Watch the 2nd part of the debate »

Is French culture dead? And is the French language fading into oblivion?

France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Jean-Benoît Nadeau, co-author of The Story of French, to tackle these questions at France’s Estates-General on the promotion of French abroad summit, held in Paris this week.  Nadeau will be squaring off with the Time’s former European bureau chief Donald Morrison, who declared French culture dead in an infamous 2007 article “In Search of Lost Time.”

The Story of French (St. Martin’s Press, recently released in France as Le Français, quelle histoire!) is a sweeping history of the French language as it’s spoken across the planet. The award-winning work concludes on a positive note: Contrary to popular opinion, the number of French speakers in the world is increasing.

Jean-Benoît Nadeau will be debating with Donald Morrison Wednesday October 19, at 1 pm.

Jean-Benoît will also take part in a panel discussion La politique du français : quelles priorités, pour quels territoires ? (The politics of French: what are the priorities and for what territories ?)

Also participating in the panel discussion will be the author Louis-Jean Calvet (Emeritus Professor of the University of Provence), Mrs. Delphone Borione (MAEE director of cultural diplomacy and the French language) and Mr. Samir Marzouki (Director of Higher Education, Tunisia). The moderator will be Yvan Amar (RFI).

France’s Estates-General on the French language (October 19-20)
Centre de conférence ministériel
27, rue de la Convention
75015 Paris