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Risks, Rights and Responsibilities of Writers in the Public Sphere

A lunchtime discussion with Laurent Binet
April 1st, 2015
2:00 PM


On Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at 011 Old Chem, a lunchtime discussion was held on political journalism in France post-Charlie Hebdo with Laurent Binet. 

This followed Binet's talk on Tuesday evening, March 31, 6:00 p.m. at 011 Old Chem, where he talked about his historical novel HHhH in the seminar co-sponsored with the Contemporary Global Novel research group with Nancy Armstrong. Information about this meeting can be found on the CFFS site:

Binet is hosted by French and Francophone Studies and co-sponsored by the Media Fellows Program of the Sanford Public Policy School. and the Forum for Scholars and Publics. 

Laurent Binet

Writer and journalist

Laurent Binet is a writer-journalist  known best for his novel, HHhH (2009), a historical thriller in the extensive field of World War II fiction. Binet takes up the event of “Operation Änthropoide” in a first-person narrative probing how we investigate, reconstruct, and imagine conflicts such as all-out war and the Shoah. It won the Prix Goncourt pour le premier roman in 2010. Its English translation received considerable critical attention in international circuits, and among American writers, historians, and critics.

Binet's agreed to narrate the last Socialist presidential campaign of François Hollande as an embedded reporter : Rien ne se passe comme prévu (2012). The disappointment in this government that followed led him to write an invective in July 2014 in the magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur. The exchange with Minister Michel Sapin marks a telling incident in French political journalism today.  

Binet is currently completing his second narrative that takes him in the direction of intellectual history, revolving around the talismanic figure who died abruptly: Roland Barthes.