The Role of Technology in Franco-American Relations From La Fayette to Chirac

Professor Thomas Hines
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France and the United States have endured a love-hate relationship that has lasted for more than 220 years. During this period, without firing a shot, both countries have fluctuated from mutual, if not fervent admiration to open hostility. My talk will center on the importance, in this ongoing debate, of technological progress as a key factor of dissension. Although a technological and industrial power of some importance itself, France and its intellectual elite (both Right and Left) have relegated America to a neo-colonialist status, driven by materialistic greed and therefore devoid of moral legitimacy in its quest for world leadership. In its condemnation of America's egalitarian ethos informed by the acquisition of wealth, France has assumed the role of a counterbalancing moral and cultural force in world affairs: a spokesperson for the Third World and alienated countries who fear the unopposed power of the United States. Franco-American "friendship" and its paradoxical foundations will be examined in some detail.

Keywords: Knowledge and Technology (Foreign Relations)
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Giving Technology a Human Face

Professor Thomas Hines

Professor and Director of French Program, Department of World Languages, Samford University Alabama

I have been the director of French Studies at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, for the past twenty-three years. I received my M.A. from Johns Hopkins and my doctorate from Emory University in French and Romance studies. I have published on novelists of the twentieth century, pedagogical concerns, and cultural matters. In addition, I have given numerous presentations at conferences and colloquia in the United States. I am also the owner and publisher of Summa Publications, a firm that specializes in critical works in the field of French studies and comparative literature.

Ref: T05P0035