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.
– the radical tradition forged through the Black Power era lives on. Given the ascendency of municipal anti-racism in the 1980s, it is perhaps no surprise that Paul Gilroy, writing in the 1990s, decried ‘the end of anti-racism’. 30 It was in a similar vein that the UK-based intellectual, activist, and once director (1973–2013) of the Institute for Race Relations , Ambalavaner Sivanandan, urged us to take up Black Liberation as ‘a richer and more long-term project of
scholar-activist identification to be part of who we are, we can understand our existence as something fluid and forged through praxis: we are always engaged in a process of becoming . Focusing on praxis also enables us to appreciate the work of those that are reluctant to embrace a scholar-activist identity or those who identify in another way, perhaps – and without wanting to completely erase the different inflections of these terms 24 – as an activist-scholar; an academic activist; an activist academic; an intellectual
invited, even called upon, to comment on the problematic of blackface and the reproduction of racist stereotypes. This time we kept raising our voices, and during most of 2012 one debate followed another. For the first time, a relatively big group of black intellectuals, activists, educators, and academics, including myself, could make themselves heard on the cultural arena. What became interesting as well as painful to observe during this period was that debates created ‘chains’ entailing uncontrolled seepage or overlap between context, medium specificity, and genre
inexhaustible, that this epistemological diversity does not yet have a form and that the contribution of knowledge is to be measured through knowledge as intervention in reality rather than knowledge as representation of reality. ‘The credibility of cognitive construction is measured by the type of intervention in the world that it affords or prevents’ (p. 73). Influenced by the work of intellectuals-activists linked to the World Social Forum, de Sousa Santos feels that the global movement of indigenous knowledge has, as a form of post-abyssal thinking, the most hope to