Tue, 16 Oct 2018, 17:15
Pembroke College, Cambridge (UK), Pembroke College, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1RF
Hosted by Critical Theory & Practice Seminar Series
Seminar by Prof. Paul Silverstein
“Postcolonial Love: National Affect and the “Muslim Question” in Belgium and France”
The paper explores recent moral panics in postcolonial France and Belgium around Islamic veiling, conversion, and “radicalization” which the state and media have largely interpreted as expressions of the disdain, indeed hate, of Muslims for national values and European culture more broadly. Such interpretations have motivated both restrictive forms of policing and surveillance, as well as demands for Muslims to demonstrate their national loyalty in verbal and embodied forms. This paper charts some of the ways in which French and Belgium Muslims have responded to such imperatives via activism and art, and, in particular, how they have mobilized Islamic idioms of love to call for humanistic, inclusive, and even revolutionary revisions of national identity and belonging.
Bio: Paul A. Silverstein is professor of anthropology at Reed College (USA). He is author of Algeria in France: Transpolitics, Race and Nation (Indiana UP, 2004) and Postcolonial France: Race, Islam and the Future of the Republic (Pluto, 2018). His research focuses primarily on transnational Amazigh activism and the North African diaspora in Europe. He chairs the board of directors of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).