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Eric Fassin: "The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Sexual and Racial Politics in France Today"

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Klarman Hall, KG42
232 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853

Abstract: Gender is “a primary way of signifying relations of power”: it does not only speak of sex and sexuality, it also “signifies” class, race, and nation. This presentation in English extends Joan W. Scott’s famous definition to insist on the work of constant resignification of power relations that defines politics: gender functions as a kaleidoscope that combines and recombines these various logics. This argument is a theoretical response to the mobilizations against the so-called “theory-of-gender” that is founded on a reading of French minority politics from the Bicentennial of the 1789 Revolution to the politics of #MeToo, including the long struggle for “gay marriage.” It purports to articulate the logics of gender and race, as well as class, and thus offer an alternative formulation of intersectionality as a language.


Bio: Éric Fassin is a professor of Sociology at Paris-8 University (Vincennes – Saint-Denis), with a joint appointment in the departments of Gender Studies and Political Science, affiliated with the Laboratoire d’études et de sexualité (LEGS / CNRS research center on gender and sexuality). His work focuses in particular on sexual and racial politics in France and in the United State, and immigration policies in France and Europe – all issues he addresses as a public intellectual in various forms (op-eds, blog, radio and television shows…). Recent books include: Populisme. Le grand ressentiment (Textuel, 2017; forthcoming translations in English, Italien, Spanish, and Turkish); Gauche: l’avenir d’une disillusion (Textuel, 2014); Roms & riverains. Une politique municipale de la race (La Fabrique, 2014). He published a new, enlarged edition of Michel Foucault’s Herculine Barbin (Gallimard, 2014). In preparation: Le genre français (La Découverte).

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Romance Studies


Romance Studies, frenchstudiescal, Society for the Humanities, complit, cascal, casfeatured, cashum

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Contact Name

Romain Pasquer


Eric Fassin

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Paris 8 University

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