Color Blindness Across the Disciplines

Kimberle Crenshaw
UC Los Angeles

This collaborative research group will examine how the practices and paradigms of scholarly disciplines function to present color blind solutions as privileged responses to color bound problems. Of course, denial and disavowal of racial power in our society protects privilege and serves a variety of political purposes, but this working group will focus on the ideal of color blindness as a stance with embedded epistemological causes and consequences. The goals of the group are to identify how the disciplines enable and inhibit understanding of race because of color blindness; acquire an inventory of exemplary interdisciplinary works, methods, and theories; stage creative conversations across disciplines; identify how tropes like merit, market, and choice occlude racial power; and demonstrate the migration of concepts across academic disciplines, journalism, philanthropy, public policy, and popular culture. A key event for this project will be a four day conference at UCLA devoted to channeling the ongoing work of the research group into publications, courses, and public outreach.