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Prior registration is required for this event which is addressed to secondary school students.

Lectures for secondary students

A morning with Patrick Boucheron

How is History made?


In this session with secondary school students, Patrick Boucheron will talk about the profession of the historian and the ethical and political implications of this work in an age in which fake news and the rise of the far right have gained ascendancy.

According to Patrick Boucheron, History is not about describing the past and telling it like a story but, rather, it is the task of revealing those aspects of the past that allow us to explain the present and acquire a better understanding of where we are headed. In the face of a worldwide rise in reactionary discourse which seeks to revive excluding versions of the past, Boucheron says History should be understood not as the custodian of the truth of a collection of facts but as a way of understanding how the great political and cultural stories that are still shaping the world today have been constructed over time. In a society where uncertainty and lack of security are pushing us to live in a constant present, Patrick Boucheron will speak to us about the stance the historian must take when finding, in experiences of the past, new spaces of possibility in present times.

Patrick Boucheron is a historian and Professor of History at the Collège de France. He has edited several books, notable among them Histoire mondiale de la France (Éditions du Seuil, 2017), which presents a history of France focused on contacts and influences with other societies. He is also a regular contributor on France Culture radio, and takes part in many projects to popularise history.

Participants: Patrick Boucheron

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