Samia Khatun deposited Intersectionality, Resistance, and History-Making: A Conversation Between Carolyn D’Cruz, Ruth DeSouza, Samia Khatun, and Crystal McKinnon, Facilitated by Jordana Silverstein on Humanities Commons 2 years, 2 months ago
A good, solid, history-writing practice is one which, I think, shakes people’s ideas of the world and their place in it, compelling them to imagine new social, cultural and political formations which can provide an account of life. Kimberle Crenshaw’s development of the term ‘intersectionality’, and the ways it has been taken up by people of colour within the academy internationally, as well as by activists, provides one example of such imaginative work. Because when you spend some time in the Australian History academic scene, at conferences, in departments, talking to other academics, it’s quickly noticeable that one of its key features is its hegemonic whiteness. Even in those spaces that aspire to avoid whiteness, it’s inescapable, visible daily, as well as in the themes at conferences, the keynote speakers chosen, the food served, the knowledge shared. When it came time for the Australian Women’s History Network conference in 2016, which carried the theme of ‘Intersections in History’, it felt like this could provide a way of modelling a different kind of Australian academic History space. What would a conversation look like that skipped over the presence of white Anglo Australians, I wondered? What if we just left them to the side? What if we gathered together some of the smartest, sharpest thinkers in Melbourne academia, and spoke amongst ourselves, coming up with new formations of knowledge? And so we did: Crystal, Samia, Ruth and Carolyn gathered together, I asked them some questions, and we had a conversation that, in numerous ways, challenged white hegemonies. We’ve recreated some of that conversation below, as a way of continuing to think together, and to find new ways of making this thinking public.