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Davidson lecture to discuss immigration and Islam in France
Contact: Office of University Relations (956) 665-2741
Posted: 02/15/2011
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The University of Texas-Pan American Department of History and Philosophy will welcome Dr. Kenneth Margerison, professor of history at Texas State University, as its next speaker for its annual Rondel V. Davidson lecture.

Dr. Kenneth Margerison, professor of history at Texas State University, will speak on the topic "French Lessons for Americans: Immigration, Islam and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 at the UTPA Library Auditorium for the University's Department of History and Philosophy's annual Rondel V. Davidson lecture.

Margerison will present "French Lessons for Americans: Immigration, Islam and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 at the UTPA Library Auditorium.

Since the mid-19th century, colonialism, immigration, and the growth of Islam in France have created challenges for French republican principles, specifically the commitment to human rights guaranteed by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. Despite having fought for over a century to establish the French Republic, its supporters often ignored the rights associated with republicanism in their effort to expand and preserve French colonial power.

French society also had difficulty accepting the cultures of former colonial peoples who entered France and became citizens. These strains are particularly evident in the history of the French control of Algeria and the issues surrounding the immigration and acculturation of the North African Muslim population in France. A historical understanding of the French experience may provide Americans with important insights into their own problems regarding immigration and Islamic culture.

Margerison, who earned his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1973, specializes in early modern Europe with special attention to the age of the Enlightenment and Revolution. He is the author of two books "P.-L. Roederer: Political Thought and Practice During the French Revolution," published in 1983, and "Pamphlets and Public Opinion: The Campaign for a Union of Orders in the Early French Revolution," published in 1998.

The annual Rondel V. Davidson lecture is made possible by the Rondel V. Davidson Endowment, a fund supported by private donations given in memory of Dr. Davidson, late professor and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy at UTPA, to arouse interest in issues of history, identity, memory and cross-connections in the arts and humanities that arise from the study of the human past.

For more information or special accommodations, contact Abby Guzman at aguzman9@utpa.edu or call (956) 665-3561.