Anti-Racism and Public Spheres: An Examination of the Politicization of Anti-Racism at the Writing Thru Race Conference, 1994

Robinder Kaur Sehdev
Communication and Culture, University of Calgary
May, 2001
 

Abstract

This thesis investigates discourses the surrounding the Writing Thru Race Conference of 1994, a highly controversial and publicized event that significantly impacted contemporary anti-racist cultural production in Canada. By placing this conference in the framework of competing public spheres and cultural hegemony this thesis argues that the Writing Thru Race Conference was a formative moment in Canadian cultural politics. This thesis argues that Writing Thru Race brought the issues of political and cultural legitimacy into sharp focus and in so doing, galvanized the discourses of anti-racism and reverse racism in cultural politics. Understood as a key cultural moment where competing public spheres intersected and collided, the discourses surrounding Writing Thru Race can provide insight into the significance of cultural discourses of anti-racism as they challenge dominant or national discourses of multiculturalism.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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