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Dr. Debra Thompson will be exploring the roots of Black identities in North America.

Timlin Lecture in Political Studies: Roots, Routes, and Reckonings

Dr. Debra Thompson (McGill University) will be presenting, "Roots, Routes, and Reckonings: On Blackness and Belonging in North America"


Date: Monday, March 18
Time: 4:30-6:30 pm
Location: Arts 241, Neatby-Timlin Theatre

This event is free and open to the public. 

About this event

Through an intimate exploration of the roots of Black identities in North America and the routes taken by we who have crisscrossed the world’s longest undefended border in search of freedom and belonging, this lecture journeys back and forth across the Canada/US border, and from coast to coast, combining memoir and analysis to highlight the tensions, contradictions, translations, and complications that anchor our understandings of race. It examines key, competing facets of Canadian and American manifestations of racism, including the intersection of racial formations and settler colonialism, analyzes the transnational dynamics and contours of the African diaspora in North America, and ultimately seeks to think through what it means to be in a place, but not be of that place. Across time and space, this research asks: where is home for those of African descent, and is belonging within the confines of the nation-state either possible or desirable?

Dr. Debra Thompson is an associate professor of Political Science, a Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality in Democratic Societies at McGill University and a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. She is a leading scholar of the comparative politics of race, with teaching and research interests that focus on the relationships among race, the state, and inequality in democratic societies. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Schematic State: Race, Transnationalism, and the Politics of the Census (2016). Her best-selling second book, The Long Road Home: On Blackness and Belonging in North America (Simon & Schuster, 2022), was one of Indigo’s top 100 books, CBC’s best non-fiction of 2022, the Hill Times top 100 books of 2022, won the Canadian Political Science Association’s Donald Smiley Prize for the best book on Canadian politics, and was a finalist for the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction and the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

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