31 Jan 2013 - 1 Feb 20135:00pmB16, Faculty of Law


The French Embassy has generously sponsored a cycle of lectures and workshops which bring to Cambridge leading scholars from France to interact and foster research collaborations with experts in Cambridge from across the Schools of Arts and Humanities and Humanities and Social Sciences. In this second year of collaboration, the cycle of talks and workshops will explore the complex theme of identity in 21st-century France and beyond.

The lectures, which will be given in English, are open to any member of the University.  



In this second lecture, co-organised by the Centre of African Studies, Professor Denis-Constant Martin (Sciences Po Bordeaux, University of Bordeaux) will give a talk on The Political Configuration of Identities.  

What is commonly called “identity” has become a central theme in political debates that take place in many societies around the world. The findings of academic studies conducted in various countries converge in showing that “identities” are always the result of processes of social construction which generate narratives combining arguments related to memory, space and culture in order to give “identities” an affective dimension capable of uniting citizens beyond their differences. However, “identity” considered as a social construct is eminently fluid and plural. It therefore needs to be configured to become an efficient tool of political mobilization. This talk will focus on the political processes of identity configuration, taking into account the dialectics of imposition and self-definition, and examine the strategies of “identity” entrepreneurs and the effectiveness of their endeavours.

An interdisciplinary workshop based on Professor Martin's paper will be held the following morning, Friday 1st of February, from 10:00 to 12:30 in room SG2, Alison Richard Building. Researchers working on all geographical areas, and from all fields of humanities and social sciences are welcome to attend. Mphil and PhD students are particularly encouraged to participate, and comment or ask questions relating the concepts and elements tackled in the lecture to their own topics of research. Attendants can consult Professor Martin's publications on the issue of identity which will be available once they have registered for the workshop (see information below and the link at the right hand side of the page).

Both lecture and workshop  are free to attend but registration is required.  Please click on the link at the right hand side of the page to book your place online and choose the option on the booking form if you wish to attend the workshop on 1 February. We suggest using a browser other than Internet Explorer for registration.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk