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Whose fixation on ‘points de fixation’?

When: Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 5:30 PM -
Where: 9-11 rue de Constantine 75007 Paris

To open a new academic year and to inaugurate the new Philip Ogden Paris Lecture, Professor Anna-Louise Milne, from the University of London Insitute in Paris (ULIP), will be joined by Dr Sarah Wolff, from Queen Mary University of London, to consider what sorts of convergence are operating today at perceived ‘points de fixation’ and how these fixations are conditioning urban politics in the pandemic context.

Please note that you will need to present your ticket along with your "passe sanitaire" upon entry (in paper or digital form). You will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the event.


Spots, clusters, points. COVID-19 has inflamed the collective imaginary in its fear of toxic or explosive consequences when unstable elements concentrate in one place. It has also radically altered our freedom of movement. How are these two ‘fixating’ forces changing urban politics?  

The language of the ‘point de fixation’ has a long genealogy in French policing and sociology, linking drug use to youth delinquency to migrant camps. What does it tell us about how stigma functions within neoliberal governmentality? How does it orient our movement across a conceptual terrain still largely framed by borders though also empowered by border thinking? And what sort of attention is a fixation?  

In this inaugural lecture, Professor Anna-Louise Milne aims to think from within a disreputable ‘point of fixation’ in the polarizing metropolis of Paris in a bid to get some leverage on the contemporary constraining of mobility, but also as a point from which to assess a span of activist multilingual research that hopes it knows what ‘inaugural’ means.


Professor Anna-Louise Milne

Professor Anna-Louise Milne is Director of Research at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) and the convenor of the MA in Urban History and Culture. Her work spans contemporary literary and urban studies, and she writes across fiction, activist interventions and academic criticism in English and French.  

Dr Sarah Wolff

Dr Sarah Wolff is the Director of the Center for European Research at Queen Mary and convenor of the MA in International Relations delivered by QMUL at ULIP. Since 2019, she has been Principal Investigator for the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence NEXTEUK project on the future of EU-UK Relations. Senior Research Associate at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), her research interests include EU politics and public policy, non-majoritarian agencies, Justice and Home Affairs policy (EU migration and border management policies), as well as EU external relations and EU development aid. She is an expert on EU-Islam relations, Euro-Mediterranean relations and is since 2017 Editor of Mediterranean Politics.

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