How has the legacy of state terror and racial genocide shaped higher education in the United States? Given our history, what opportunities exist to support revolutionary organizing work within institutions of higher learning? How do emergent disciplines committed to exploring social reproduction and terrains of struggle – such as Ethnic Studies (and its subfields), Critical Race Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Critical Sociology – navigate knowledge production within educational spaces tied to the legacies of violence, exploitation and white supremacy scholars in those fields endeavor to dismantle? What role can higher education play in the powerful movement developing to end the violence of policing and to radically reorganize the work that fell under that institution’s jurisdiction? How might a philosophy of PIC (prison industrial complex) abolition inform our pedagogical projects within, against and beyond what remains academic?
In today’s episode, we talk with Dylan Rodriguez on these subjects. Rodriguez is Professor of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and is a founding member of Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex and the Critical Ethnic Studies Association. He continues to work in and alongside various social movements and counter-hegemonic collectives. He is the author of Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime (2006) and Suspended Apocalypse: White Supremacy, Genocide, and the Filipino Condition (2009). His work explores historical logics of racial genocide and how they “permeate our most familiar systems of state violence, cultural production, institutionalized knowledge, liberation struggle, and social identity.” He is also interested in how people, especially scholars, inhabit racial genocide.
* Resources mentioned by Prof. Rodriguez during the Podcast:
** James referenced an author who wrote an article about the debate in/over the humanities in the post-interview discussion. Here’s the citation information for that piece:
Hartman, Andrew. “Culture Wars and the Humanities.” Raritan 36, no. 4 (2017), 128-140