Northwestern Events Calendar

Oct
11
2021

Western Privilege: Work, Intimacy, and Postcolonial Hierarchies in Dubai — A Lecture by Amélie Le Renard

When: Monday, October 11, 2021
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Central

Where: Online

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

Cost: Free

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

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

Description:

Register for this event:

https://bit.ly/dubai-privilege

Please join Northwestern's Middle East and North African Studies Program for this talk by Amélie Le Renard, Permanent Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Centre Maurice Halbwachs, Paris, about her new book Western Privilege: Work, Intimacy, and Postcolonial Hierarchies in Dubai (Stanford University Press).

About the book

Nearly 90 percent of residents in Dubai are foreigners with no Emirati nationality. As in many global cities, those who hold Western passports share specific advantages: prestigious careers, high salaries, and comfortable homes and lifestyles. With this book, Amélie Le Renard explores how race, gender and class backgrounds shape experiences of privilege, and investigates the processes that lead to the formation of Westerners as a social group.

Westernness is more than a passport; it is also an identity that requires emotional and bodily labor. And as they work, hook up, parent, and hire domestic help, Westerners chase Dubai's promise of socioeconomic elevation for the few. Through an ethnography informed by postcolonial and feminist theory, Le Renard reveals the diverse experiences and trajectories of white and non-white, male and female Westerners to understand the shifting and contingent nature of Westernness—and also its deep connection to whiteness and heteronormativity. Western Privilege offers a singular look at the lived reality of structural racism in cities of the global South.

Praise for the book

"Amélie Le Renard's portrait of professional workers in Dubai not only provides an intimate rendering of the workings of privilege, but shows why understanding it must foreground race (particularly whiteness), gender, and sexuality. Western Privilege is a rare intersectional analysis of privilege that is both empirically and theoretically rich." —Shamus R. Khan, Princeton University

"Western Privilege is a must-read for those interested in race and racialization anywhere. 'Western' and 'white' remain unmarked, static categories in most postcolonial scholarship. In this excellent ethnography, Amélie Le Renard shows us how these structuring categories are both integral to Gulf social hierarchies and have an enduring global influence." —Neha Vora, Lafayette College

About the author

Amélie Le Renard is Permanent Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Centre Maurice Halbwachs, Paris. She is the author of A Society of Young Women: Opportunities of Place, Power, and Reform in Saudi Arabia (2014) and Western Privilege: Work, Intimacy, and Postcolonial Hierarchies in Dubai (2021), both published by Stanford University Press, and co-author of Beyond Exception: New Interpretations of the Arabian Peninsula (Cornell University Press, 2020) and, in French, Genre et féminismes au Moyen-Orient et au Maghreb (Editions Amsterdam, 2020).

Register for this event:

https://bit.ly/dubai-privilege

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