Event: Whiteness and Anti-anti-racism in Québec @ Gem Lab
When: Friday September 25th, 2020, 2pm (Online Event)
Bruno Cornellier (Winnipeg), moderated by Luca Caminati.
This presentation/conversation is concerned with the resistance against race (as a concept) and against anti-racism in Québec. I discuss ways in which various deflective gestures were deployed in Québec’s intellectual history in order to racialize language and depoliticize whiteness within a certain hegemonic historical template articulated to the minorityhood of a majority white francophone settler nationalism. To do so I return to some of my previous work on journalist and nationalist militant Pierre Vallières’s paradigmatic (and infamous) 1968 appropriation of African American struggle as a way to qualify a certain Québécois “off-whiteness,” which continues to orient today local brands of anti-anti-racism in both left-wing and right-wing nationalist discourses and politics. In the process, I hope to invite GEM members to reflect on how, in their own work, they could extend to film and media studies Corrie Scott’s oft-cited critique of the absence of race in Québec literary theory. Finally, I want to open my own work to criticism in light of recent critical and theoretical developments in (and across) Indigenous and Black Studies on Turtle Island.
Cornellier, Bruno. “The Struggle of Others: Pierre Vallières, Québécois Settler Nationalism, and the N-Word Today.” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, vol. 39, no.1, 2017, pp. 31-66.
Mugabo, Délice. “Black in the City: on the Ruse of Ethnicity and Language in an Antiblack Landscape.” Identities, vol. 26, no. 6, 2018, pp. 631–648.,
Bio: Bruno Cornellier is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in the Department of English at the University of Winnipeg. He is the author of La “chose indienne”: Cinéma et politiques de la représentation autochtone au Québec et au Canada (Nota Bene, 2015). He co-edited (with Michael Griffiths) the “Globalizing Unsettlement” special issue of Settler Colonial Studies (2016) and also co-edited (with Cécile Alduy and Dominic Thomas) the “The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and Their Aftermath” special issue of Occasion (2015). His articles and book chapter also appear in several publications, including Discourse, the Canadian Journal of Film Studies, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and Nouvelles Vues. His current research draws connections between authorship, racial capitalism, extractive capitalism, and cultural appropriation.