City/Cité: A Transatlantic Exchange | Webster University

City/Cité St. Louis

A Transatlantic Exchange on History, Culture, Politics and Democracy in the Changing City

October 18, 19 & 20
Missouri History Museum, Webster University, Pulitzer Foundation & various St Louis venues

City/Cite LogoCity/Cité St. Louis is the fourth event in the series, “City/Cité: A Transatlantic Exchange,” launched by the French association Métro-Univers-Cité and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Chicago in 2015, in collaboration with partners in France and the United States. City/Cité St. Louis brings together influential French scholars, activists, performers, policymakers, and non-profit leaders and their counterparts in the Gateway City to engage in a public dialogue about immigration, diversity, integration, discrimination, inequality, and the future of the city.

A city transformed in recent years by economic decline, racial strife, increasing immigration, urban revitalization, and gentrification, St. Louis is the ideal setting for such exchanges, which will take the form of interactive roundtable discussions, debates, and artistic events. City/Cité St. Louis will continue the City/Cité objective of creating a multi-dimensional, two-way transatlantic exchange, while building bridges and networks between cultural and academic institutions in France and cities in the Midwest.

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    Thursday, October 18 at the Missouri History Museum

2:30 pm: Welcome, Introduction and Opening Remarks

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm:
Panel 1 - Reimagining Cities: Histories for the Present  (Roundtable)
Historians in recent years have revitalized our understanding of cities by uncovering previously untold stories of historically and socially marginalized groups in both France and the United States. By grappling with the shadowy histories of colonialism, immigration, and race, they have demonstrated how power relations have shaped and constrained the lives of urban residents. This panel brings together cutting edge historians for a transatlantic discussion of the past, present, and future of urban spaces.


  • Walter Johnson, Harvard University
  • Priscilla Dowden-White, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
  • Ahmed Boubeker, Université Jean Monnet
  • Kristen Layne Anderson, Webster University
  • Moderator - Thomas Sugrue, New York University.

5:00 – 6:30 pm: Panel 2 - Engaging History, Engaging Memory: Museums and Their Publics (Roundtable)
In a moment of heightened political and cultural polarization, museums face new challenges in countering distortions and misuses of the past. How can museums incorporate voices on the margins of history and historical debates? How can they reconcile conflicting visions of the past? This session gathers curators and historians in a transatlantic conversation about the challenges faced by public historians in engaging history and memory.


  • Hélène Orain, Musée nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration
  • Keona Ervin, University of Missouri – Columbia
  • Frances Levine, Missouri History Museum
  • Naima Yahi, URMIS/CNRS
  • Moderator: Warren Rosenblum, Webster University

6:30 pm:Cocktail Hour

7:30 pm:
Screening of "City & the City" – Mariam Ghani + Q&A


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    Friday, October 19 at Webster University

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Introduction comments

  • Lionel Cuillé, Webster University

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Panel 3 - Diversity, Inequality, and Place in the Divided City  (Roundtable)
In an era of rapid urban change, French and US cities struggle with immigration and citizenship, gentrification and economic justice, and the inequalities of race and class. These issues are visible in high relief in metropolitan Saint Louis and Paris. This panel gathers an interdisciplinary group of scholars to discuss our divided cities and the impact of social movements and policymaking on their present and future.


  • John Robinson, Washington University in Saint Louis
  • Catalina Freixas, Washington University in Saint Louis
  • Samir Hadj-Belgacem, CERAPS/CNRS
  • Fréderic Callens, Musée nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration
  • Anna Crosslin, International Institute
  • Moderator: Andrew Diamond, Sorbonne Université

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Panel 4 - Politics and Activism in the Divided City (Roundtable)
In both France and the United States, activists have struggled in recent years to build coalitions across racial and ethnic boundaries. This session brings scholars and activists into dialogue about the institutional and spatial dynamics of racial discrimination, and about the possibilities of building trust and solidarity among different urban communities in divided cities.


  • Julien Talpin, CERAPS/CNRS
  • Reverend Starsky D. Wilson, Deaconess Foundation
  • Salah Amokrane, Association Tactikollectif
  • Kira Hudson Banks, Saint Louis University/Forward Through Ferguson
  • Moderator: Todd Swanstrom, University of Missouri – Saint Louis

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Closing remarks

6:30 pm:
Cocktail Hour


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    Friday, October 19 at Pulitzer Arts Foundation

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm: Performances

French choreographer and dancer Amala Dianor will perform his solo work Man Rec (2014) alongside a performance by St. Louis-based poet Treasure Shields Redmond with musical accompaniment by Aysia BerLynn.


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    Saturday, October 20 at Urb Arts

10:00 am - 3:00 pm: Lunch and Concerts at Urb Arts, Old North St. Louis

Mouss and Hakim: These two former members of the popular group Zebda are well known for their political activism. The themes of their music involve political and social justice, the status of immigrants and minorities, and the situation in French underserved neighborhoods.


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    Event Registration

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    Official Partners & Additional Support

In partnership with:

  • Missouri History Museum
  • Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration
  • Pulitzer Arts Foundation
  • Saint Louis Art Museum
  • Tactikollectif
  • Urb Arts

With additional support from:

  • Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Administratives, Politiques et Sociales (UMR-CNRS 8026), Université de Lille
  • Charles Warren Center at Harvard University
  • Histoire et Dynamique des Espaces Anglophones (HDEA/EA 4086)), Sorbonne Université
  • Le Commissariat Général à l’Egalité des Territoires
  • New York University Collaborative on Global Urbanism
City/Cite 2018 Sponsors