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The Department of History is thrilled to welcome award-winning author, Maggie Paxson, for a conversation about her multi-faceted career as an academic, writer, and musician. Paxson’s most recent book, The Plateau, is the story of a small community in south-central France during World War Two, where residents risked their lives to save hundreds of people, many of whom were Jewish, from war and fascism.  

In the years since the book came out, Dr. Paxson has continued to work on questions of resistance and hope in times of crisis, but in the medium of music, researching and performing songs from 1930s, 40s, and 50s Europe. Join us for this conversation about history, working in academia, life as a performing musician, and more.  

Dr. Paxson is currently a research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. Her last book, The Plateau is the winner of the 2020 American Library in Paris Book Award for "moral urgency of the questions it poses, for its ambitious efforts to connect France’s past to its present, for its big heart, poetic writing and genre-defying structure." Fluent in Russian and French, Dr. Paxson has worked in rural communities in northern Russia, the Caucasus, and upland France. She holds PhD in anthropology from the University of Montreal. She performs as a singer with the Imperial Palms Orchestra, one of the East Coast's leading big bands, featuring music from the 1920s through the 1940s. 

Photo: © Matt Mendelsohn

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