CGHE Webinar 232

Learning Whiteness: material, epistemic and affective relations of Higher Education

Date: Thursday, 16 September 2021 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar (registration required) and Seminar Room G, Department of Education, University of Oxford
Speaker(s):

Event Materials

This event is now archived and we are pleased to provide the following event media and assets, along with the original event overview.

In this talk, Arathi Sriprakash will draw on her forthcoming book with Sophie Rudolph and Jessica Gerrard to outline a threefold framework for examining the constitutive workings of racism in Higher Education. Focusing specifically on HE in the British and British settler-colonial contexts, Sriprakash will demonstrate the material, the epistemic and the affective ways in which whiteness is ‘learned’ in the sector. To see whiteness as learned is to recognise that it can be confronted. During this seminar, Sriprakash hopes to encourage dialogue on how we can collectively reckon with the past and present politics of higher education in order to imagine different futures for it.

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This is the fourth webinar in CGHE’s special series, Racism and Coloniality in Global Higher Education. You can find out more about the full series here. It will take place both as an online Zoom webinar and in-person in Seminar Room G, Department of Education, University of Oxford. Registration is required for the Zoom webinar, but not for the in-person Oxford event.

This CGHE webinar series explores what global racial equity would mean for the future of higher education, and addresses the challenges of decolonising research systems and pedagogic cultures. The aim is to promote knowledge of, and commitment to, anti-racism within universities, and amongst researchers and policymakers. Contributors will reflect on colonial institutional legacies, racialised institutional cultures, and the power of ‘whiteness’, drawing on empirical research in a range of higher education contexts. Questions to address include:

  • Why are the legacies of colonialism often overlooked, or erased, in favour of a ‘colour blind’ analysis of global higher education’s hierarchies and inequalities?
  • Is the institutional racism of today’s universities a historical legacy or a resurgent cultural dynamic, intersected by the geopolitics of internationalisation.
  • What can we learn about the structural inequalities of the global knowledge system from critical geographers and scholars in Science and Technology Studies?
  • What forms of profound and transformational change would be needed to create racial equity in global higher education and research?
  • How are universities, faculties and students, addressing these colonial legacies? Can owning ‘whiteness’ and acknowledging white privilege – along with the JEDI agenda (justice, equality, diversity and inclusion) – help move these debates forward?

CGHE webinars are fully open to participants. They are interactive, enabling attendees to speak directly in the webinar, ask questions of speakers when called in by the chair and see all other participants. At any time you can communicate directly with others, either all together or on a one-to-one basis, through the webinar Chat.

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