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Sharon Monteith

This year American scholar Patricia J. Williams was invited to Britain to speak as Reith Lecturer, only the fourth woman and the third black speaker to contribute to the prestigious series of lectures which has a 49-year history. Her chosen subject was as topical as it proved controversial. Professor Williams’s subtle and measured discussion of the persistence of racism in daily life – and in even the most liberal of consciousnesses – struck a chord in British society. The furore that broke in the press was based as much in a certain ‘British’ intransigent refusal to allow that the persistence of prejudice could possibly be as ‘bad’ here as across the Atlantic as it was in a basic reluctance to address distinctive realities in contemporary society. Richard H. King and I interviewed Williams immediately following the transmission of the lecture series on Radio 4 and the transcripts, published by Virago as Seeing a Colour-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race, are reviewed in this issue by Larry Brown. Brown places Williams alongside fellow African-American scholar bell hooks in order to assess the different perspectives they take on issues of race and the politics of identity, and in order to decide on nature of the often very different roles of contemporary black intellectuals.

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Katherine Hennessey and Margaret Litvin

Digital Theatre project, have functioned as a coded condemnation of racism, sectarianism and autocracy within the Gulf – one that reproduces some aspects of the sultanate’s official ideology while subverting others. Moving from stage to (small) screen

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Theorising Race

Imagining Possibilities

Kira Erwin and Gerhard Maré

This special issue emerges from a concern with academic practice around researching and theorising race, racialism and racism; particularly within the current theoretical climate in which race is, in the majority, accepted as a social construct. In public thinking and discourse, however, acceptance of the biological existence of races continues to dominate in many societies. Racial classification also continues in many state practices in South Africa such as the collection of racial demographics though the national census, and through countless private and public officials reporting towards government-stipulated race-based employment acts. These classification practices raise contradictions for the constitutional goal of non-racialism in South Africa. South Africa has also signed and ratified the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Professional Interest/Pages/CERD.aspx), which aims to eliminate racial discrimination in member states. The convention, to which member states are legally bound, raises a number of pressing issues that, to date, are not present in a wider national debate on the continued use of race in South African state policy. For example, there is little recognition by the state of the difficulties associated with identifying a targeted group based on race, nor clarity as to whether these groups are identified through markers based on phenotype, or socio-economic or cultural differences. Nor is there open discussion on the use of terms such as fair and unfair discrimination and how they relate to terms such as distinction and differentiation (see Bossuyt 2000), and the legal consequences of using such terms.

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John Ireland and Constance Mui

and political insights from prominent movements in the post-war era, including feminism, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, environmentalism, and the struggle for gay rights. Very much in line with these concerns, Ronald Aronson’s recent book: We

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John Ireland and Constance Mui

, “Contemporary ‘Structures’ of Racism,” analyzes the “social structural processes” that produce and perpetuate racial oppression and domination. Fugo argues that, in a racist society, many of the principles we value are in reality antithetical to the promotion of

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Introduction

Traces of Pan Africanism and African Nationalism in Africa Today

Denis Goldberg

themselves as Africans. W.E.B. du Bois, an African American and a Marxist, was sure that modern racism and the subjugation of black people was a direct result of capitalist labour relations, the quest for markets and raw materials and opportunities for

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Romanticizing Difference

Identities in Transformation after World War I

Nadia Malinovich

universalism, humanism, romanticism, and racism were much messier and intertwined. This volume brings together researchers in history, linguistics, and literary studies to reflect on these issues in order to explore the varied ways in which human difference was

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Policing the French Empire

Colonial Law Enforcement and the Search for Racial-Territorial Hegemony

Samuel Kalman

-africaine (1926–1937) ](Paris, 2003); Tyler Stovall, “The Colour Line behind the Lines: Racial Violence in France during the Great War,” American Historical Review 103 (1998): 737–769; Neil MacMaster, Colonial Migrants and Racism: Algerians in France, 1900