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Culture-as-Race or Culture-as-Culture

Cultural Identity in French Society

David Beriss

“Yes, but aren’t these people black?” This is perhaps the most common question Americans ask about my research among West Indian activists in Paris and Martinique. It is asked in a tone that suggests that the answer itself is obvious and, more than that, that the questions I ask about West Indian claims to identity would be almost moot if I were to just get that answer through my head. This question has always confused me.

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The Whiteness of French Food

Law, Race, and Eating Culture in France

Mathilde Cohen

”—including race and ethnicity—is severely restricted, 2 with the consequence that the precise racial and ethnic makeup of the population remains unknown. 3 This long-standing understanding of French cultural and legal identity has shifted in the last decade with

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Contemporary “Structures” of Racism

A Sartrean Contribution to Resisting Racial Injustice

Justin I. Fugo

refers to as the practico-inert , which I will explain further below. 3 Race is one of those ideas, and it is permeated with beliefs, norms, and values. And although a belief in the superiority or inferiority of racial groups–i.e., racism

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Les politiques françaises de lutte contre le racisme, des politiques en mutation

Gwénaële Calvès

Il pouvait sembler évident, jusqu’à une période très récente, que la formule célèbre du juge Blackmun selon laquelle, « pour en finir avec le racisme, nous devons d’abord prendre la race en compte »1 n’avait aucune chance de s’acclimater en France. La culture politique républicaine, exprimée et confortée par des principes constitutionnels fermement énoncés2, s’opposait à la prise en compte d’un critère de catégorisation tenu pour intrinsèquement infamant et dénué de tout contenu positif : le droit français contemporain ne mentionne la « race » que pour en proscrire la prise en compte ; la seule « race » qu’il connaisse est la race du raciste.

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Black and White on the Silver Screen

Views of Interracial Romance in French Films and Reviews since the 1980s

Jon Cowans

This article explores French attitudes about race during and after the years of the National Front's breakthrough by looking at French films and film reviews on the topic of interracial couples. In a country in which antiracists have been reluctant to legitimize the concept of race by talking about it, but in which the far Right has made gains by proclaiming its own views on race, French film-makers in the 1980s and after broached the topic in numerous films, but they often did so in ways that avoided controversy or serious reflection on current French racism. French critics of both French and American films featuring interracial couples also sidestepped the most explosive issues, revealing a disinclination to discuss a troubling and divisive concept, but also a persistent belief that racism remained an American problem and obsession.

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A Tale of Two Countries

The Politics of Color Blindness in France and the United States

Robert Lieberman

France and the United States are commonly portrayed as proceeding from diametrically opposed presumptions in their approaches to race policy.1 The United States, this line of argument goes, has pursued a race-conscious approach to attacking racial discrimination, developing policies such as affirmative action that offer compensatory advantages to members of historically or currently disadvantaged groups.2 The American approach involves directing benefits and opportunities toward individuals who belong to discrete, identifiable groups within society. This sort of targeting, in turn, presupposes that these groups constitute legitimate political categories and that those who fall into these categories are due special consideration.

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Book Reviews

Matt Eshleman, Mark William Westmoreland, and Yiwei Zheng

Stephen Wang, Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity and the Possibility of Happiness Review by Matt Eshleman

Jonathan Judaken, ed. Race After Sartre: Antiracism, African Existentialism, Postcolonialism Review by Mark William Westmoreland

Anthony Hatzimoysis, The Philosophy of Sartre Review by Yiwei Zheng

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Book Reviews

Justin Izzo, Valerie Deacon, and John P. Murphy

In the Museum of Man: Race, Anthropology, and Empire in France, 1850–1950 by Alice L. Conklin Justin Izzo

What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II by Mary Louise Roberts Valerie Deacon

Food, Farms, and Solidarity: French Farmers Challenge Industrial Agriculture and Genetically Modified Crops by Chaia Heller John P. Murphy

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French Slavery and Modern Political Culture

Pierre H. Boulle

Sue Peabody, “There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

Laurent Dubois, Les Esclaves de la République. L’histoire oubliée de la première émancipation, 1789-1794, transl. by Jean-François Chaix (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 2000).

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Rethinking Universalism

Olympe Audouard, Hubertine Auclert, and the Gender Politics of the Civilizing Mission

Rachel Nuñez

Building on Joan Scott's argument that the struggles of feminists since the Revolution have been rooted in the paradoxes of republican universalism, this article explores how two nineteenth-century feminists—Olympe Audouard and Hubertine Auclert—sought to escape the problem of sexual difference through engagement with the civilizing mission. They criticized the civilizing mission as chauvinistic and misogynistic to reveal how republican universalism had failed to address inequalities of both sex and race. They also proposed more inclusive forms of universalism: in her writing on Turkey, Audouard advocated cosmopolitanism, in which all peoples, regardless of race or sex, could contribute to civilization, while Auclert, in her writing on Algeria, supported assimilation as a way to endow both French women and Arabs with the rights of French men. Yet their versions of universalism were no less paradoxical than republican universalism. Through cosmopolitanism and assimilation, they invoked new others and worked strategically to displace sexual difference with racial, national, and religious difference.