|Module title||White ignorance. Epistemology of race and domination|
|Module lecturer||prof. UAM dr hab. Monika Bobako|
|Lecturer position||AMU professor|
|Faculty||Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science|
Room 046, Collegium Heliodori, Grunwaldzka 6
FIRST MEETING: 10th October 2023
Module aim (aims)
The aim of the course is to examine a phenomenon of "white ignorance" and discuss its role in stabilising systems of racialised inequalities that have operated both in present-day and historical societies of the modern period. The course will start with presentation of the most important theories of white domination that have been developed in social sciences, philosophy and cultural studies. We will particularly focus on the epistemological aspect of this domination and analyse societal mechanisms that link power relations with the processes of knowledge (and "unknowledge") production. During the classes we will discuss selected instances of historical events and experiences, both individual and collective, that have become objects of such "unknowledge", and examine political as well as psychological stakes involved in its creation and perpetuation. The course will conclude with discussion on the prospects of overcoming "white ignorance" and with posing a question regarding adequate forms of knowledge (as well as standards of knowledge production) that could replace it.
Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)
Command of English sufficient to read and discuss literature on the subject in this language
Introduction: white privilege and ignorance
- Reni Eddo-Lodge "What is White Privilege?", in: Reni Eddo-Lodge Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race, Bloomsbury Circus 2017.
- Howard Griffin Black like me, New American Library Trade 2003 (fragments).
- Film: “Blue Eyed” (1996), Jane Elliott, directed by Bertram Verhaag.
Race and racism: a history
- Fredrickson, G. M. (2003). Racism: A Short History. Princeton University Press (fragments).
- West, C. (2001). Genealogy of Modern Racism. In: P. Essed, T. Goldberg David (eds.), Race Critical Theories. Text and Context. Wiley-Blackwell.
White supremacy - theoretical frameworks
- Delgado, R., Stefancic, J., & Harris, A. (2017). Critical Race Theory (Third Edition): An Introduction (fragments).
- Mills, Ch. W. (2003). White Supremacy as Sociopolitical System: A Philosophical Perspective. in: A. Doane, E. Bonilla-Silva (eds.) White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism. Routledge.
Race and epistemologies of ignorance
- José Medina (2017). "Epistemic injustice and epistemologies of ignorance". In: Taylor, P. C., Alcoff, L. M., & Anderson, L. (eds.). The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. Routledge.
- Mills, C. W. (2007). White ignorance. In: S. Sullivan, N. Tuana (eds.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. State University of New York Press.
White ignorance - literature and philosophy
- Morrison, T. (1993). "Black Matters". In: Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (Reprint edition). Vintage.
- Alcoff, L. M. (2017). Philosophy and Philosophical Practice: Eurocentrism as an epistemology of ignorance. W The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice. Routledge.
- Frantz Fanon "The fact of blackness". In: Fanon, F. (2012). Black skin, white masks .
- Robert Bernasconi "The European knows and does not know: Fanon's response to Sartre". In: Silverman, M. (Red.). (2012). Frantz Fanon’s „Black Skin, White Masks”: New Interdisciplinary Essays (Reprint edition). Manchester University Press.
White ignorance and production of history
- Michel-Rolph Trouillot "An Unthinkable History The Haitian Revolution as a Non-event". In: Trouillot, M.-R. (2015). Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, 20th Anniversary Edition (2nd Revised edition). Beacon Press.
- Steven Feierman "Africa in History: The End of Universal Narratives". In: Prakash, G. (1994). After Colonialism: Imperial Histories and Postcolonial Displacements.
- Sullivan, S. (2007). White Ignorance and Colonial Oppression: Or, Why I Know So Little about Puerto Rico. W S. Sullivan, N. Tuana (eds.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. State University of New York Press.
Intersectionality and white ignorance
- Hazel V. Carby, „White Women Listen!”, in: The Empire Strikes Back. Race and Racism in 70s Britain, Routledge, London, New York 1992.
- Michael D. Burroughs "Hannah Arendt, 'reflections on Little Rock,' and white ignorance". In: Critical Philosophy of Race, vol. 3, no. 1, 2015.
Ethical motivations and reproduction of ignorance
- Danewid, I. (2017). White innocence in the Black Mediterranean: Hospitality and the erasure of history. Third World Quarterly, 38(7).
Rhetorical strategies and producing ignorance
- Teun A. van Dijk (2001) "Denying Racism: Elite Discourse and Racism". In: Essed, P., & Goldberg, D. T. (eds.). Race Critical Theories: Text and Context. Wiley-Blackwell.