International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies Latest Issues

Below you can find the table of contents for the latest issues of the International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies. All articles are Open Access and links to each article are provided below. The journal is hosted on JSTOR and can be found here to read online. 

Army of Ravens

Drucilla Cornell

Negritude is one of the most controversial and misunderstood movements, starting with Jean-Paul Sartre’s misguided discussion of the significance of Negritude in Black Orpheus. In this article, I will argue that Negritude is not opposed in any way to a non-racialized socialism. Indeed, as the contemporary philosopher Lewis Gordon has powerfully argued, Negritude and other forms of Black consciousness are absolutely crucial to the overcoming of racism and colonization and to attempt to have ideals of economic transformation that do not fall back into the worst forms of racism. At the heart of this debate about the significance of Negritude—all the poets were socialists—is the question of whether or not there is African philosophy and whether African philosophy has made a significant contribution to rethinking socialism as ethical as well as economic. This article strongly argues that African philosophy demands that we shift our understanding of how and why socialism is an ethical aspiration and is rooted in an ontology of rhythmic bodies.

Keywords: Negritude, poetry, socialism, liberation, revolution, decolonization

It Is About Time: Interracial Couples and Racialized Wait Times in Dining

Heather Dalmage

In this article, I explore “wait time” as a form of racial border patrolling experienced by interracial couples when they dine out. I am framing “wait time” as something imposed and intentional to exclude these couples. When interracial couples are together, they are conspicuous reminders that the borders of whiteness are permeable. Racial borders, upheld through legal and extra legal means, include the contested, patrolled and often hostile spaces near the colour line. Interracial couples dining in restaurants across the globe report in their online post-dining reviews that they experienced comparatively long wait times to be both being seated and served. They report seeing other patrons not being made to wait while they are made to wait. Much of the literature on wait time during leisure assumes a colour-blind backdrop. Exploring the historical construction of race, specifically racial borders, provides the context for understanding why interracial couples are made to wait. I begin with an overview of the historical construction and reinforcing of “exclusionary” borders of whiteness. Next, I outline digital discourse analysis and the context of the data collection: TripAdvisor. Finally, I analyze the TripAdvisor reviews written by interracial couples. Analysis of the reviews highlighting the border patrolling of these couples is pervasive: “Wait time,” poor service, and being rushed out are three ways interracial couples’ experience being excluded. At stake is not just the time lost or the energy of dealing with negative emotions associated with racialized waiting, at stake is humanity.

Keywords: TripAdvisor interracial border patrolling racial borders “wait time,” time racial categories whiteness

Cultural Villages and Their Idea of South Africa: A Decolonial Critique

Morgan Ndlovu

Cultural villages are currently one of the most popular tourism attractions in South Africa, but in spite of their popularity, the villages also face a barrage of criticisms leveled against the manner in which they represent culture and identity, as well as their political economy. Thus, the criticisms leveled against the cultural villages range from that they represent myths instead of culture to that they stage identity and culture in an essentialist and ahistorical manner as though culture is circumscribed and “frozen in time.” In the context of crafting a cohesive South African national identity, the question that arises in light of the above criticism leveled against the cultural villages is that of: To what extent does their representation of culture and identity contribute to the making of an inclusive and cohesive South African national identity? This question is important not only because cultural representations such as the cultural villages of South Africa serve as mirrors of how people imagine themselves and their relationship with others but also because such representation can neither negate nor enhance the idea of constructing a new identity. In this article, I examine both the negative and positive contributions of the cultural village project to the idea of an inclusive and cohesive South Africa. Thus, I deploy the case study of PheZulu Safari Park and Lesedi cultural villages to examine the extent to which the construction of cultural villages enhances and/or negates the idea of a cohesive national identity in South Africa.

Keywords: cultural village, identity, culture, social cohesion, nationhood, South Africa

Raced Repetition: Perpetual Paralysis or Paradoxical Promise?

Garth Stevens

This article engages with key contemporary questions about the extent to which the obstinacy of racial formation processes, as well as the apparent global resurgence of raced thinking, represent a paralysis of the global anti-racist project or signal an important analytic opportunity for revitalising critical race scholarship and anti-racist praxis. To this end, it is incumbent upon critical race scholars and practitioners to take stock of their historical, current and future contributions to addressing the vexing nature of race and racism. The article mobilises three main illustrative arguments in this regard. First, we have to deploy our analytic tools more thoughtfully and robustly in the service of understanding the current historical period in which race seems to have an infinite elasticity globally as such analyses have a great deal to offer us in thinking through the contemporary relationships between race, materiality, histories, politics and populism. Second, writing from South Africa, the article focuses on the historically racialised nature of the social formation as an exemplar of how the deployment of race and resistance to it did not simply reflect an unprocessed repetition compulsion of the raced binary over time but actually represented incremental gains for a productively antagonistic and adversarial anti-racist political project. Third, the article also surfaces alternative ways of approaching the question of race today, by examining elements of the post-race paradigm, raced embodiment and affectivity, and more diverse conceptions of what it means to be human as part of the anti-racist project. The article concludes that thoughtful analyses of the histories of anti-racist praxis, contemporary manifestations of race and racism, and an openness to new approaches to addressing the histories and continued legacies of race are paradoxically promising and hopeful in a seemingly despairing time when race thinking seems to be on the ascension once more.

Keywords: race, racial formation, racism, populism, anti-racism, critical race scholarship, South Africa, post-race paradigm, affect, embodiment, human, decoloniality

Paths to a “Toolbox for Social Change”—Interactions Between Art and Continuing Education in the Context of Critical Diversity Literacy

Ulla Klingovsky and Georges Pfründer

The aim of this article is to systematise some of the findings that have emerged in the context of an international research cooperation between the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the School of Education at the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The objective of this collaboration is to generate research-based formats of continuing education concerning Critical Diversity Literacy activated by art. In this article, Critical Diversity Literacy is considered as a founding principle for a process towards an understanding of oneself and of the world, within the framework of global tensions and conflict situations. Adult and continuing education can successfully assist with framing the content and designing the concepts for such developmental spaces. Art and theatre education are understood as a catalysing force to open up new social imaginations. By interweaving these three disciplines, the intention is to create a body of theory and informed practice, the core components of which will be illustrated in this article. We begin by outlining the concept of Critical Diversity Literacy established by Melissa Steyn. We shall then go on to demonstrate how this concept is enriched by educational theory. As the third step—informed by artistic theory and practice—the fundamentals and tools (“Toolbox”) for continuing education arrangements will be presented, together with an exposition of the status of knowledge to date: the key challenge is the configuration of “aesthetic spaces” that can lead to “social imaginations,” to be designed in the form of “contact zones.”

Keywords: Critical Diversity Literacy, arts education, adult and further education, contact zones, social imagination

German Rightwingization as the New Normal? Tales of Becoming

Antje Schuhmann

This text explores the politics of becoming rightwing amongst what is considered normal German middle class life. The socio-political and historic context of the left losing its subcultural hegemony is narrated as transgenerational societal shift in the light of a perceived masculine fragility. Illustrated through wo middleclass men whose becoming rightwing is driven by a plethora of anxieties manifesting at the intersection of their public/private lives; anxieties which are reaching from immigration to gender madness, and which are analyzed as contradictory but also mutually constituting. Rather than interpreting the widespread righwingizsation through a narrow economic focus this text argues to read the politics of becoming rightwing as a highly intersectional project.

Keywords: Middleclass masculinity, normalization of being rightwing, psychoanalytic cultural theory