Accepted Paper:

Unpacking the colony: race, place and space in the context of the former Belgian Africa  

Author:

Bambi Ceuppens (Royal Museum for Central Africa)

Paper short abstract:

Against studies which reduce racism to antisemitism, this paper aims to foreground racial colonial theories with an aim to analyse the extent to which they continue to influence and shape contemporary Belgian ideas about ‘Africans’ in the widest sense as ‘others’.

Paper long abstract:

In Belgium, scholarly research and public debates about racism tend to take as their starting point antisemitism in the context of World War II. As a result, colonial racial theories are all but ignored. This paper aims to redress this balance by comparing racial colonial theories in the Belgian Congo and Belgium in relation to the categories which were considered the most problematic: female Eurafrican women in the colony and male Congolese men in Belgium, with an aim to analyse the extent to which these colonial debates continue to influence and shape contemporary Belgian ideas about 'Africans' in the widest sense as 'others'. As such, this contribution seeks to destablise notions of racial difference as fixed essences and stress their positioning in different geographical/cultural contexts.

Panel P026
The anthropology of race and ethnicity network launch [ARE]