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CBH Talk | Racial Politics and Emancipatory Alternatives: Juliet Hooker and Lawrie Balfour in Conversation (Virtual)

Dec 18 | Mon |
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Join two leading scholars on race and democracy for this virtual conversation about racial politics, loss, and freedom. Juliet Hooker (Brown University) wrote Black Grief/White Grievance, contrasting a tradition of Black political mobilization spurred by violent death and subsequent public mourning, with a politics of white grievance that imagines the U.S. as a white country under siege. Contesting the expectation that Black citizens serve as political heroes whose civic suffering enables progress toward racial justice, Hooker argues that Black and white Americans must both learn to sit with loss for different reasons and to different ends. In her book Toni Morrison: Imagining Freedom, Lawrie Balfour (University of Virginia) presents Morrison as a political thinker whose work illuminates what freedom and unfreedom mean in a democratic society founded on both the defense of liberty and the right to enslave. She argues that Morrison’s writing presents fresh perspectives on freedom-seeking. Together Balfour and Hooker assess the contours of racial politics in the U.S., bringing new and creative insights to this urgent topic. 

Participants Lawrie Balfour is James Hart Professor of Politics and a core faculty member in the Department of American Studies at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Toni Morrison: Imagining Freedom (Oxford University Press), Democracy’s Reconstruction: Thinking Politically with W. E. B. Du Bois (Oxford University Press), and The Evidence of Things Not Said: James Baldwin and the Promise of American Democracy (Cornell University Press) and numerous essays on race, gender, democracy, and literature. From 2017 to 2021, she served as Editor of Political Theory. Lawrie has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A recipient of multiple teaching awards, she was Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University in 2008-2009; a visiting faculty member at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris in May 2012; a member of the faculty of the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory in Bologna in 2017; and John G. Winant Visiting Professor of American Government at Oxford in 2023. Lawrie is currently working on a book manuscript (provisionally) entitled: Reparations Unbound: Dilemmas of Dismantling Racial Injustice. Juliet Hooker is the Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence in Political Science at Brown University, where she teaches courses on racial justice, black political thought, Latin American political thought, democratic theory, and contemporary political theory. Before coming to Brown, she was a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Race and the Politics of Solidarity (Oxford, 2009), Theorizing Race in the Americas: Douglass, Sarmiento, Du Bois, and Vasconcelos (Oxford, 2017), and editor of Black and Indigenous Resistance in the Americas: From Multiculturalism to Racist Backlash (Lexington Books, 2020). Theorizing Race in the Americas was awarded the American Political Science Association’s 2018 Ralph Bunche Book Award for the best work in ethnic and cultural pluralism and the 2018 Best Book Award of the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Her current book, Black Grief/White Grievance: The Politics of Loss, was being published on Oct. 3, 2023 by Princeton University Press. Prof. Hooker served as co-Chair of the American Political Science Association’s Presidential Task Force on Racial and Social Class Inequalities in the Americas (2014-2015), and as Associate Director of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin (2009-2014). She has also been the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the DuBois Institute for African American Research at Harvard, and the Advanced Research Collaborative at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Venue: Center for Brooklyn History

128 Pierrepont Street Map