Blog | Anti-Oppression Reading Group | White Innocence

On Thursday the 19th of November CSPS colleagues and friends met to discuss Gloria Wekker’s White Innocence. This was the second meeting in a series of reading groups organized by Dr. Sierra Deutsch with the CSPS Political Ecology research cluster. The mix of Dutch and international participants felt a lot of resonance with Wekker’s reading of Dutch culture of white innocence that passionately and defensively denies the existence of racism in the Netherlands. The historical and cultural patterns Wekker outlines were reflected in our experiences of culture shock coming from outside and seeing our own culture and identity with new eyes from the inside. We shared many personal experiences of “everyday” racism in the Netherlands. We closed the discussion with plans for how we would like to apply what we learned in our research and teaching. Examples included the fostering of greater multi-perspectivity through course design, readings and teaching techniques; helping students engage in constructive and reflexive ways with issues and perspectives that bring discomfort;  

Participants shared numerous resources for understanding this topic further. 

The next reading group will be 21 Jan, 2021 at 16:00 and we will be discussing Sarah Ahmed’s (2012) book On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life.

If you’re interested in participating, please contact Sierra Deutsch, sierra.deutsch@wur.nl.

Find the full reading group schedule for 2021 below:

21 JanSarah Ahmed (2012) On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life
4 Marbell hooks (1994) Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
15 AprKathryn Yusoff (2018) A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None
10 JunTaiaiake Alfred (2005) Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom