From Arabs to Muslims: The Making of a Race in France Winter 2022

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This course will introduce racism in Europe by focusing on France. In addition to its colonial history, France organized a labor immigration after WWII as an economic countercyclical policy. One of the results of this legacy and policy was the migration of people from Arab, Amazigh or Muslim cultures, most notably from the Maghreb. Through a historical review of the social and economic transformation of these immigrants and their descendants from labor migrants, to Arabs, and later Muslims, this course will examine the French construction of race and racism. We will also discuss the following questions: What is a race? What is racism? How anti-Muslim racism works in France? What are its manifestations in economics, sociology and politics? How does this anti-muslim racism interact with sexism? To address these questions, we will read a selection of texts by Franz Fanon, Abdelmalek Sayad, Pierre Bourdieu, Walter Mignolo, Leïla Benhadjoudja and Nacira Guénif-Souilamas, among others. We will also watch movies by Mahmoud Zemmouri, and Kery James and Leïla Sy, alongside a selection of rap videoclips by various artists. In addition, we will reflect on current public debates and media analysis concerning the banning of the veil, the separatism law and laïcité. All readings will be in English, but if a student is fluent in French, they will be provided with additional readings to them in French if they are interested.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 30
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: 10-page paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: A short letter of interest
Unit Notes: Souhail Chichah is an independent scholar and a public intellectual. He teaches economics at Université de Lyon 2 in the first French master program in Discrimination and Inequality.
Materials/Lab Fee: $25

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