Keynote abstract: Daniel Dayan

The proposed presentation offers an exploration of  the construction and reconstruction of  events by dramaturgies . It discusses two sorts of  dramaturgies . Those   that  constitute  terrorism, and those that stem from terrorism .Both  dramaturgies   can be ( a) modes of action ; ( b) interpretive elucidations,  that is  « interpretants » in Peirce’s sense ;  and  (-c) « hieroglyphs »  of sorts, by which I mean  that certain   elucidations  are themselves in need of being deciphered .

First of all , I shall discuss dramaturgies and rituals  that are staged by  terrorist organizations themselves  as part of their strategies of visibility . For a long  time  such dramaturgies were  offering   a model of the  terrorist   as an ambassador acting in the name of helpless  victims  . By now such a model seems obsolete . Another   model  has replaced   it  . It is a    model  of «  crime and punishment »  ,one that is  dominated by the staging of the victim ( whether “criminal “or not  ) as « Homo Sacer »  (Agamben)

The second part of my presentation  is  concerned with   the  examination   of societies  that  are  exposed to terror . In such societies terrorism  triggers « social dramas » ( V Turner )   that are both  very  specific and often   unexpected  .  Who  does  one mention in such societies when one discusses  terrorists?   What do the french  publics  discuss when they discuss the Bataclan massacre ?   What do   spanish  publics   argue about when they debate about  what occurred in Madrid’s  Atocha station?  What do   situations of intense stress do to     “agenda setting » ? Can one speak –in   almost freudian terms– of« displacements » of collective attention ?

In other terms , how are  certain « dramaturgic Interpretants » of  given events   made to become  prominent ?  Two  such  events , both french ,   will be discussed .   My first example concerns   the « Charlie hebdo »  killings and how they   lead to a   collective focus on what I would call the « War of the Charlies »   : «  I am  Charlie » !  » « I am no Charlie ! »  «   I am charlie  Coulibaly ! » ; « Who is Charlie ? »  My second example asks the question of what made the issue of   « hatred » or « no hatred » a major issue concerning  the « Bataclan » massacre  as in the  phrases «  J’ ai la haine »   or  « Vous n’aurez pas ma haine ! ». or  “Jamais je n’ai ressenti de haine”  .  Is there a something which  one could call the «  Syndrom of the Bataclan « , as in the famous « Stockholm Syndrom » ?   Are there   dramaturgic registers that  are specific to  traumatized societies ?  Is denial one of them ?



Daniel Dayan is a fellow of the Marcel Mauss Institute ( School of Advanced Study in the Social sciences, Paris ), and a professor at the Levinas European Institute . Dayan has been Research director   at CNRS-Paris, and a visiting professor at Sciences-Po , the universities of Stanford, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Oslo. He has also been an Annenberg scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, and for many years a visiting professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research , NY . A former fellow of the European Science Foundation,  resident of the Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio , and guest of the Institute of Advanced study ( Jerusalem ) he received the International Communication Association award for his book with Elihu Katz “Media events, The Live Broadcasting of History” , a book to be commemorated this year by the Journal “ Media Culture and Society “ . Dayan’s work is presently available in 13 languages

Rokhaya Diallo @iamhist2017 with her documentary “Not your Mama’s Movement”


"Not  your Mama’s Movement" 

(in French: "De Paris a Ferguson : coupables d'être noirs"), 2015 

My name is Rokhaya Diallo, and I am a French Activist and Journalist 
who hasbeen fighting for racial, gender and religious equality. 
In 2005, the deaths of two innocent French young men of color, Zyed 
Benna and Bouna Traoré, inspired my stand against the racial 
oppression plaguing French society. 
Dissimilar to the United States, the victims of French police 
brutality are sorely neglected by the media and unnoticed on a 
global scale. I am committed to changing this. In the U.S, 
the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's murderer, and the failure to hold
white policemen responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and
Eric Garner triggered indignation across America. 
The ensuing demonstrations ushered in a new generation of Black 
activists. Mobilizing behind the #BlackLivesMatter campaign, 
social networks have become the battleground for challenging power
structures, policies, prejudices and attitudes. 
Viewing America's racial turmoil from a foreign lens, I wanted to 
meet these new emblematic leaders of the African American community. 
Traveling to Ferguson for the anniversary of Mike Brown's death, 
I was introduced by American activist Rahiel Tesfamariam, founder 
of Urban Cusp, to the leaders of Hands Up United and other
torchbearers for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Together we drew 
parallels between the racial struggles in the U.S. and France and 
devised visionary solutions to ameliorate the global Black 


Rokhaya Diallo, French journalist, writer and filmmaker, is widely recognized for her work in favor of racial, gender and religious equality. She is a BET-France host and has produced and/or directed documentaries, TV and radio programs. She published: Racism: a guide, France Belongs to Us; France: One and Multicultural and How to talk to kids about racism. She recently published a graphic novel “Pari(s) d’Amies” and released Afro! featuring Afro-Parisians who choose natural hairstyles. Rokhaya launched her global bilingual blog RokMyWorld Today, she lives between Paris and New York and continues her social activism while being a speaker around the world.


IAMHIST has the pleasure to announce that Shelley Stamp is the winner of the 2017 Michael Nelson Prize. She convinced the jury with Lois Weber in Early Hollywood.

Shelley Stamp is Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of Movie-Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture after the Nickelodeon; co-editor of American Cinema’s Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices; and founding editor of Feminist Media Histories: An International Journal.

Among early Hollywood’s most renowned filmmakers, Lois Weber was considered one of the era’s “three great minds” alongside D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. Despite her accomplishments, Weber has been marginalized in relation to her contemporaries, who have long been recognized as fathers of American cinema. Drawing on a range of materials untapped by previous historians, Shelley Stamp offers the first comprehensive study of Weber’s remarkable career as director, screenwriter, and actress. Lois Weber in Early Hollywood provides compelling evidence of the extraordinary role that women played in shaping American movie culture.

Weber made films on capital punishment, contraception, poverty, and addiction, establishing cinema’s power to engage topical issues for popular audiences. Her work grappled with the profound changes in women’s lives that unsettled Americans at the beginning of the twentieth century, and her later films include sharp critiques of heterosexual marriage and consumer capitalism. Mentor to many women in the industry, Weber demanded a place at the table in early professional guilds, decrying the limited roles available for women on-screen and in the 1920s protesting the growing climate of hostility toward female directors. Stamp demonstrates how female filmmakers who had played a part in early Hollywood’s bid for respectability were in the end written out of that industry’s history. Lois Weber in Early Hollywood is an essential addition to histories of silent cinema, early filmmaking in Los Angeles, and women’s contributions to American culture.

You can view Shelley’s piece on Lois Weber’s Shoes (1916) published in the IAMHIST Blog here.

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