Social Justice & Activism · The Creative Process: Activists, Environmental & Indigenous Groups, Artists & Writers Talk Activism
Speaking Out of Place: OLIVIA HARRISON discusses “Natives Against Nativism”
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In this episode of the Speaking Out of Place podcast, Professor David Palumbo-Liu interviews Olivia Harrison, author of a new book entitled, Natives Against Nativism, which takes on the appropriation of the figure of the “native,” or in the French case, the “indigene” to serve progressive and indeed revolutionary causes, but also its appropriation by the alt-right both in France and internationally to drive a reactionary program against so-called anti-white racism.
The conversation covers a lot of ground, from a discussion of the basic premises of the French Republic, to unpacking the long history of anti-racist struggles in France, to the period of the late 1960s and 1970s, where we see in particular the figure of the Palestinian, and of the American Indian, play enormous roles in the radical imaginary.
Olivia discusses the ways things like the “Great Replacement Theory” signal a convergence of US and French anti-right “nativism,” and use photographs, films, and poetry to show the complexity of this terrain, perhaps best illustrated by the collaboration between French avant-garde film maker Jean-Luc Godard and the pre-eminent Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish.
Olivia C. Harrison is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on postcolonial North African, Middle Eastern, and French literature and film, with a particular emphasis on transcolonial affiliations between writers and intellectuals from the Global South. Her publications include Natives against Nativism: Antiracism and Indigenous Critique in Postcolonial France (University of Minnesota Press, 2023), Transcolonial Maghreb: Imagining Palestine in the Era of Decolonization (Stanford University Press, 2016), and essays on Maghrebi literature, Beur and banlieue cultural production, and postcolonial theory. With Teresa Villa-Ignacio, she is the editor of Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics (Stanford University Press, 2016) and translator of Hocine Tandjaoui’s proem, Clamor/Clameur (Litmus Press, 2021).