Aarhus Universitets segl

Elefanten i (bede)rummet. Raciale forsvindingsnumre, stemningspolitik og idiomatisk diffraktion

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The elephant in the (prayer)room. Racial disappearance acts, mood politics and idiomatic diffraction. The elephant in the room is an idiom which hints towards a particular atmosphere or ‘collective mood’ (Anderson, 2016). Everyone knows the elephant is there, but they ignore it. Elephants in rooms are thus about social taboos that are highly affectively charged. In this paper, we are grappling with disappearance acts related to race and racialization. How race is simultaneously ‘here and not here’, ‘there and not there’ in organizational policies and practices preoccupied with governing diversity. Using a recent heated debate over ‘prayerrooms’ in educational institutions (and focusing on the University of Copenhagen), our aim is to contribute to the building of a diffractive methodology that is sensitive towards race and racialization. This may open up a space from where light may be searched for in the shadows (Barad, 2010). We send the elephant into the prayerroom. Reading diffractively through that idiom implies that we follow and affirm tendencies and movements in the empirical material, while it is ‘broken apart and cut together’. In this sense, it is an affirmative, however critical methodology.
TidsskriftKvinder, Køn & Forskning
Sider (fra-til)44-57
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2019


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