The University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) and Queen Mary University of London are pleased to welcome Professor Julian Jackson, Professor of Modern French History and Head of the School of History at Queen Mary, for the Inaugural Philip Ogden Paris Lecture.
Author of a major prizewinning biography of Charles de Gaulle, published by Allen Lane/Penguin in June 2018, and recent French translation with Seuil in August 2019, Professor Julian Jackson’s lecture will explore some of the themes of his biography but it will also reflect more generally on biography as a form of writing and how it helps us understand the wider history of a period.
De Gaulle himself believed in the idea of the ‘great man’ but also recognised the importance of circumstances and contingency in history. As he once wrote: ‘Without the Peloponnesian War, Demosthenes would have remained an obscure politician; without the English invasion, Joan of Arc would have died peaceably at Domremy; without the Revolution, Napoleon would have finished his existence in a lowly rank’.
The lecture also explores de Gaulle’s legacy and impact on contemporary France at a time when the crisis of the Gilets Jaunes has made many question the Fifth Republic – and at a moment when France has a President who has very explicitly situated himself as a successor to de Gaulle.
6pm – Introductions
6.30pm – Lecture
7.30pm – Drinks Reception
Julian Jackson is Professor of Modern French History at Queen Mary University of London and the author of numerous works on the defeat of France in 1940, the German Occupation, homosexuality in postwar France and the ‘events’ of May 1968. His biography of De Gaulle, A Certain Idea of France – The Life of Charles de Gaulle (2018) has been unanimously celebrated as ‘scholarship of the highest class’.