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The DPE Distinguished Lecture: Black Protest in the United States: Democratic Sacrifice, Rioting, and Refusal

Strand Building, Strand Campus, London

30Mayfree speech - microphone

Protests by marginalised groups (even those that meet strict standards of civility and non-violence) are often labeled “riots” and deemed illegitimate. In the United States, a romanticised official public memory of the Civil Rights Movement is often deployed to critique disruptive protests and demonise black activism that does not lend itself to the frame of political martyrdom. In this Distinguished Lecture, Professor Juliet Hooker considers two ways of thinking about rioting as legitimate political action: 1) in light of recent philosophical defenses of uncivil disobedience that meets certain conditions, and 2) in light of black feminist accounts of radical refusal, a tradition of black women’s radical practices of intimacy and sabotage in the US that offers an expanded account of black politics.

This lecture is part of the Department of Political Economy's Distinguished Lecture series. The lecture will be followed by a reception to which members of the audience are invited.



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 multiple award-winning books, including Race and the Politics of Solidarity (Oxford, 2009), Theorizing Race in the Americas: Douglass, Sarmiento, Du Bois, and Vasconcelos (Oxford, 2017), Black Grief/White Grievance: The Politics of Loss (Princeton, 2023), 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. Black Grief/White Grievance was named a Seminary Co-Op Notable Book of the Year, a Library Journal Best Social Science Book of the Year, and a finalist for the PROSE Award in Government and Politics from the Association of American Publishers in 2023.

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