“Race/Riot/Rebellion: Or, How America Came to Regard Black Equality as a Violation of White Rights”

News reporting and social media lately have been saturated with images of police violence against unarmed African American men and women – often followed by large-scale street protests popularly characterized as “riots” or mobs. Visually and narratively, police shootings tend to be represented as isolated, individualized, and tragic. In official briefings and courtrooms they are described in the bureaucratically cold language of policing manuals and legal precedent. By contrast, protests are represented as unpredictable, potentially violent, and out of control. What is the relationship between these two styles of talking about violence? How are we to understand the different modes of representation with which they are described? In this talk, Scripps Politics faculty, Mark Golub, will focus on the visual and narrative conventions that render police violence and popular protest as mirror images of one another – thereby inviting audiences to condemn both, on equal terms, as violent departures from ordinary life.

Golub is an associate professor of politics at Scripps College. His research areas include contemporary political theory, critical race theory, law and humanities, civil liberties, and race and film.

This program is presented in partnership with the Humanities Institute at Scripps College.