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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 critical understandings of methodology

This blogpost complements two I have already published in the Understanding Race series on questions of methodology in doing research that works critically with and against race as an analytical tool. In The place of race in developing epistemologies and methodologies I work through the issues raised in the slides…

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Understanding changing conceptions of race with Du Bois’ ‘The Concept of Race’

“Perhaps it is wrong to speak of it as ‘a concept’ rather than as a group of contradictory forces, facts and tendencies.’ W.E.B. Du Bois, The Concept of Race, 1940: 67 I think this year has got off to a good start on Understanding Race, the Masters course I have…

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Race as a technology

As well as adding to Understanding Race, this post responds and adds to two recent conversations I had, one with Khadijah Diskin and Josh Briond on the Return to the Source podcast and the other with Momodou Taal on The Malcolm Effect podcast. In my book Why Race Still Matters,…

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Revisiting the Racial Contract and white ignorance. Charles W. Mills in memoriam

I was waiting for a sandwich on Tuesday afternoon and idling on Twitter when I read Falguni Sheth‘s tweet announcing that Distinguished Professor Charles Wade Mills had died. I expleted loudly in shock and had to apologise to the person working behind the counter! Charles W. Mills’ work has become…

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Race, the floating signifier

Today we had a good discussion about Stuart Hall’s 1997 lecture, ‘Race, the Floating Signifier’ and the accompanying text reproduced in The Fateful Triangle, ‘Race, the Sliding Signifier’. We built on work done over the previous two weeks on W.E.B. Du Bois’ essay ‘The Concept of Race’ and Hall’s engagement…

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Understanding Race Week 1: Working with and against race. Some words on Du Bois and Chun

In preparing for this new year of Understanding Race, the Masters of Research class I teach at Western Sydney University, I have been thinking about the call to speak more about race in settler colonial ‘Australia’. As I have written, there is an elision of race at the heart of…

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Decolonial Thought: A lecture for the Institute for Culture and Society Key Thinkers & Concepts series

I was kindly invited by the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University to give a talk on postcolonial and decolonial thought for its Key Thinkers & Concepts series. I have posted in the slides and notes here. 1. I wish to acknowledgement the Darug people, their elders past and…

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A little bit about Understanding Race

In the age of Black Lives Matter, we have become accustomed to hearing concepts like ‘institutional’ and ‘systemic racism’ openly discussed. On one side, there are calls to recognise the extent to which race shapes experience, access and opportunity even in so-called ‘successful multicultural’ societies like Australia. On the other…

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Alana Lentin