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Tag: Zine Magubane

The scholars, scholarship and scholarly histories denied

W.E.B. Du Bois

This is the fourth blog post in my Race Critical and Decolonial Sociology series for my course at The New School Department of Sociology in Spring 2017. This week we are beginning to discuss books, mainly new works, in race critical studies. The rest of the syllabus is here (leave a comment if you want access to the Google folder with all the readings). This week we are beginning with  discussion of Aldon Morris’s The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology. My review of the book can be read here. And you can listen to Aldon Morris discussing the book here. In this post, I attempt to link Morris’s discussion of Du Bois’s intellectual legacy for global sociology to a discussion of both the race blindness of sociology and, Zine Magubane puts it, its paradoxical foundations in wholly racial social contexts. I ask what Du Bois’s invocation to treat race as central, and not marginal, to sociology (and the social sciences in general) signals in terms of the challenges facing sociology today in the face of the pressing need for a truly global sociology attentive to the formational role played by race and coloniality. In this I am guided by the vital work of Gurminder Bhambra and would like to thank RCDS student William Borstall for suggesting the work of Zine Magubane on ‘America’s Racial Ontology’ which I did not previously know.

“Racism is more objected to than understood in sociology” (Barnor Hesse 2014: 141).

“For the rest of his very long life, Du Bois was to be politically and theoretically as actively engaged in the global, world-systemic series of ‘gaze from below’ anti-color line, therefore anti-colonial cum antiapartheid struggles, as he was to be in his own ‘local’ U.S. one – a position Fanon would similarly adopt” (Wynter 2015: 51-2).

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Alana Lentin