Against the background of recent 'Black Lives Matter' protests and rising institutional attention for rituals such as Black History Month, the talk engages the stakes of these developments for academia. Olivia Rutazibwa builds on narratives of personal experiences as a Black academic, including at the European University Institute, and her teaching and research methodologies centred on the idea of epistemic Blackness, to argue that addressing the problem of Whiteness is not one of identity politics and social justice only, but very much a conversation about bad science and academic rigour.
Dr. Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa is a Belgian/Rwandan International Relations scholar in the Sociology Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science and former EUI PhD student (2001-5). Her research and teaching focuses on ways to decolonise (international) solidarity. Building on epistemic Blackness as methodology, she turns to recovering and reconnecting philosophies and practices of dignity and repair and retreat in the postcolony to theorise solidarity anticolonially.
Rutazibwa, O.U. 2020. ‘Hidden in plain sight. Race/ism and coloniality as far as the eye can see.’ Millennium: Journal of International Studies 48 (2), 221-241.
Rutazibwa, O.U. and Shilliam R. (eds.) 2018. Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics, London: Routledge
de Jong. S., Icaza, R. and Rutazibwa, O.U. (eds.) Decolonization and Feminisms in Global Teaching and Learning, London: Routledge