Category: Understanding Race

This is a space for the Understanding Race Masters of Research Unit I run at Western Sydney University. The space will include my reflections on the texts we are reading as well as student blog posts.

Race, gender and femonationalism

Over the last few weeks, we have been focusing on issues arising from the book published by Sara Farris in 2017, In the Name of Women’s Rights. What is generative about this book is that it allows us to explore several topics that each have a bearing on the…

The place of race in developing epistemologies and methodologies

Many of us are engaged, or intend to be engaged, in research on matters of race. Some students in ‘Understanding Race’ want to focus on their own and their communities’ experiences of migration, racialisation and belonging. Others want to look at how racialised people have used…

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Talking ‘Understanding Race’ with 3CR Community Radio

I was delighted to have been interviewed for the Thursday Breakfast show on 3CR Community radio out of Naarm (Melbourne). Em Castle asked some really great questions. Topics included the unit I am teaching this semester, antiracist education and ACRAWSA’s letter of objection to the Australian…

Race & Culture

The link between race and culture, or rather the racialization of culture, and the political manipulation of this situation is central to our understanding of how race works. In our in-class discussions, we have already noticed that we have difficulty speaking about race without speaking about…

Short notes: Pierre-André Taguieff and the demonization of antiracism

Pierre-André Taguieff’s proposition, made in his 1990 book, La force du préjugé that a culturally relativist left was responsible for the rise of the Front national laid the ground for the widespread acceptance of this maxim despite both the weakness and the deeply ideological nature of the idea.…

Sculpture of a Muselmann at Neuengamme concentration camp, Hamburg

Concepts and Debates 2: Race and the Human

This week in the seminar we will continue to discuss issues of social construction and how to define race by engaging with Stuart Hall’s lecture, Race the floating signifier. The following is a more general concept note on the relationship between race and the human, which is also evoked in the following portion of…

Short notes: racial naturalism and racial historicism

David Goldberg (2002) distinguishes between naturalist and historicist racism. The distinction helps us to more clearly see how racism becomes politically articulated within the context of the nation-state. Naturalist racism was predominant from the 17th to the 19th century. It refers to the pseudo-scientific belief in the immutable division…

This graphic is taken from W.E.B. Du Bois' study of Black people in rural Georgia presented at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. https://hyperallergic.com/306559/w-e-b-du-boiss-modernist-data-visualizations-of-black-life/

Concepts and Debates: Race as a social construct

Welcome to Week 2 of Understanding Race. In Week 1, we got to know each other, discussed our own understandings of race  and decided upon the themes we would be covering in the second half of the semester. This week, we will be looking at some…

Class schedule

If you are following the Understanding Race course from outside WSU, please note the following schedule and readings: Week 2: Concepts & Debates (intro to where I get central structuring ideas from) Main texts: Alana Lentin. 2018. ‘Race/ in W. Outhwaite and S. Turner (eds.), William Outhwaite amd Stephen Turner (eds). The…