4. The Myths of France, Periodization, and Sovereign Power
Stephanie Frank [+]
Columbia College Chicago
Building on Fernando’s discussion of ‘la république' and laïcité as myth, this essay incorporates Bruce Lincoln’s theory of myth as narrative of the “deep past” to suggest that the depth of this deep past derives from a sort of rupture installed between the mythic past and the present. Invoking Kathleen Davis’ work on the way the discontinuity of periodizations grounds sovereignty, the essay analyzes the ruptures in the French political imaginary to hypothesize that the myths Fernando identifies not only provide political impetus for the regulation of Islam in France but also found the power by which the state undertakes this regulation.