Anti-racist scholar-activism raises urgent questions about the role of contemporary universities and the academics who work within them. As profound socio-racial crises collide with mass anti-racist mobilisations, this book focuses on the praxes of academics working within, and against, their institutions in pursuit of anti-racist social justice. Amidst a searing critique of the university’s neoliberal and imperial character, Joseph-Salisbury and Connelly situate the university as a contested space, full of contradictions and tensions. Drawing upon original empirical data, the book considers how anti-racist scholar-activists navigate barriers and backlash in order to leverage the opportunities and resources of the university in service to communities of resistance. Showing praxes of anti-racist scholar-activism to be complex, diverse, and multifaceted, and paying particular attention to how scholar-activists grapple with their own complicities in the harms perpetrated and perpetuated by higher education institutions, this book is a call to arms for academics who are, or would like to be, committed to social justice.
A manifesto for anti-racist scholar-activism
Whilst this book has shown that there is no one way to engage in anti-racist scholar-activism, we have highlighted a number of themes that might be understood as broad, guiding principles. These ideas build on the tenets we set out in the Introduction as informing our vision of anti-racist scholar-activism, and they also inform our own praxes. More importantly, though, they are recurrent across the accounts of participants. In some ways, this chapter shares
Anti-racist scholar-activism and the neoliberal-imperial-institutionally-racist university
is the perspectives and experiences of twenty-nine such people that we centre in this book; a book that delves into the complexities, complicities, challenges, and possibilities associated with anti-racist scholar-activism. The book reflects growing interest in scholar-activism in recent years, as seen in the upswell of blogs, events, and conferences on this topic. This is not to say that the practice of anti-racist scholar-activism is new. Far from it, it has a long and rich lineage. Yet, while there are many academics involved in anti-racist activism ‘on the
As we indicate in the Introduction, although we will delineate some broad principles and orientations of anti-racist scholar-activism, this book is not intended to be a ‘how-to’ guide. The accounts presented throughout the book show that such an endeavour would not only be incredibly difficult but would belie the nuance, complexity, and multiplicity of what is invoked through the terms ‘scholar-activist’ and ‘scholar-activism’. It is not our intention to present anti-racist scholar-activism as an essentialist entity that can be easily captured
In the previous chapter, we considered how the neoliberal-imperial-institutionally-racist university constrains and lashes back against those engaged in anti-racist scholar-activism. Exploring how anti-racist scholar-activists find ways to survive and navigate the abrasive terrain of higher education (HE), we also insisted that the university is not a monolith but rather an assemblage of contradictory and competing forces which give rise to pockets of possibility that we might exploit.
Throughout this book, we have shown that the dominant logics of the neoliberal-imperial-institutionally-racist university are often antithetical to anti-racist scholar-activism – that is to say, higher education (HE) institutions are active reproducers of the very inequalities and injustices that scholar-activists seek to challenge. Despite our dissent both inside and outside of the university, our employment and participation within the academy means that we are implicated in those injustices: we are complicit. This may be an uncomfortable
Opposition to anti-racist scholar-activism within the academy
As we have shown in previous chapters, the values and orientations of those engaged in anti-racist scholar-activism are starkly different to – if not fundamentally oppositional to – those of the neoliberal-imperial-institutionally-racist university. After all, scholar-activism involves recognising that ‘what is best for your department is not necessarily best for humankind’.
The explicitly political, radical scholarship and praxes of anti-racist scholar-activism can situate us in mutually
Through the concerns of participants, the previous chapter began to show that anti-racist scholar-activism describes a form of praxis that is characteristically distinct from traditional approaches to working in academia. Building on these foundations, this chapter looks more closely at what governs, and therefore distinguishes, anti-racist scholar-activism. By drawing upon Sivanandan's notion of working in service ,
we show how the orientation of those engaged in anti-racist scholar-activism
In the previous chapter, we set out an orientation for anti-racist scholar-activism that is governed by the notion of working in service to communities of resistance,
and to the broader project of anti-racism. For the purposes of this chapter, we want to set the praxes of servicing against the backdrop of two coordinates. On the one hand, we have the relative lack of wealth and resources in communities of resistance, whilst on the other, we have the significant wealth and resources of the
steps could be taken to address some of the challenges outlined above? What
would you do differently?
Whose ‘voice’ is heard in the dissemination of research
findings? What must be considered when producing multi-voiced research? What
are some of the power dynamics at play?
Geographies Collective ( 2010 ) ‘ Beyond scholaractivism: Making strategic interventions