DISTINCTION: Juliette Galonnier remporte le prix Robert Winch, Best 2nd year paper, Northwestern University

29 septembre 2014

When White Devils Join the Deen: White American Converts to Islam and the Experience of Non-Normative Whiteness

Winch prize, best 2nd year Paper, Northwestern University


Juliette Galonnier, doctorante à l’OSC, en double PhD avec Northwestern University (Chicago), et membre du programme Cities are back in town, vient d’obtenir le prix Robert F. Winch du Département de sociologie de Northwestern University pour son « second year paper ».

Le « second year paper » est un mémoire que tous les doctorants doivent rédiger pendant leur deuxième année de thèse : la compétition du Winch Award réunit tous les « second year papers » ainsi que des articles publiés par des doctorants plus avancés.

Juliette poursuit actuellement sa thèse sous la direction de Marco Oberti et de Carolyn Chen : Of Faith, Race and Anomalous Identities: White Converts to Islam in France and the United States.

Nous lui adressons toutes nos félicitations !

Juliette présentera son papier lors du séminaire scientifique de l’OSC, le vendredi 17 octobre 2014 à 09h30 au 98 rue de l’Université, en Salle Annick Percheron. Ci-dessous un résumé de son texte:


When White Devils Join the Deen: White American Converts to Islam and the Experience of Non-Normative Whiteness

This paper focuses on white converts to Islam as anomalous individuals in a world where race and faith have become closely intertwined. Because they disrupt classic understandings of whiteness and enter a setting, the Muslim community, where whiteness is neither unmarked nor dominant, I argue that white converts to Islam can be characterized as “non-normative whites.” I show that, by virtue of their discordant racial and religious identities, white converts to Islam develop a form of reflexivity that sheds light on the underlying assumptions attached to white skin in America. Using ethnography and in-depth interviewing with converts, I thus explore how non-normative whites relate to their own whiteness. I demonstrate that whites too are subjected to racial objectification, although in ambivalent and at times contradictory ways. The last part of the paper examines the daily strategies used by white converts to maneuver their whiteness and defuse racial tensions within the Muslim community. The wide range of interpretive repertoires they employ presents a picture of whiteness that is more complex than what most academic studies make it seem.