Joan W. Scott delivered the spring Presidential Lecture to a jam-packed Levinthal Hall on the controversial issue of the French legislation banning headscarves in public schools. Her talk examined the underlying motives of the legislation, challenging the explanation that the ban's principal goal was the emancipation of women. Highly regarded for her seminal work on women and gender, Professor Scott has focused in her latest writings on the ways in which difference poses problems for democratic practice. Her most recent books include "Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man" (1996) and "Parite!: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism" (2005).