Reparative Universities: Why Diversity Alone Won't Solve Racism in Higher Ed
Critical University Studies
Published by: Johns Hopkins University Press
Imprint: John Hopkins University
Sales Date: 2023-03-28
Published: March 2023
Imprint: John Hopkins University
Series: Critical University Studies
Page Count: 288 Pages
Dimensions: 5.00 x 8.00
288 Pages, 5.00 x 8.00 x 0.70 in
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A timely investigation of why diversity alone is insufficient in higher education and how universities can use reparative actions to become anti-racist institutions.
As institutions increasingly reckon with histories entangled with slavery and Indigenous dispossession, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts occupy a central role in the strategy and resources of higher education. Yet reparation is rarely offered as a viable strategy for institutional transformation. In Reparative Universities, Ariana González Stokas undertakes a critical and decolonial analysis of DEI work, linking contemporary practices of diversity to longer colonial histories. González Stokas argues that diversity is an insufficient concept for efforts concerned with anti-oppression, anti-racism, equity, and decolonization. Given its historical ties to colonialism, can higher education foster reconciliation and healing?
Reparation is offered as a pathway toward untangling higher education from its colonial roots. González Stokas develops the term "epistemic reparation" to describe a mode of social-historical accountability that can already be seen at work in historical examples, as well as current events in the United States, South Africa, and Canada. Recent legal decisions by Georgetown University and the Princeton Theological seminary to enact economic recompense for buying and selling human beings are evidence of attempts to redress higher education's violent histories and the colonial structures they reproduce every day on college campuses.
Engaging with a broad range of theories from decolonial philosophy to organizational psychology, González Stokas offers a pathway—guided by reparative activities—for institutional workers frustrated by what often feels, as Sara Ahmed describes, like "banging one's head against a brick wall." Reparative Universities offers insight into why DEI efforts have been disconnected from past injustices and why unsettling diversity and engaging meaningful repair are critical for the future of higher education.
Part I: A Cabinet of Diversity
1. Object 1: Diversity Doesn't Work?
2. Object 2: Dominance
3. Object 3: From Wunderkammner to the Majors
4. Object 4: Patrol/Willy
5. Object 5: Accumulation/Difference that Makes No Difference
6. Object 6: Colorblindness/Federalist Paper no.6
7. Object 7: Partition/No. 76-811: A Grievance Not of Their Making
8. Object 8: The Morrill Acts: "The Land Grab University"
Part II: The Constellation of Reparation
10. Star 1: Attempted Remedies
11. Star 2: Outlines of Epistemic Reparation
12. Star 3: How is a University like a Light Switch?
Part III: Reparative Endeavors
14. Thread 1: Why Poetics?
15. Thread 2: Breath-Taking Landscapes: Place based interventions
16. Thread 3: Counter-space as the dramatization of a poetics of refusal
17. Thread 4: Gates/Gatekeeping
18. Thread 5: Unraveling Patrol
19. Thread 6: From Rank to Rhizome