Black Women and French Citizenship - RACE.ED and Centre of African Studies Seminar
From Clare de Mowbray
19 May 2021
- Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Assistant Professor of French, The University of Michigan
- Mame Fatou Niang, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Carnegie Mellon University
Chaired by Nicola Frith, Chancellor's Fellow, The University of Edinburgh
Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire
In Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire, Annette Joseph-Gabriel mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal Black French women’s anticolonialist endeavors. She shows how their activism and thought challenged French imperialism by shaping forms of citizenship that encouraged multiple cultural and racial identities. Expanding the possibilities of belonging beyond national and even Francophone borders, these women imagined new pan-African and pan-Caribbean identities informed by Black feminist intellectual frameworks and practices. The visions they articulated also shifted the idea of citizenship itself, replacing a single form of collective identity and political participation with an expansive plurality of forms of belonging.
Identités françaises: Banlieues, Féminités Et Universalisme: 28 (Francopolyphonies)
Identités françaises interrogates notions of marginalization and national identity through an analysis of French banlieues. The display of the quotidian, at the expense of the extraordinary, invites the reader to reconsider the most common images of these urban peripheries and the processes that create citizenship and marginality in republican France. The focus is on the female experience, in works produced by writers and artists from these peripheries. Banlieue women sit at the intersection of marginalities of race, gender and class. The study of these intersections illuminates multiple notions of identity, belonging and peripheralization. Amid the contemporary flare-ups and debates around a single and indivisible French national identity, Mame-Fatou Niang's work brings to light plural identities rooted in France's suburban spaces.