seminal work, historian Joan W. Scott sheds light on how abstract universalism was an ideological mystification in the case of gender equality. 4 In the case of race, far from being an ideology of inclusion, abstract universalism allows one to
A White Race Blindness?
Abstract Universalism and the Unspeakable Making of Race
Franco-African Conversations about Colonial Reform and Racism after World War II and the Making of Colorblind France, 1945–1950
In 1945, the first significant cohort of African, Caribbean, and Malagasy deputies were elected to the French National Assembly, where they participated in special parliamentary commissions tasked with colonial reform. This article traces the contours of postwar conversations about colonial policy, race, and racism that took shape in those commissions, as metropolitan and colonial deputies confronted these issues face-to-face, as ostensible equals, for the first time. Deputies of color tried to force frank discussions about racial inequality in their campaigns to reform political representation, working conditions, education, and compensation for Africans. Their metropolitan counterparts responded, however, by developing new code words and rhetorical strategies that deflected accusations of systemic racial inequality in postwar Greater France. The competing understandings and ways of talking about race and racism produced in this encounter helped consolidate a postwar speech regime of “colorblindness” that obscured the way racial logics were inscribed in the new institutions of the postwar Republic.
An American scholar is often struck by the absence of race in France as a category of analysis or the absence of discussions of race in its historical or sociological dimensions. After all, “race” on this side of the Atlantic, for reasons having to do with the peculiar history of the United States, has long been a focus of discussion. The notion of race has shaped scholarly analysis for decades, in history, sociology, and political science. Race also constitutes a category regularly employed by the state, in the census, in electoral districting, and in affirmative action. In France, on the contrary, race hardly seems acknowledged, in spite of both scholarly and governmental preoccupation with racism and immigration.
“White” Guadeloupeans of “Mixed” Ancestry
Complicating Analyses of Whiteness and White Supremacy
racialization process it reveals originate in the former French Caribbean colonies where slavery took place, most discussions on blanchité (and more generally on race) tend to focus on the racial dynamics at play on the mainland. Based on a retrospective
The Civil Code and the Rights of Arabs
colonialism through the lens of Jean-Paul Sartre's theories on race and colonialism as featured in Colonialism and Neocolonialism . In particular, I focus on his essay, “Colonialism is a System” to examine the position of the Arab as the colonized and the
Tzvetan Todorov, On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism in French Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993)
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)
Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 1995)
Maxim Silverman, Deconstructing the Nation: Immigration, Racism and Citizenship in Modern France (London and New York: Routledge, 1992)
The Paris Opera Ballet Dancing Offstage
Work, Grace, and Race
Tessa Ashlin Nunn
underscore, the term nègre designates a person with Black skin as “une marchandise, un bien mobilier susceptible d'être possédé, exploité ou détruit, ou tout au mieux une sous-race de l'espèce humaine.” 73 Weighed down by a history of violence, the word
Kathryn T. Gines
Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Orphée Noir” was first published in 1948 as the preface to Leopold Senghor’s Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre at malgache de langue française, a classic anthology of Negritude poetry.1 Frantz Fanon replied to Sartre with “L’expérience vécue du Noir” published in Esprit in May of 1951.2 This essay later became the fifth chapter of Fanon’s Peau noire, masques blancs, published in 1952.3 In Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon is not only confronting Sartre’s analysis of Negritude in “Black Orpheus,” he is also meeting head-on Sartre’s analysis of race as it pertains to the Negro in “Black Orpheus” and as it pertains to the Jew in Anti-Semite and Jew. Towards that end, Fanon claims that Sartre’s arguments about the Jewish experience are incompatible with the “lived-experience” of the Negro.
Maneuvering Whiteness in France
Muslim Converts’ Ambivalent Encounters with Race
boundaries of race and of Whiteness specifically. 19 In the United States, religious groups such as Catholics, Jews, and Mormons have long been racially suspect before becoming integrated into the White mainstream, 20 while Islam as a religion continues to
An Inconvenient Expertise
French Colonial Sailors and Technological Knowledge in the Union Française
aptitude to do more difficult work precisely because of their race. Shipping companies believed African sailors—as an essentialized group—were not capable of working aboard new vessels. The letter also reveals how expectations about skill were shaped by