Our Biases: White Innocence in the Dutch Academy

‘Race’ is a harmful fiction. But the concept is very real in its consequences. Gender & Ethnicity professor Gloria Wekker will explore the work that race currently still does in the Dutch academy.

Organisator Impulse

do 21 januari 2016 20:00

Locatie Impulse, gebouwnummer 115

Whether it is the discipline of history, sociology and anthropology or the young discipline of gender studies, race firmly installs and affirms difference. Race is a silent but powerful organizer of our knowledge production. Gloria Wekker, emeritus professor at the University of Utrecht, sums up the dominant Dutch attitude toward issues pertaining to race with "white innocence". Thus addressing bias in the Dutch scientific community. This is the second lecture in a series on ‘Our Biases’. During the third evening we will explore our (biased?) perceptions of China.This is an Open Mind Lab series, organized together with a group of students.

On Gloria Wekker

Gloria Wekker is emeritus Professor in Gender Studies, Faculty of the Humanities, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. 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.

Gloria Wekker
Gloria Wekker

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. Her next book is entitled White Innocence; Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race  The Dutch cultural Archive and Race, which will be published in 2016 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 also is a poet and activist. Currently (2015 – 2016) she serves on two committees that are to make proposals to restructure the University of Amsterdam, after the Occupation of the Maagdenhuis: The committee on Democratization and Decentralization (D &D) and she is the chair of the Diversity committee.