Positionality Killed the PhD
Compiling this blog post, “Positionality Killed the PhD,” was an essential act of shedding light on the incongruities that plague academia’s commitment to decoloniality. I felt that the symbolic façade of institutions constantly speaking about decolonisation while remaining steeped in colonial legacies needed to be torn away. I felt it was crucial to reveal the disheartening chasm between rhetoric and reality. This reflection isn’t merely a personal musing; it’s an urgent call to recognise that university procedures and systems perpetuate inequalities and power imbalances, particularly when researching issues that pertain to marginalised communities. As I grapple with these dilemmas, I often feel isolated, burdened by the weight of dismantling oppressive systems while actively participating in them—a predicament that feels inherently hypocritical.
As a Black woman, the urgency of addressing these issues weighs even heavier on my shoulders. The blog post served as a medium to share my frustrations and vulnerabilities openly, allowing my authentic voice to resonate. Departing from the conventional, impersonal academic tone, I sought to disrupt the very narrative that reinforces colonialism within academic spaces. Ultimately, this blog post is a declaration of my commitment to challenging the status quo within academia, and an invitation for others to join in this critical conversation. It’s a testament to the power of personal narratives in questioning our relationships with oppressive systems and advancing the true meaning of decolonisation.
Why Have Another Anti Racist Blog?
The Anti-Racist Blog was developed from my lived experiences as an international, Postgraduate Researcher of Colour in the University. Confronted with racism in academic spaces, I wanted to create a space for expressing and documenting distinct narratives of PGRs of colour who might have encountered similar experiences of racially-directed discrimination, violence and/or exclusion from predominantly white spaces in the University.
This space resonated with my broader political motivation of creating anti-racist knowledge, disrupting traditionally male- and white-dominant systems of power, and amplifying voices of People of Colour through various digital storytelling tools.
I hope this space serves as a room (of our own) to build solidarity across marginalised communities in Sheffield, who may or may not be directly or indirectly associated with the University.