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The Global 19th Century Workshop at UCR is pleased to present a talk by Gretchen Schultz, Professor of French Studies at Brown University.


During the turbulent early 3rd Republic, a battle between wine and spirits served as proxy in the battle for a besieged French identity. As France recovered from the humiliating loss suffered in war against the Prussians, it also faced the Great Wine Blight, which devastated vineyards and the wine industry, that most essential element of Frenchness. At the same time, the myriad drinks invented and marketed in response to the newly imported custom of the aperitif, not least of them absinthe, were greeted by authorities as a scourge upon the nation. This talk will explore aperitif culture and the assault waged against it as part of a greater campaign for national health and cohesion.

Event sponsored by a HIP Award from the Center for Ideas & Society as well as by the French Program in the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages.

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