Beyond "The Henry Report": Racism and Diversity Practices at Queen's University
This thesis examines how neoliberal discourses of diversity operate at the university level through the administration’s policies, reports, and responses to racism. The perception of inclusion and acceptance, as present in the rhetoric of diversity policies and procedures, has shaped and obscured cultural perceptions of race (specifically the experiences of students and faculty of colour) while also upholding white supremacist logic. Using Queen’s University, a medium sized elite institution in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, as a case study, I discuss how academic spaces have been structured to reflect a vested interest in neoliberal capitalism, with the institution using diversity narratives to bolster excellence in reputation. In bringing together theories of race and education, as well as anti-racist theories that forefront racialization alongside issues space and belonging, this thesis argues that Queen’s University uses “diversity” to manage race. Specifically, I explore how reports, assessments, workshops and courses name and/or teach “diversity” without comprehensively challenging practices of racism, colonialism, and white supremacy. The thesis concludes with a brief discussion of how racialized students and other collectives on campus have responded to racism at Queen’s University.
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