This summer New York Review Books is reissuing William Gardner Smith’s 1963 classic, THE STONE FACE. The novel tells the tale of a young Black expatriate who takes refuge from American racism in Paris, only to find himself complicit in a racist order of another sort. At first, the City of Light seems close to idyllic: Simeon can do what he wishes and go where he pleases without fear. When he joins Algerians in their demonstration of October 17, 1961, however, and witnesses the shocking police violence, massacre, and arrest of peaceful, unarmed demonstrators, he discovers that the notion of France as colorblind is a myth and that racism reaches well beyond American shores.
Please join us on May 3, 2021, at 4 pm EST via Zoom for a roundtable discussion of this critically and culturally relevant work. Participants will include three specialists of the African American diaspora and the Algerian War:
Lia Brozgal, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA, is the author of ABSENT THE ARCHIVE: CULTURAL TRACES OF A MASSACRE IN PARIS (17 OCTOBER 1961) and has written extensively on North African history and culture.
Adam Shatz, a writer and critic at the LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS, has reported from the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe for the NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, the NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, and the NEW YORKER; his preface will accompany the new edition of THE STONE FACE.
Tyler Stovall is the author of PARIS NOIR, a cultural history of African Americans in Paris. Former President of the American Historical Association, he is currently the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Fordham University. He has just published WHITE FREEDOM: THE RACIAL HISTORY OF AN IDEA.
Alice Kaplan, Sterling Professor of French and Director of the Whitney Humanities Center, will moderate.
Cosponsored by the Department of French, Yale RITM, and Whitney Humanities Center