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Will the real racist please stand up?

Will the real racist please stand up?

AzarmandiThis presentation builds on my doctoral dissertation 'Colonial Continuities - A study of anti-racism in Aotearoa New Zealand and Spain'. The history of the Spanish empire and its colonies and the Anglo colonial exploration of Oceania were crucial sites for the production of racial thought. While neither Spain nor New Zealand have been a central focus of research on anti-racism or racism more broadly, this dissertation aims to put ‘the periphery’ at the center of critical race studies of anti-racism. Discourse analysis of anti-racism materials highlights how the disregard for coloniality’s historical continuities is reflected in the absence of engagement with white privilege alongside racism. The dissertation demonstrates how the structure of whiteness, in which anti-racist groups exist, impacts and perpetuates patterns of forgetting and ignorance. For anti-racism this means that not engaging racism in its past and present iterations, and failing to conceptualize race and racialization as historically evolving, runs the risk of re-producing violence and perpetuating racial injustice.

In this presentation I build on critiques of post-racialism and use Charles Mills’ concept of white ignorance, to demonstrate how the disavowal of race in the Spanish context is related to a form of colonial amnesia, which obscures the continuities of racism and hence allows for anti-racist groups to oppose racism without engaging with race.

Mahdis Azarmandi completed her PhD at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Department of Media, Film and Communication at the University of Otago. Her research looks at anti-racism and colonial amnesia in Aotearoa New Zealand and Spain. Her research interests are racialization and anti-racism, critical race and whiteness studies, memorialization and decolonization. She is one of the editors of the book Decolonize the City! Zur Kolonialität der Stadt - Gespräche | Aushandlungen | Perspektiven. She is a teacher for life-long learning and a social justice activist.

Date Friday, 3 November 2017
Time 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Audience Public
Event Category Humanities
Event Type Open Seminar
DepartmentMedia, Film and Communication
LocationRichardson 6N4

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