Visceral Geographies of Whiteness and Invisible Microaggressions
AbstractDrawing on data from focus groups, we demonstrate and analyze how racial microaggressions impact people of color, in unique and often traumatizing ways. We do so by including the eye opening stories of graduate students and faculty of color, taking seriously the call of critical race theorists to incorporate storytelling into scholarship. We argue that the experiences people of color undergo provide a unique perspective on visceral geographies in part because their voices are silenced; reacting internally is often the only safe response in an overwhelmingly white discipline. By starting at the scale of the body, we combine theories on visceral geographies with theories of racial microaggressions to reveal how whiteness permeates geography at multiple scales and spaces. We also examine the visceral within intellectual spaces of geography as a discipline and geography departments. We further explain how intersections of race, gender, and sexuality influence the visceral reactions of people of color to microaggressions in geography departments. Our findings demonstrate how racist behaviors take up space in departments, in the process of intellectual production and in the bodies of non-white geographers.
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