I’ve published widely on perceptions and responses to racism, focusing primarily on the experiences of descendants of slaves in France and the United States. This work spans the fields of critical race theory, cultural sociology, social movements and collective memory.
My book Resurrecting Slavery (2017, Temple University Press) uses critical race theory to examine how and why French activists are bringing the slavery past back to life. At the heart of the book is a puzzle: How does a nation that officially frames itself as blind to race make sense of its racist and racial past? To answer this question, I draw upon two years of qualitative fieldwork in the Paris region to assess how a variety of stakeholders — white French politicians, black and multiracial activists and members of the French Caribbean public — interpret transatlantic slavery and contemporary race politics in France. Using over 100 in-depth interviews, participant observation at cultural events and content analysis of political speeches, the book focuses on the emotional templates, conceptual frameworks, and racial logics deployed by the French to grapple with the slavery past. I draw particular attention to the role of ethnic and racial movements in challenging white supremacy, epistemologies of ignorance and historical revisionism.
Current projects include several lines of theoretical and empirical inquiry into racial temporality, time-work, intersectionality and racial oppression. I am drafting an academic book manuscript that builds on Resurrecting Slavery by further illustrating the dynamics of global white supremacy and anti-blackness in the French context. I am also completing several papers and chapters for collected volumes related to the conceptual logics of white supremacy across Western societies. A new empirical project on temporality, spirituality and mindfulness examines the experiences of non-white minorities with contemplative practice.
My next book–How to Be Less Stupid About Race—combines rigorous engagement with interdisciplinary research, no-holds barred social commentary, memoir and humor to debunk common misconceptions about racism. The book will be published in 2018.
You can find my website here.