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.

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…

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…

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…