Counter-narratives in the First Person: Whiteness and the Limits of Diversity
This short article focuses on Sara’s experience as the first-ever student BAME department representative at a large post-secondary institution in the UK. Written as a first-person testimonial but grounded in a dialogic method of ethnographic recovery and remembrance, we argue that diversity initiatives that seek to create inclusion and representation, without a careful engagement with power, end up reproducing the university as a white public space that centres white fragility. The article highlights two key experiences during Sara’s tenure as BAME student representative in a department of anthropology that show how the limits of diversity in higher education are found in the refusal to engage with whiteness.
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