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2018 Lafayette Debates: "Sous les pavés, la plage."

2018 Lafayette Debates: "Sous les pavés, la plage."

Published on March 27, 2018

Students from across the United States and France will travel to Washington D.C. in April 2018 to compete in the Lafayette Debates Championships, an intercollegiate civic debate competition organized by the French Embassy’s Higher Education Department in partnership with The George Washington University Debate & Literary Society.

Celebrating its fifth year as an annual national competition, the Lafayette Debates Championships will include both the General Lafayette Debates Championship recognizing the top military academy team at the tournament as well as the Lafayette Debates U.S. National Championship at the French Embassy. This year’s topic is, “Sous les pavés, la plage.” Selected in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the French Revolt & General Strike of 1968, the topic challenges students to grapple with the ethical and practical questions facing the French students who brought France to the brink of political revolution in May 1968. Top teams and individual debaters will win study tours to Paris in Summer 2018 to continue their exploration of the topic.

The Lafayette Debates Championships culminate a national debate series engaging the lessons of Paris May ’68. This includes the Lafayette Debates at the University of Rhode Island, the Lafayette Debates LA Championship at Claremont Colleges, the Lafayette Debates at the U.S. Universities Debate Eastern Championship, and the Lafayette Debates at the U.S. Universities Debate Western Championship. During these competitions over 400 U.S. college students and scores of faculty members and guest judges will engage the 2018 Lafayette Debates topic area.

While the Lafayette Debates was established as a partnership between the French Embassy and George Washington University four years ago, this transatlantic debate tradition traces back to 1824 when General Marquis de Lafayette made his "hero’s tour" of the United States. During the tour, General Lafayette and his son, George Washington Lafayette, attended a meeting of the debate and literary society of Columbian College (now The George Washington University) and inspired the Lafayette Debates tradition. The Lafayette Debates were revived by the Embassy of France and George Washington University in the belief that now, more than ever, a vigorous and respectful transatlantic dialogue is of the utmost importance not only to the citizens of France and the United States, but also the world.

To attend the elimination and final rounds of the 2018 Lafayette Debates on April 8, 2018 at La Maison Française at the Embassy of France, please click HERE.

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