AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

How do Black Lives Matter in Europe?


race and racism



We have intentionally chosen this polysemic title for our roundtable on the ways that contemporary American racial reckonings are being refracted, transposed, ignored, and even denounced in contemporary Europe. In keeping with that polysemy, our roundtable seeks to explore the empirical experiences of Blackness in both Western and Eastern Europe, activist attempts to make Black lives matter in neoliberal and increasingly white supremacist contexts, and the ways that the BLM movement has been translated into or resisted in specific European cities and nation-states. We think this is extremely important conversation to have among European anthropologists, many of whom are increasingly divided over the relevance of both critical race theory and the concept of “Blackness” in European contexts. And indeed, with some important exceptions, the impression is that recent anthropological literature on Europe written by anthropologists on both sides of the Atlantic has focused much more centrally on two other ways of talking about difference•migration and religion•rather than race, let alone Blackness. What are some of the important empirical differences between Europe and the United States that might motivate such choices? What are the possible advantages of bringing “race” more generally and Blackness in particular back into European discussions about both migration and religious difference? How might critical engagement with race and Blackness shed light on the enactment of and subjection to other European forms of white supremacy? And finally, what are the frameworks, strategies, and tactics used by contemporary European activists as they fight for greater inclusion in in a variety of European contexts? To what extent is race or Blackness a mobilizing force?


Transcript English (automatic)

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