The University of Iowa

ESG lecture series continues Feb. 16 with talk on French Feminist Perspectives

February 9th, 2012

The European Studies Group spring lecture series continues Thursday, Feb. 16, with Carolyn Eichner’s talk, “’Caves filled with gold’: French Feminist Perspectives on Race, Empire, & the ‘Jewish Question,’ 1860-1914,” at 4 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre. This event is free and open to the public.

Eichner is an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research focuses on the histories of women, gender, and feminism in modern France. She is the author of Surmounting the Barricades: Women in the Paris Commune, and is now researching French feminists’ ideas about race, religion, and empire.

In the imperial context, French feminists wrote of encounters with Jews, ideas about the place of Jews in society, and merely made passing remarks, some of which betrayed a deep cultural anti-Semitism. Typically regarding Jews as a race rather than a religion, French feminists from across the political spectrum – revolutionary anarchist feminists, republican socialist feminists, liberal republican feminists – displayed anti-Semitism with various degrees of frequency and levels of intensity. Broadly speaking, a fealty to liberalism and anti-Semitic sentiments were closely linked: the greater their opposition to the extant class hierarchy, the greater their opposition to anti-Semitism.

This series is sponsored by the European Studies Group and the UI Center for Human Rights, both within International Programs; the Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures; and the Department of History in CLAS.

For more information, contact Jennifer Sessions at or (319) 353-2199. View the full schedule of lectures at