Department of Development Studies, Palacky University, Olomouc

Introduction to critical racism theory

Lecturer: Dr. Urmila Goel,

Our societies as well as the world are structured by unequal power relations, privileging some and marginalising others. In the context of development studies in particular the unequal power relations resulting from colonialism have to be taken into account. This course will offer an introduction to critical theories looking at unequal power relations. It will start with a brief introduction to postcolonial theory focusing primarily on the construction of the Other. It will then put the focus on introducing some approaches of critical racism theory, showing how racism structures our societies and how it is stabilised through norms. On this basis we will look at the privileged positions in unequal power relations, in particular in racism and apply this to the context of the Czech Republic as well as development studies. Finally, we will look at how different power relations are interwoven, looking in particular at the interdependencies between racism, postcolonialism and gender.

The course will offer brief introductions to critical theories in order to illustrate the basic approaches. The meetings will be organised interactively. The students will be asked to apply the theories on the basis of the course literature both to their life in the Czech Republic and to development studies.

Time table

Thursday, 23rd February The construction of the Other
9.30 – 13.00 hours Introduction to the course
14.30 – 18.00 hours Introduction to postcolonial theory

Friday, 24th February Introduction to racism theory
9.30 – 13.00 hours An approach to racism
14.30 – 18.00 hours A conceptualisation of everyday racism

Thursday, 1st March 2012 Racism and privileges
9.30 – 13.00 hours Denying racism
14.30 – 18.00 hours White privileges

Friday, 2nd March 2012 Intersectionality and conclusion
9.30 – 13.00 hours Introduction to intersectionality
14.30 – 18.00 hours Conclusion of the course

The course literature will be made available as pdf by the beginning of February.

Credit requirements:

© Urmila Goel, 2012