Research: Post-WWII French intellectual and political history; social history of ideas and institutions; sociology of the economy; public memory.
; I'm currently carrying out research for my dissertation on the origins and social uses of the "mythe PMF"; that is, the remarkable proliferation of public celebrations, both then and now, of Pierre Mendès France, the Prime Minister of France for a mere seven-and-a-half months in the mid-1950s. My contention is that the so-called "mendésistes" played a key, and under-appreciated, role in the construction and diffusion of a potent discourse of "modernization" between the Liberation and the end of the Trente Glorieuses three decades on. In so doing, they also proposed novel forms of measuring France's "grandeur." Rather than the traditional biographical focus on Mendès, my work examines the formation and functioning of the mendésiste network, arguing its ambitions and accomplishments proved far vaster, and more lasting, than those of its namesake.
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