CES: Minority Presence and Representation: Transatlantic Lessons


Thursday, October 12, 2017, 4:15pm to 6:00pm


Adolphus Busch Hall, Hoffmann Room, 27 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA

Bruno Perreau
Cynthia L. Reed Professor and Associate Professor of French Studies, MIT; Associate Member, THEMA Laboratory, University of Lausanne

A minority presence, as such, disrupts social order. To the extent that they are raised, educated and socialized in majority institutions, minorities always carries a split in the consciousness of self. Therefore, they are at odds with the representative system. This talk will explore how we could understand representation in terms of this double-voiced identity rather than in terms of delegation and erasure. It will be based on the political discussions that followed the law on marriage equality in France, but also the practical obstacles to the principle of parity in the Macron era. What does it take to be a representative? Which lessons can be learnt across the Atlantic?

Perreau is the author of nine books. He has recently published The Politics of Adoption (MIT Press, 2014), Queer Theory: The French Response (Stanford University Press, 2016), and Les Défis de la République (coedited with Joan W. Scott, Presses de Sciences Po, 2017).

Seminar on Social Exclusion and Inclusion
Contemporary Europe Study Group