The Emergence of the French Public Intellectual


Conner, Tom, Ph.D.


Tom Conner is Professor of Modern Language and Literatures at St. Norbert College, in De Pere, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. at Yale University and also studied at the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, and at the Sorbonne and École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He has taught French at St. Norbert College for the past 5 years, as well as at Miami University of Ohio, Yale, Nihon University in Japan, the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and at the Johns Hopkins University Center for International studies at Nanjing University, in China. He has published five previous books, including The Dreyfus Affair and the Emergence of the French Intellectual, 1898-1914. He and his wife Ikuko live in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Tokyo.

The Emergence of the French Public Intellectual provides a working definition of “public intellectuals” in order to clarify who they are and what they do. It then follows their varied itineraries from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to the nineteenth century. Public intellectuals became a fixture in French society during the Dreyfus Affair but have a long history in France, as the contributions of Christine de Pizan, Voltaire, and Victor Hugo, among many others, illustrate. The French novelist Émile Zola launched the Dreyfus Affair when he published “J’Accuse,” an open letter to French President Félix Faure denouncing a conspiracy by the government and army against Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was Jewish and had been wrongly convicted of treason three years earlier. The consequent emergence of a publicly-engaged intellectual created a new, modern space in intellectual life as France and the world confronted the challenges of the twentieth century.

History, Philosophy, Social Science, Sociology, France, European History, Intellectual History, Public Intellectuals, Zola, Dreyfus Affair
Release Date: 
July 1, 2022
9781680536843 Hardcover
Trim Size: 

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