Université de Strasbourg

2022 Annual Symposium

Thursday 17 November 2022, 14:30-16:30
Salle de conférence | ISIS | 8 allée Gaspard Monge, Strasbourg (access)

The symposium is open to the public and the lecture will be given in French.

Racism and antisemitism today: the old… and the new

illustration © Adobestock/melitaThe keynote speaker for the 2022 symposium is the sociologist Michel Wieviorka (EHESS, Paris), well known for his research on social and cultural movements, democracy and conflict, as well as on social anti-movements (racism, antisemitism, terrorism, violence). At the symposium, Professor Wieviorka will discuss how racism and antisemitism are both old and new phenomena, with new features emerging in function of how society has changed.

The new 2022 USIAS Fellows will also be presented at the beginning of the event.


14:30 Opening words - Julien Pénin, associate Vice-president of Research, Doctoral Training and Open Science, University of Strasbourg
14:35 Presentation of 2022 Fellows and new Chairs - Thomas Ebbesen, ISIS, Director of USIAS
14:45 Introduction - David Le Breton, LinCs, Chair of Anthropology of Contemporary Worlds, USIAS
14:50 Keynote lecture - Michel Wieviorka, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris
15:50  Discussion
16:30 Reception

Keynote lecture - Racism and antisemitism today: the old… and the new

A major difficulty with racism and antisemitism is that these phenomena combine continuity and novelty. Today, a new impulse is observed in this area, in France but also in other countries, inviting us - as we shall see - to reflect afresh on an additional question: should we speak of one and the same problem, or two?

With regard to racism, we shall first note the developments in institutional racism, then the rise of differentialism, which sees 'race' as a cultural attribute akin to a nature, or an essence; we shall look at recent approaches in France that see 'race' as a 'social construction'. We will also consider the way in which religion affects the challenges and the debate on racism in new ways, particularly around Islam.  

As far as antisemitism is concerned, we will look at the way in which, with the awareness of the destruction of the European Jews by the Nazis and with the creation of the State of Israel, an evolution was set in motion, which involved “negationism” and equating Jews with Zionists.

In both cases, the most recent developments will be analysed, which for example include the use of a new semantic system (wokism, cancel culture, post-colonialism, de-colonialism, anti-white racism, intersectionality, racialisation, etc.), and passionate debates about Islam and the Republic, or the rise of the theme of whiteness - including in relation to Jews.

Biography - Michel Wieviorka

Michel Wieviorka is director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), in Paris, France. 

Michel Wieviorka

His research focuses on conflicts, social and cultural movements and democracy, as well as on social anti-movements (racism, anti-Semitism, terrorism, violence).

He has been director of the Center of Sociological Analysis and Intervention (CADIS, 1993-2009) and of the Fondation Maison des sciences de l'Homme (2009-2020). He has held important international responsibilities, notably as President of the International Sociological Association (ISA, 2006-2010), and as member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC, 2015-2020).

Professor Wieviroka co-edits the journals Socio and Violence: an International Journal, which he founded. His latest books are Pour une démocratie de combat (Robert Laffont, 2020) and, published by Éditions Rue de Seine, Métamorphose ou mutation, où va la France ? (2021) and Alors Monsieur Macron, heureux ? (2022).

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