Ordinary Violence: Higher Ed’s Racial Capitalism

Our April 2021 guest is Jodi Melamed, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at Marquette University. We spill tea on gestures of liberation that are not liberative, institutional multiculturalisms, and practices of anti-racist pedagogy.

About our guest:

Jodi Melamed is Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at Marquette University. Her first book Represent and Destroy is a devastating analysis of how powerful liberal and neoliberal institutions have responded to the demands of radical anti-racist movements. In this work, Jodi coins the phrase “official anti-racism” to describe the pedagogies of racial knowledge that not only foreclose materialist account of racial justice, but augment forms of racist violence now signified through optics of diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. Her current project, Dispossession By Administration, builds on this analysis by reflecting on how apparently neutral bureaucratic language paves the way for racist capitalist violence. You can find her presenting a portion of it here.

Music:

Closing music: “And We Out” by Akrasis: Max Bowen (raps/guitar) and Mark McKee (beats/trumpet), 2013. Available on Bandcamp.