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Paper short abstract:
This paper explores another exemplary confrontation between a Black student and a white professor discussing racism and colonial continuities. As an in-class debate heats up and emotions intertwine with factual knowledge, a dissenting professor manages to silence an important debate on Black agency.
Paper long abstract:
I have been a student for far too long now and especially being an Afro-German student in Potsdam, the time to graduate from university has come. However, being educated and educating in this space has turned my studies into a unique autoethnographic setting. It took me some time to understand how important it was that my experiences became my own subject of study. Triggered by different emotions in class, on and off campus, I started trying to make sense of my existence in this space, whereas for considerably too long I thought I don't belong here and I would be too emotional to be an academic. I began to understand that epistemic violence and specifically epistemic racism were responsible for that feeling and that it was my university that continued these structures. In about half of my courses I have been ending up in discussions on racist uses of language, problematic recountings of history, white evaluations of historic events and more. Meanwhile, I have spoken and written about various of these situations, but like the latest incident, there are still surprises. Analyzing an in-class debate in a linguistics course on West African Englishes taught by a white professor, this paper will examine how this strongly dissenting professor manages to silence an important debate on Black agency and what it means for educational spaces when emotions intertwine with factual knowledge in debates on topics such as race.
Decolonising the Classroom in Europe - how can we embrace emotions and create open, transformative spaces? [The Anthropology of Race and Ethnicity Network]
Session 1 Thursday 23 July, 2020, -