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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.

Understanding Race 2021

The Masters of Research course I run at Western Sydney University is back, beginning on July 23. As usual if you want to come along (face-to-face only) or are along with us, you are welcome. Usually, the course has a special theme. In 2019 that was ‘racial capitalism’. This year…

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Colonial Possession, Postcolonialism and Whiteness Studies

This week in Understanding Race, we are continuing our conversation of race, coloniality and property which began last week with a primary focus on the work of Cheryl Harris, in her seminal essay Whiteness as Property, and Patrick Wolfe’s discussion of the formation of race in relation to Indigenous erasure…

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The Power to Undo

W.E.B Du Bois’ famous question, ‘How Does it Feel to be a Problem?’ has long underpinned explorations of race as a lived experience. A similar question drives Frantz Fanon querying in Black Skin, White Masks. The answer given by Du Bois sheds light on the fact that the construction of the…

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Understanding Race 2019

Last year, the course I run at Western Sydney University as part of the Masters of Research degree, ‘Understanding Race’, was well received among a wide range of people because I posted the readings and the blogposts I wrote weekly online. This year, I am running it again starting tomorrow, Thursday 25…

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The future is here – revealing algorithmic racism

The final session of this year’s Understanding Race course focuses on the ever-deepening intersections between race, digital technology and social media. Our main reading is Safiya U. Noble‘s Algorithms of Oppression which has made an important contribution to our understanding of the racialised nature of Internet search through her cogent analysis of the ways…

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A Process, not an ontology; a structure, not an event: Race, coloniality and property

‘Race, it cannot be stressed strongly enough, is a process, not an ontology, its varying modalities so many dialectical symptoms of the ever-shifting hegemonic balance between those with a will to colonize and those with a will to be free, severally racialised in relation to each other. Race registers the…

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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 various art forms to…

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Alana Lentin