School of Sociology and Social Policy

Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies

CERS Public Lecture: The Afterlife of Black Sociology

Professor Barnor Hesse, Northwestern University, USA

Date: Monday 2nd November, 2015, 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Room 12.25, Social Sciences Building

Abstract

This lecture provides a critical historical and analytical commentary on ‘racism’ as a concept rather than a self-evidential empirical phenomenon. It invites reconsideration of the 20th century genealogy of the racism concept prior to and in relation to its appropriation by American sociology. Central to this argument is that the western emergent formulation of the ‘racism concept’ was primarily concerned with attributing the epithet racism to Nazism’s mobilizations and representations of race that degraded and violated white populations in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

The appropriation of the ‘racism concept’ by a Black sociology in the late 1960s – early 1970 meant its supplementation and modification by analyses of colonialism and white supremacy that the initializing western foundation of the ‘racism concept’ exempted and foreclosed. This is described as the alterity of the racism concept. Finally, the lecture discusses these conceptual and political implications in terms of the analytical frontiers that established antagonisms between white and Black sociologies during the 1970s

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