Hypatia 32 (4):876-892 (2017)
AbstractClassrooms are unlevel knowing fields, contested terrains where knowledge and ignorance are produced and circulate with equal vigor, and where members of dominant groups are accustomed to having an epistemic home-terrain advantage. My project focuses on one form of resistance that regularly surfaces in discussions with social-justice content. Privilege-protective epistemic pushback is a variety of willful ignorance that many members of dominant groups engage in when asked to consider both the lived and structural injustices that members of marginalized groups experience daily. I argue that this dominant form of resistance is neither an expression of skepticism nor a critical-thinking practice. I suggest that standard philosophical engagements with these expressions of resistance are incapable of tracking the harms of privilege-protecting epistemic pushback. I recommend treating this pushback as a “shadow text,” that is, as a text that runs alongside the readings in ways that offer no epistemic friction. I offer this as one critical philosophical practice for making students mindful of the ways they contribute to the circulation of ignorance and epistemic violence during the course of their discussions.
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Citations of this work
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References found in this work
Tracking Epistemic Violence, Tracking Practices of Silencing.Kristie Dotson - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):236-257.
Discerning the Primary Epistemic Harm in Cases of Testimonial Injustice.Gaile Pohlhaus - 2014 - Social Epistemology 28 (2):99-114.
The Speculum of Ignorance: The Women's Health Movement and Epistemologies of Ignorance.Nancy Tuana - 2006 - Hypatia 21 (3):1-19.