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Inhabiting academic Whiteness, the academy and it's (Neo)liberal Suicide

This is a talk presented at the kind invitation of the University of Lausanne, Centre en Etudes Genre (CEG) in the Department of Political Science, Switzerland 29th September, 2022.

The talk was organised by Gaspard Rey who is located at the University of Lausanne in the Centre for Gender Studies. Gaspard is undertaking a doctorate co-supervised by me and Associate Professor Sébastien Chauvin. Gaspard's thesis is entitled 'Ethics, Epistemology, Politics: Theorizing the Epistemological Paradoxes and Ethical Contradictions of Critical Whiteness Studies' funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

The talk I delivered 'Inhabiting academic Whiteness, the academy and it's (Neo)liberal Suicide' is a development of the ideas from another invited talk first presented under the title 'Inhabiting academic whiteness?' at the invitation of Goldsmith's College Sociology in 2021. The recording of that version of the talk can be accessed here by clicking the first video in the list under the entry for the conversation between Shona Hunter, Angela Loum, Rayhan Ayun, 24 March 2021

It is part of a broader book project in development on the reproduction of global coloniality in the academy. Add blog links to White Discomfort talks


In this talk I will unpack how whiteness is established [and amassed] through a range of normalised and normalising academic practices, including through the establishment of critical and progressive academic projects which ostensibly work to expose whiteness as ‘bad’. This normalising works via forms of competitive, individualising relationality which bring people together around the desire to be (the) good, to be the one to do good, to know the good, to decide the good, to execute and control the good. This sort of acquisitive possessive colonising orientation to the good is foundational to the oppressive [global] coloniality of (neo)liberalised higher education, it is the principal way in which it establishes whiteness as a form of governmental omnipotence and belonging. This acquisitive and possessive colonising orientation is also a self-contradictory and self-destructive process internal to the contemporary higher education. From within such an internally contradictory institutional context, how can we live different relationalities which challenge this massification of whiteness within the higher education project?

affiche hunter ceg 29.09 (3)
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L-R Gaspard Rey, Shona Hunter, Sébastien Chauvin, Lausanne, Switzerland, September, 2022.

Image Credit: Sébastien Chuavin

T-B Sébastien Chauvan, Shona Hunter, Lausanne, Switzerland, September, 2022

Image Credit: Gaspard Rey


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