Tower Center Monthly Seminar | Rioters for Justice: Remnants of Colonization and civil unrest in the French Banlieues

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 (3:00 PM – 4:30 PM)
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In 2005, France was struck by violence in the cités, the projects on the outskirts of French cities that are populated mainly by African migrants and their offspring. Analyzing the social, political as well as historical conditions for urban riots in the French projects, this presentation will shed light on the ways in which not only have the banlieues become a primary site for the replication of colonial rules, but they also stand out as that space which, while contained within the State, represents the most feared threat to that very State. This  will be necessary to help us understand why, caught between inclusion and exclusion, the invisible citizens of France have turned into rioters for justice.

Hervé Tchumkam, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies, SMU
Associate of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies

Hervé Tchumkam holds degrees from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 and the University of Pennsylvania. Trained as a comparatist, his fields of interest range from Postcolonial Studies and Literary Theory to Political Philosophy. His publications include numerous essays and book chapters on contemporary fiction and politics with a connection to the (former) French colonies including hexagonal France, the Caribbean and North Africa.  As editor, he is the author of an essay on postcolonial migrations in Africa and its Diaspora entitled Exils et migrations postcoloniales (2011), and La France face à ses banlieues (2013), a collection of essays on the relation between State power, politics and citizenship in contemporary France.

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

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If you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact Luisa del Rosal at