Apr. 17, 2018 – Junaid Rana

Junaid Rana’s talk, “Anthropology and the Riddle of White Supremacy,” will take place in 62 Willard Building, on Tuesday, April 17, at 6:00 p.m.

Description: This talk explores how social science disciplines such as anthropology have addressed the concepts of racism and white supremacy. Drawing on the exchange published as A Rap on Race between anthropologist Margaret Mead and writer James Baldwin that pitted them between racial liberalism and a critique of white supremacy, I focus on how their discussion highlighted religion and moral belief as integral concepts related to racism. In the Mead and Baldwin conversation, the connection of Christianity to white supremacy reveals a complex conjuring of Islam and Muslims that I describe as racecraft, and that have implications for how we continue to theorize and study white supremacy and racism.

Rana is an anthropologist who writes about global capitalism, diaspora, racism, and social protest movements. He is an associate professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with appointments in the Department of Anthropology, the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. He is the author of Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora (Duke, 2011), winner of the 2013 Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in the Social Sciences.


By Junaid Rana: