Northwestern Events Calendar


GLOBAL CAFÉ: Antiracism without Races: How Activists Expose Racialized Policing in Colorblind France

When: Wednesday, May 6, 2020
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: free

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: International Studies

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


Please join the International Studies Program — via Zoom — for this Global Café conversation with Magda Boutros, a PhD candidate in sociology at Northwestern.

In France, the dominant ideology views the concept of "race" as regressive and essentializing, and the law prohibits the collection of data on people's race or ethnicity. While extant scholarship has analyzed French colorblindness as an obstacle to the production of knowledge about race, in this talk Magda Boutros will shift the analytical focus, from examining colorblindness as an obstacle to knowledge, to examining how activists address this obstacle and endeavor to produce knowledge making racial inequalities visible.

Through an analysis of two contemporary mobilizations organizing against racialized policing practices in France, Magda Boutros will analyze and compare ways in which activists produce knowledge about the role of race in policing. She argues that different modes of knowledge production — and the different types of evidence they generate about the role of race in policing — shape how mobilizations frame racialized policing, as a problem of racist individuals, institutionalized racism, or structural racism.

Magda Boutros is a PhD candidate in sociology at Northwestern University and a Graduate Fellow of the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. Her current research examines how activists expose racialized policing patterns in France, a legally colorblind country that bans the collection of data on race and ethnicity. Her previous project examined Egyptian activists' strategies to protect women from sexual violence in public spaces during the Arab Spring. Her work has been published in Theory & Society, Law & Society Review, and in the francophone journals Mouvements and Lien Social et Politiques.

Zoom link:

We hope you’ll join us for this fascinating conversation!

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