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Department Seminar and New Perspectives: Kelly Nguyen

Tuesday, March 21
3:30-5:00 p.m.
McKenzie 375

Racialization within Imperial Imaginaries: Romans, Gauls, and Vietnamese

The figure of the Gauls has been pointed out to play a key role in the development of French ethnic and national identity, but less attention has been paid to how it was used in the development of an imperial one. Drawing on the theory of relational racial formation, this paper explores how the Gauls were racialized across space and time, from the Roman world to colonial Vietnam, and how this racialization process contributed to the maintenance of the imperial hierarchy.  This transhistorical lens ultimately demonstrates how race was used to set limitations within imperial imaginaries as to who can and cannot “inherit” the classical tradition and, by proxy of that, who can and cannot transcend the binary between colonizers and colonized. 

Dr. Kelly Nguyen (she/her) is an IDEAL Provostial Fellow  in the Department of Classics at Stanford University.