Mame-Fatou Niang

Mame-Fatou Niang

French House Virtual Lecture Series: Mame-Fatou Niang

“Rethinking Universalism”
Feb 17, 2022, 12:45 PM
Free and open to the public

This talk seeks to define universalism à la française, to think about its futures and forms in the 21st century. Based on cross-readings of Identités Françaises (Niang, Brill, 2019) and Universalisme (Niang/Suaudeau, Anamosa, 2022), the conversation will focus on key questions: Can one sketch a critique of universalism without awakening the demons of particularism and fascist passions? Without falling into the trap of identity as the basis of all and any legitimacy? What do the current upheavals in the articulation of race, class, gender and citizenship tell us about France? How have French authorities and intellectuals come to see critique and analysis from the margins as attacks on universalism? What understanding of the term, its purpose and its impact do such attitudes imply? Can 21st-century antiracism and universalism be reconciled in France?

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Mame-Fatou Niang is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the author of Identités Françaises (2019), and the co-author with Julien Suaudeau of Universalisme (2022). Her recent research examines universalism “à la française,” as well as the development of Afro-French identities.

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