• To be Black in France, Black and French

To be Black in France, Black and French.

Thursday, Jan 30th, 2020
FSU Campus, Diffenbaugh 009 @ 5:00 PM

Dr. Mame-Fatou Niang.png

Mame-Fatou Niang is an associate professor of French Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on race, immigration and national identity in contemporary France. She is the author of Identités Françaises (Brill, 2019), a book that interrogates notions of marginalization and national identity through an analysis of French banlieues. In 2015, she co-directed the documentary film, Mariannes Noires. The film explores the experiences of seven Afro-French women unearthing what it means to be Black in France, Black and French. Dr. Niang is also a photographer and the coauthor of a photo series on Black French Islam.

Black French studies are at an embryonic stage compared to that of Great Britain and the United States. The field has increasingly attracted interest since the 2000s, and the publication of Pap Ndiaye’s La Condition Noire. As an area of scholarly inquiry, Black French studies focus on the emergence of Black identity politics within the universalist tenets of French republicanism, the rise of Afro-French intellectualism, and the constant circulations between the Hexagon and the African diaspora.

This talk is a series of reflections from the perspective of an Afro-French scholar-artist: What is it to be Black in France? Black and French? How do we talk about race in a country that struggles to see it? How do we navigate in a field marred by invisibility, the lack of statistics, concepts, and even of words anchoring Blackness in the French language? What are the current exciting developments of the field?