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Race, Culture, Classifications: the Anthropology of Discrimination - Research Seminar

Monday 13 June 2016
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Photo: Johnny Silvercloud

Why does 'race' keep coming back?

To connect the history of anthropology to current debates on discrimination, we started in 2015 the course ‘Race, culture and classification: the anthropology of discrimination’. A few questions guided (and still guide) us in studying the subject and structuring the course. The most important one: why does the concept of ‘race’ keep coming back (or: why is it still being used)?

'Race' as a relational 'event'

We were surprised by the lack of attention to ‘race’ in our discipline and in our curriculum – a lack that might partly be explained by the way Franz Boas and his students approached ‘race’. We also discussed how mainstream anti-racism (legislation, policy) is limited in its effectiveness – because it rarely approaches racial discrimination as a system, and more generally because it does not consider racism as a modern political project. We think that ‘race’ is a relational ‘event’ and not just a (social) fact. Finally, by studying ‘race’ as classification, it becomes clear how it creates a ‘double consciousness’, not just for ‘them’, but also for ‘us’.

Research seminars & workshops spring 2016

This research seminar will be chaired by Erik Bähre (Leiden University). All the Research seminars and workshops of the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology are given in English and are open for everyone. Afterwards you can join us in the Bamboo Lounge for drinks.

For more information see Research Seminars and Workshops Spring 2016.  

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