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Sun Dec 2, 2018, 03:37 PM

White Innocence [View all]

Gloria Wekker is a cultural anthropologist and emeritus professor of Gender Studies (Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University). She was also the director of the expertise center GEM Gender, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism in higher education at the same faculty. In April 2016 her book: White Innocence; Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race, came out at Duke University Press and has, since then, sparked renewed discussions on gender, race and colonialism in Dutch media and beyond.

Prof. Wekker is Afro-Surinamese Dutch. She earned her doctorate at UCLA. As for white innocence, Prof. Wekker describes as follows:

It encapsulates a dominant way in which the Dutch think of themselves, as being a small, but just, ethical nation; colour-blind, thus free of racism; as being inherently on the moral and ethical high ground, thus a guiding light to other folks and nations. Notwithstanding the many, daily protestations in a Dutch context that "we" are innocent, racially speaking; that racism is a feature found in the US and South Africa, not the Netherlands; that, by definition, racism is located in working-class circles, not among "our kind of middle-class people;" much remains hidden under the univocally and the pure strength of will defending innocence. I am led to suspect bad faith; innocence is not as innocent as it appears to be.

More of her life, experience in America, and white innocence in her TED Talks.

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