Various inequalities characterise the contemporary world. In this lecture, I examine the processes and influences that have contributed, and continue to contribute, to my work investigating how these inequalities are kept in place. In it, I raise questions about the dangers of identity politics and the accompanying solidification of identities that characterise many recent political. I am particularly interested in exploring how the feminist notion of the personal as political now seems to be taken to mean that only the personal, the individual, is political. In this context, and particularly in the ‘post-truth’ world in which we are now said to live, it seems that materialism, in the old sense has almost disappeared. In arguing for a turn away from identity politics and a return to (and development of) materialism, I raise questions about ‘intersectionality’ as an analytic and political tool, suggesting, instead or as well, a more historically and locationally situated approach to processes of the making of inequalities in order not only to understand them better, but also to begin to develop ways of subverting and undermining them.
The general public is cordially invited to attend this public lecture.
Debbie Epstein is Professor of Cultural Studies in Education. Her work addresses issues of class, gender, race and racism, and sexuality. Her books include Class Choreographies: Elite Schools and Globalization (with Jane Kenway et al, 2017, Palgrave), Towards Gender Equality: South African Schools during the HIV and AIDS Epidemic (with Robert Morrell et al, 2009, UKZN Press) Schooling Sexualities (with Richard Johnson, 1998, Open University Press), and Where it Really Matters: Antiracism, Politics and Schools (1993, Trentham Books) as well as many journal articles. Her media studies work has appeared in numerous journal articles written with Deborah Lynn Steinberg.