The World Affairs Council of San Antonio (WAC) will be hosting a panel discussion on French language, culture, and current affairs.
Join Armen Babajanian, WAC Executive Director and our guests to explore the origins of Bastille Day, and what it represents in French society today.
Meet our panelists:
Alexis Andres, Consul General of France in Houston
Alexis Andres has been Consul General of France in Houston since September 2017. Alexis has served the French government throughout his career, stationed at the French Embassy in Hanoi, Berlin, and Algiers as counselor for cooperation and cultural affairs.
Alexis joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after completing his studies at l’école nationale d’administration in 2001. He has also obtained a Master’s degree in History and is a graduate of l’institut d’etudes politiques de Strasbourg (Sciences Po Strasbourg).
François d’Alançon, Foreign Correspondent to La Croix
Senior Foreign Correspondent and former Foreign News Editor of La Croix, François d’Alançon has extensively covered the Middle East, Asia, Central and South East Europe, North America and follows NATO and EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.
A graduate from Sciences Po Paris, he also holds a Master of Public Administration from the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard University and a Master of Public Law. He has published several books including Croatie, Le défi des frontières, Editions Nevicata, 2015 ; Oser la paix, l’audace des réconciliateurs, Editions Autrement, 2011 ; Dans le bunker de Hitler, Editions Perrin, 2005 ; L’homme qui revient, Editions Cheyne, 1986 ; Journal dans la ville noire, Editions Cheyne, 1982.
Isabelle Hall, French Professor at UTSA
Professor Hall is a French lecturer for the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at UTSA (University of Texas in San Antonio). Born and raised in the Provence region of France, Isabelle began to learn English at the age of eight in a home-taught program, then later in the 6th grade followed by German in the 8th grade.
After earning her Bachelor’s degree or license de langues étrangères appliquées (Applicable Foreign Languages), she began to tutor English to middle school students and French refugees. Soon after, a French professor from Brigham Young University offered her a Teaching Assistant position on the condition she completed her B.A. in French there. She has since completed an M.A. in technology and cinema and Francophone literature and culture.
Gwen Sessions, French Teacher with Alliance Française of San Antonio
Gwen Sessions has been teaching adult French classes through the Alliance Française of San Antonio since 2019. She is a French national, very attached to both her native region of Brittany and her Celtic identity. A professional opportunity and a taste for adventure brought Gwen to San Antonio several years ago. She believes that through her work as a French teacher, she has become a sort of ambassador for her country.
Gwen is grateful to have grown up in France and to have spent a good deal of her life immersed in the language and culture of her home country. When she is not teaching, Gwen is learning – most recently having finished her Masters degree in French Language from UNT (University of North Texas).
About World Affairs Council
The mission of the world Affairs Council (WAC) of San Antonio is to promote public understanding of worlds affairs and U.S. foreign policy, and to enhance the ability of its citizens and future leaders to participate in a global community.
WAC does this by presenting a lecture series, holding receptions, organizing discussion groups, sponsoring educational outreach programs, and hosting deliberative sessions for young professionals.