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Postracial Silences

On September 17, I gave a talk at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, Postracial Silences. In it I explored the themes I have taken up in four recent papers on the occlusion of race in mainstream sociology and the foreclosure of racism, which has become deniable and increasingly debatable. I am edging towards arguing for replacing talk of racism to talk of race tout court in the aim of shining a spotlight on what continues to do, rather than what it is taken to be. Racism has become either frozen in exemplary past events, or motile in the sense of being made apply to an increasing array of dehistoricised attitudes and actions. The embeddedness of race in colonial systems of power which persist in myriad ways into the present consequently goes unnoticed.

I have made various inroads into this argument in recent papers published in Ethnic and Racial Studies and in my co-edited volume, Racism and Sociology.

Listen to a recording of this talk.

Alana Lentin