Monthly Seminar | Muslim Citizenship: On Islam and Integration in Contemporary France

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 (12:00 PM – 1:30 PM)
Tower Center Board Room, Room 227, Carr Collins Hall (map)


This presentation will analyze the stigmatization of the Muslim in France and underline the shift or confusion in the French popular imaginary between Muslims and radical Islamists as a return to the clash of civilizations. With a special emphasis on the cohabitation of Islam and the French Republic, my talk will build on Vincent Geisser’s La nouvelle islamophobie (2003), anthropologist John Bowen’s Blaming Islam (2012) and as well as political scientist Anne Norton’s On the Muslim Question (2013) to offer new perceptions of Islam in France, between realities and fantasy, in order to explain the continuous State of Exception in contemporary France. Is the cohabitation of France and Islam possible? What becomes of the Muslim French citizen when, stigmatized, they are reduced to the figure of the terrorist? How does the banlieue youth position itself in response to the growing hate of Islam and Muslims in contemporary France? Ultimately, how does one understand and account for the confusion between Islam and radical Islamism? Such are the questions that my research will attempt to elucidate.


Hervé Tchumkam, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies
A graduate from the Université de la Sorbonne in France and the University of Pennsylvania,  Hervé Tchumkam is an Associate Professor of French and Francophone Postcolonial Studies. He has authored several articles and book chapters, co-edited one volume on postcolonial exile and migrations, and edited two special issues of scholarly journals devoted respectively to Postcolonial Francophone Studies and Philosophy and Social Sciences. He is also the author of a monograph entitled State Power, Stigmatization and Youth Resistance Cultures in the French Banlieues: Uncanny Citizenship (2015). His areas of interests include Literary Theory, Political Philosophy, African Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Human Rights.


The Colin Powell Faculty Fellowship
The John G. Tower Center for Political Studies offers the Colin Powell Global Order and Foreign Policy Fellowship. The purpose of this award is to increase research and scholarship and to enhance teaching effectiveness. The award is up to $5000. This fellowship is open to the members of the SMU faculty whose work broadly bears on issues such as the structure of what former President Bush called the New World Order, the role of the US in this New World Order, and policies and programs the U.S. might pursue in its own interest and that of the world and its people.


The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

RegisterIf you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact Bora Laci at blaci@smu.edu.