York Sociology Department Seminar Series
Drawing on the lived experiences of 26 British Muslims interviewed in Leeds and Bradford, Madeline-Sophie advances an original framework, the Concentrationary Gothic, for delineating racialised mechanisms of terror involved in the governance of Muslim populations in the ‘war on terror’ context. She links her analyses to wider concerns of nation construction and belonging; racial profiling and policing; the state of exception and pre-emptive counter-terrorism measures; community-based counter-terrorism measures; and restrictions to political engagement, freedom of speech and hate speech. These aspects illuminate the various ways in which Muslims in Britain experience terror through racialised surveillance and policing strategies operating at state, group (inter- and intra-), and individual levels in diverse contexts such as the street, workplace, public transport and the home. Madeline-Sophie situates these experiences within wider racial politics and theory, drawing connections to anti-Semitism, anti-blackness, anti-Irishness and whiteness to show how racial terror has operated in both historical and contemporary contexts of colonialism, slavery, and the camp, and which offer a unique point of analysis through the use of Gothic tropes of haunting, monstrosity and abjection. This talk will draw out some key insights from her recent book, Terror and the Dynamism of Islamophobia in 21st Century Britain (Abbas, 2021).