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13/06/2014

On "Race in/outside post-WWII Europe" - notes on a recent workshop

Three days ago, June 10, I had the pleasure to welcome 12 presenters and one guest to the workshop I organized at CEU under the title "Race in/outside post-WWII Europe: On the politics of governing and knowledge production".

Giovanni Picker Giovanni Picker GiovanniPickerThe twelve presentations were all well structured empirical contributions to discussions on what the place of race in contemporary Europe is and how we would better understand its relations with racism. The three panels were Structures, Cartographies and Extremes?, and the twelve papers were grouped less according to their empirical focus and more to the broader questions they carried with themselves, concerning different configurations of racial inequalities in different domains and socio-political contexts. Law, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and history set up a dialogue around the primacy of race relations in the 'old continent', dissecting not only their temporal inertias but also their spatially contextual variability. Eric Fassin gave a final public lecture about the local politics of race vis-à-vis the Roma in contemporary France, highlighting the relations between race and neoliberal doctrines of population management.

It's still early for a comprehensive view on the very dense day we had, but it's already clear that we raised more questions than the answer we gave. I considered the workshop as a first step of a series of events which would bring academic and public attention to the importance of calling social phenomena with their names, reflexively understanding the concomitant importance of the powerful charges that certain categories such as race carry with themselves.

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