Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
The author will look at how and why attempts to create diverse and inclusive environments for traditionally underrepresented students in the United States and in Australia are failing.
The author argues that white settler theories and white supremacy worldviews and policies that flow from those systems continue to influence and reinforce elite university values, and predispose, even universities and colleges who want to diversify and invite in those students who will question the logics behind the current university policies and practices, will often render those same students silent, invisible and frustrated. Students who challenge inequalities and contradictions in messaging around the value of diversity and empirical evidence that demonstrate the contrary, unequal implementation of policies based on identity, and a paucity of critical curriculum, are really challenging and making transparent the core racialized , gendered and classed white supremacist and patriarchal foundations that elite universities in both countries are built upon. They are exposing the hidden structures of white male supremacy buried in the very institutions that we are counting on to liberate our democracy.
She offers solutions to this dilemma through ethnographic research examples from both countries that could provide a roadmap to help to uniquely position elite universities to challenge those founding values of exclusion and societal status quo to become spaces that foster empathetic critically thinking, and produce students who can develop the capacity to be both the local and globally minded change makers that our respective societies need.