French Historical Studies 23.2 (2000) iii
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From the Editors
This third forum in an occasional series, “Thinking History, Doing History,” unlike the first two, takes a pedagogical approach. What follows are four articles by scholar-teachers who teach courses on French history (broadly conceived) beyond the Hexagon. The intent of each author is to highlight issues raised by such courses and to suggest to teachers with similar curricula strategies for analyzing these issues in the classroom. Alice Conklin’s article focuses on the Hexagon itself but explores its developing culture through the lens of its colonial and imperial experience. The next three essays, by Robert Forster, John Garrigus, and Jocelyn Létourneau, take us to francophone regions in the Western Hemisphere. Forster and Garrigus reflect on specific courses they teach and offer ways in which transnational historical issues can be studied in specific geographical locales (specifically New France and the Antilles), while Létourneau takes a more theoretical (but no less suggestive pedagogical) approach in his article on history and memory among the Québecois. Obviously, this forum does not cover other important regions of the globe that have experienced close encounters with France—most notably the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and, above all, parts of Africa. The globe is a large frame for analysis, and France’s historic reach across it was extensive, its cultural penetration often deep. Perhaps in future pages of this journal the issues raised in this forum can be extended geographically.
James R. Farr and John J. Contreni, Editors