Despite the antipathy of certain Americans toward France, a large number of American historians specialize in French history and feel a strong sense of attachment to the Hexagon. Their professional organization, the Society for French Historical Studies, has nearly 900 members, and in June 2004, the SFHS celebrated its 50 th anniversary by organizing a huge conference in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The program included 200 historians from France, 300 from North America and 50 from 16 other countries. Every session of this large conference included both French and American historians. From the formation of the SFHS in 1955 until the early 1970s, the subjects treated by North American historians of France remained traditional (e.g. Franco-American relations and political history). But under the influence of new developments in French historiography, in American intellectual life, and in allied disciplines, members of the SFHS turned to new subjects, methods, and theoretical approaches. At the 2004 conference in Paris, North American historians focused, as expected, on the history of gender and on colonial history. But the French Revolution was also well represented, and the history of religion made a remarkable comeback. A colleague from the BNF summed up the conference as a "festival of scholarship".
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