Scholarshp as Activism – My Abstract for the Annual Conference of the International Federation of the Theatre Research and Performance Studies
Performing Multicultural Theatricality in the Everyday Life of British Neo Colonial Academia (Rodrigo Cañete, University of Warwick)
In her Presente! The Politics of Presence (Duke, 2020) Diana Taylor, took to central stage the resistance of academic institutions to acknowledge their own colonial bias. Before her, Aymara Scholar Sylvia Rivera Cusicanqui and Chilean artist Pedro Lemebel had gone as far as accusing higher education of producing an ideology of deceit presenting as critical thought what, in fact, was, neoliberal extractivism. From a phenomenological perspective, I embark in an autoethnographic account of my own experience in British and German academia where moments of undeniable academic achievement are rapidly turned into disciplining situations that, as I argue, are linked to the liminal space occupied by the mestizo where visual categories of ethnic, sexual and, even, class identity are not evident.
I focus on those intersectional collisions where phenomenologies of crossing and transgenerational trauma caused by the subaltern’s unrealistic views of what the academia in the Global North has to offer clashes with internalized racial and sexual belief systems deeply rooted in faculty and academic processes. The border that separate academia from the outside is perceived as challenged through a confusion between the subaltern’s autonomous achievements and his or her unruliness. A series of performative events based on etiquette trigger a (theatrical) display of what is presented as exemplar multiculturalism and identitarian tolerance through which individuals and institutions veil violent territorial demarcations where the phantasm of exclusion and disappearance push the succesfull into the colonial space of the native informant.