Economics.

Participating HIA Senior Fellows

Tara Dickman

Tara Dickman is the National Director of Humanity in Action France. She received her Master's Degree in Comparative Politics from New York University, where she examined how cultural approaches to minority rights in international law impact the understanding of the 2005 riots in the French suburbs. Tara was raised in Paris and in the Parisian suburbs, where she remains active in social, artistic and civil rights issues. In addition to her work with Humanity in Action, Tara consults on racial profiling for the Open Society Justice Initiative and leads community organizing trainings. Tara received her BA from the Institute for European Studies of Paris 8 University, where she also followed a graduate program. She also conducted comparative research on race and urban politics at Brown University. Tara was a participant in the HIA Fellowship program in Paris in 2007.

Soraya Khadir

Soraya Khadir is a Project Assistant and Consultant at IMS-Entreprendre pour la Cité, a network of companies working on Corporate Social Responsibility in France. Her work focuses on preventing discrimination and promoting diversity in the workplace. Soraya holds MA degrees from Université de Cergy-Pontoise and Institut Français de Géopolitique of Paris 8, where she researched the political referendum process and the geopolitical impact of California's "Three Stikes and You're Out" policy. Her interest in diversity issues, which comes from a combination of both personal experience – having grown up in Parisian suburbs – and academic studies, has always pushed her to try to study misperception and bias. She is particularly interested in how misunderstanding of "the other" can lead to unfair and even dangerous decisions and behaviors. Soraya was a participant in the HIA Fellowship in New York City in 2007.

Cédric Maréchal

Cedric J. Marechal is a graduate student at La Sorbonne, where he studies International Relations. His graduate dissertation will examine the effects of U.S. “soft power” diplomacy on race relations in France. For two years, Cedric served as an elected member of La Sorbonne-Student Union, where he focused on organizing student awareness campaigns on university policies. Cedric was born in a suburb of Paris, but grew up in Martinique. He intends to pursue a PhD in International Relations next year. Cedric was a participant in the HIA Fellowship in Lyon in 2010.