How do we come to know who we are and how is this knowledge emplaced, raced and gendered? For educators, these questions underpin pedagogy. In focusing on the formation of racial subjects and the symbolic and material processes that sustain racial hierarchies, educators can consider how dominance is taught and how it might be undermined. Drawing on recent scholarship in critical race theory, critical geography, history and cultural studies, the course examines how we learn who we are and how these pedagogies of citizenship (who is to count and who is not) operate in concrete spaces--bodies, nations, cities, institutions. This course is about the production of identities--dominant ones and subordinate ones in specific spaces. It is taught from an educator's and a researcher's viewpoint. As an educator, the compelling question is how we might interrupt the production of dominant subjects. As a researcher, the question is how to document and understand racial formations, and the production of identities in specific spaces. The course begins by exploring the racial violence of colonialism, of periods of racial terror (lynching, the Holocaust), and of the New World Order (in particular, the post 911 environment, and the violence of peacekeeping and occupations) as well as state violence. In all these instances, law often has a central role to play in producing and sustaining violence. It is through law, for example, that nations are able to legally authorize acts of racial violence and legal narratives often operate to secure social consent to acts of racial terror. Through a feminist and anti-racist framework, we explore how racial violence is sexualized and gendered, and how it operates as a defining feature of relations between dominant and subordinate groups. The course examines how racial violence is linked to empire and nation building, and how individuals come to participate in these racial and gendered social arrangements.
Social Justice Education