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Anti-racism in the age of white supremacy and backlash


Special issue call for papers from Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Call for Papers
Special issue in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Anti-racism in the age of white supremacy and backlash


Deadline: 31st December 2019

Deborah N. Brewis, University of Bath, United Kingdom
Sadhvi Dar, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Helena Liu, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Angela Martinez Dy, University of Loughborough, United Kingdom


Racism, “the pervasively malignant and malicious systemic illness” (Yancy, 2018, p. 1), has been an abiding feature of White organisations and societies. Its formation, through a combination of interlaced European racial sciences, philosophy and religious doctrines as the alibi for colonialism and slavery, ultimately left in its wake a normalised racial hierarchy that has produced and protected white power and privilege (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; DuBois, 2007; Mills, 1997).
In these supposedly ‘post-racial’ decades, race is no longer believed to be a barrier: the election of Barack Obama as the first Black President of the United States was routinely cited as evidence of racism’s demise. Yet in the last five years, we have seen a mounting backlash against a seemingly more diverse world. White anxiety in the fear of being outnumbered or displaced manifests through many forms of racial violence, including overt attacks on people of colour, covert discrimination in work and organisations, and attempts to harden geographical borders. Trump’s succession of Obama has signalled a resurgence of white supremacist values through the administration’s anti-immigration policies; seen also in the sentiments shared in Britain which in part prompted Brexit; and in the rising prominence of far-right political parties across Europe and Australia.
It is in this climate that we propose this special issue to speak out against white supremacy and its various manifestations in organisations and society. Until more recently, attention to race and whiteness had been minimal in organisational studies (Nkomo & Al Ariss, 2014). Even in the area of diversity studies, there has traditionally been a tendency to privilege gender (specifically femininities), while remaining relatively silent on race and other intersecting systems of power (Liu, 2017). This special issue will draw on growing interest in race relations in the wider society and other disciplines like sociology, psychology, education and philosophy with the hope of catalysing critical scholarship of race in organisation studies (while building on the vital work of pioneering scholars such as Cooke, 2003; Gantman, Yousfi, & Alcadipani, 2015; Grimes, 2001; Nkomo, 1992; Osuri & Banerjee, 2003).
The key aim of this special issue is to bring together writings that illuminate the complex nature of white supremacy and how scholarship, activism or scholar-activism may be directed to challenge it. Building upon the foundation established by progressive scholars such as Stella Nkomo (1992) and Diane Grimes (2001) who forged discussions of race and whiteness in our field, it is our hope that the special issue (re)energises considerations of race in future organisational theorising, education and practice.
Drawing on the groundswell of resistance against ‘scientific’ norms of writing (Gilmore, Harding, Helin, & Pullen, 2019), this issue will encourage non-traditional forms of writing from contributors in additional to traditional empirical research studies. This may incorporate poetic, dramaturgical and visual forms of text that open up new possibilities for knowing and being as scholars (see, for example, Dar, 2018; Molisa, 2010). Writing ‘differently’ is particularly resonant for critical theorising of race and whiteness, which has enjoyed a rich writing tradition that evocatively represents the embodied experience of racism.


Questions and topics of interest to this special issue include but are not limited to:
•    What are the possibilities for anti-racist organising and scholarship in the face of overt and covert racial violence (Johnson, Joseph-Salisbury, & Kamunge, 2018)?
•    What are the processes and structures of racism and white supremacy in organisations and society and how can these be challenged?
•    Forms of anti-racist resistance from communities of scholars, educators, practitioners and/or activists.
•    The limits of diversity work: white racist backlash against anti-racist work and issues of complicity while doing diversity work.
•    White fragility (DiAngelo, 2018), including white guilt/innocence/ignorance.
•    Anti-racist pedagogy as concept, practice and lived experience (e.g., decolonising the curriculum).
•    Gender, sexuality, social class, disability, age and their intersections with race in organisational, institutional and societal contexts.
•    Racialised capitalism, the persistence of neocolonial financial systems, and other socio-economic forms of exclusion and marginalisation within and between the Global North and Global South.
•    Racialisation of work and labour in the digital economy; understanding the role of whiteness, race and racism in ‘digital’ value chains.
•    Racialised business management education and the role of the business school in perpetuating inequalities.
•    The business management discipline in general, and diversity and inclusion studies in particular, and their connections to racial inequalities, white privilege, neocolonial relationships of inequality and colonial fantasising.
•    The role of legal frameworks or laws, governance structures and accountability mechanisms that prop up or challenge structural racism in organisations or educational institutions.

Conceptual and empirical contributions are welcome. Please send your inquiries about the special issue to any or all of the guest editors at [email protected].
Submissions should be made through ScholarOne at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/edi.  Author guidelines and format for submitted manuscripts can be found on the journal’s website: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=edi.  Please direct any general questions about the journal or any administrative matters to the Editorial Assistant, Fatma Ashour ([email protected]).

Deadline for submission is 31st December 2019.

References

Bonilla-Silva, E. (2006). Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Cooke, B. (2003). The denial of slavery in management studies. Journal of Management Studies, 40(8), 1895–1918.
Dar, S. (2018). The masque of blackness: Or, performing assimilation in the white academe. Organization.
DiAngelo, R. (2018). White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
DuBois, W. E. B. (2007). Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. New York, NY: Cosimo.
Gantman, E. R., Yousfi, H., & Alcadipani, R. (2015). Challenging Anglo-Saxon dominance in management and organizational knowledge. Revista de Administração de Empresas, 55(2), 126–129.
Gilmore, S., Harding, N., Helin, J., & Pullen, A. (2019). Writing differently. Management Learning, 50(1), 3–10.
Grimes, D. S. (2001). Putting our own house in order: Whiteness, change and organization studies. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 14(2), 132–149.
Johnson, A., Joseph-Salisbury, R., & Kamunge, B. (Eds.). (2018). The Fire Now: Anti-Racist Scholarship in Times of Explicit Racial Violence. London: Zed Books.
Liu, H. (2017). Undoing whiteness: The Dao of anti-racist diversity practice. Gender, Work and Organization, 24(5), 457–471.
Mills, C. W. (1997). The Racial Contract. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Molisa, P. (2010). White Business Education. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 21(6), 525–528.
Nkomo, S. M. (1992). The emperor has no clothes: Rewriting “race in organizations.” The Academy of Management Review, 17(3), 487–513.
Nkomo, S. M., & Al Ariss, A. (2014). The historical origins of ethnic (white) privilege in US organizations. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 29(4), 389–404.
Osuri, G., & Banerjee, S. B. (2003). Organizing multiple spacetimes in a colonial context: Indigeneity and white Australian nationalism at the Melbourne Museum. In S. Linstead (Ed.), Text/Work: Representing Organization and Organizing Representation (pp. 138–160). London: Routledge.
Yancy, G. (2018). Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.