Noémi Michel, Ph.D.

Dr. Noémi Michel is Senior lecturer in political theory at the Department of Political Science of the University of Geneva and postdoctoral fellow for the Swiss National Foundation research project "Citizenship and Immigration: An Empirical and Normative Analysis of Swiss Philosophy of Integration" (Institute of Citizenship Studies, University of Geneva / NCCR-on the move). She is also the co-founder and coordinator of the research group PostCit "thinking racial and postcolonial difference" which gathers researchers, artists, activists and any interested person around critical perspectives to "race" and postcoloniality.

Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of poststructuralist, feminist and queer theory, postcolonial and critical race theory, with a focus on issues of equality and difference, politics of (anti)racism, discursive, visual and narrative production of racialized and (post)colonial difference. Her recent work has been published in Critical Horizons, Postcolonial studies, Social politics, the Swiss political Science review and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration studies. Noémi Michel’s current research axes focus on the one hand on conflicting grammars of antiracism in European public debates and institutions, on the other, on black feminist theorization of political voice.

You can find her website here.

Black feminist thoughts: from intersectionality to the engendering of racial capital

Keynote - Thursday, 13.09. 11:00-12:00 ZHG 011

This keynote traces a path. I take intersectionality as a starting point, but I move further from it as I explore alternative concepts that contemporary black feminists have developed in order to think the conjugated operation of racism, sexism, heteronormativity and capitalism.

As it tackles the effects of multiple forms of oppressions, intersectionality has become an attractive tool amongst those who wish to confront the complexities of social inequalities, hegemonies and dispossessions. Although black feminist interventions often appear as references in scholarship and activism concerned with intersectionality, they only rarely deploy this concept. Drawing upon this paradox, I discuss alternative notions – such as the engendering of race, racial capitalism, racialized patriarchy or scenes of subjection – offered by the manifold and diasporic constellation of black feminist thoughts. As I discuss the Combahee River Manifesto as well as the work of Saidiya Hartman, Françoise Vergès and Angela Davis, my aim is not to dismiss the political and theoretical value of intersectionality. I rather want to shed light on the rich and complex theorization of power within black feminisms. More precisely, I show how black feminists develop a complex understanding of time in order to narrate the ways sexism, racism and capitalism operate together as well as to formulate strategies of resistance to the injurious effects of these multiple dominations. Within their accounts about the gendered (re)production – that is the engendering – of race and capital during slavery, colonialism and their afterlives, time emerges under three modalities: history, the temporalities of subjection and the temporary nature of resistance.

Back to: Overview keynote speakers
Back to: Overview programme