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GENDER TALKS: Gloria WEKKER: White Innocence in the Dutch Academy (26.11.2015, 19 Uhr)

Vortrag in Englisch. Eine Veranstaltung des Referats Genderforschung der Universität Wien, des Instituts für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien und des Netzwerks für Frauenförderung der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien.

Gloria Wekker bei ihrem Vortrag in Wien

Gloria Wekker about her forthcoming talk: 

In my talk, I will focus on "White Innocence" (Wekker 2016) in the Dutch university. In line with this dominant Dutch sense of self, our universities are characterized by the centrality of a (mostly) silent, but self-flattering conception of whiteness.

The dominance of whiteness is evident both in terms of the demographics among professors and, to a lesser extent, among students and staff, but also and importantly in terms of the content of education. "Show me your curriculum, and I will tell you who is in power": a quip borrowed from South African educator Professor Jonathan Jansen, that is unfortunately equally applicable in many European academies.

The chances that a student in the Social Sciences or the Humanities will be exposed to knowledge about, for example, the Dutch colonial past, the slave trade, slavery, colonialism and even current multi-racial/ ethnic society are slim.

Calling attention to whiteness in the academy, how it is manifest and what its detrimental consequences are for society as a whole and for all students, is not done, as "race" has, by dominant consensus, been declared missing in action in The Netherlands: "we do not do race". I will reflect on these and other pressing issues during my presentation.

Professor em. Gloria Wekker, PhD, is emerita Professor in Gender Studies, Faculty of the Humanities, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, since 2012. A social and cultural anthropologist (MA, University of Amsterdam 1981, PhD, UCLA 1992), she specializes in Gender Studies, Sexuality Studies, African- American Studies and Caribbean Studies.

She wrote "The Politics of Passion; Women´s sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora" (Columbia University Press, 2006), for which she won the Ruth Benedict Prize of American Anthropological Association in 2007.

Currently she is working on a collection of essays, entitled Innocence Unltd. The Dutch cultural Archive and Race, that will be published in 2015 by Duke University Press. Her research themes are: constructions of sexual subjectivity in the Black Diaspora; gendered and racialized knowledge systems in the Dutch academy and society; and the history of the Black, migrant and refugee women's movement in the Netherlands.

Wekker is co-chair of the scientific council of NinSee, the institute that studies the Dutch slavery past and present; is on the board of several international journals in the fields of Gender Studies, Gay/ Lesbian and Queer Studies and Critical Race Studies.

She served as an advisor to the Dutch government in the fields of ethnic minority policy, health issues and women's emancipation policy. She was a co-founder of the Black lesbian group Sister Outsider in Amsterdam (1984- 1987) and she is a poet and activist. 

Ort: Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien / Raum  M13a, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Wien

Termin: 26.11.2015, 19 Uhr

Kontakt: Opens window for sending emailDr.in Sushila Mesquita




T: +43-1-4277-18452

Referat Genderforschung
Campus d. Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4 / Hof 1.11
1090 Wien

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