Rethinking Race, the Colonial and the Postcolonial in Contemporary France

at the University of Chicago Center in Paris

6, rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris

or on  ZOOM –  click to register

December 13-15, 2022

Program and biographies

High quality empirical studies of the last two decades have incontrovertibly demonstrated that race has consequence for people’s experiences and life chances in contemporary France. Furthermore, French social scientists working on the racial question in colonial and postcolonial France have not only documented the reality of race, racialization, and racism in France but proposed powerful new explanations for continued race marking and racial inequality in a supposedly “race-blind” society. The sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists and jurists carrying out this research have done so in a context of extraordinarily heated controversies in the public sphere about the legitimacy of the concepts upon which their work relies – race, racialization, and intersectionality. This conference will provide a venue to assess the current state of scholarship, reflect on the reasons for, and consequences of, the gap between academic and “common sense” modes of thinking about race, and suggest new ways forward. Supporting and advancing this new work is essential to understanding past and new inequalities shaping French society, in a word to address the issue of social justice in France.