After a hiatus of several years, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Journal is re-emerging. In this much-awaited Inaugural Issue, we recognise the exceptional scholarship that the Journal has produced in the past, and the important impact that the Journal and its contributors have made to social practice and debate worldwide. Yet, we also return ‘clear-eyed’ about the nature of the present moment, and the significant task that consequently sits before those of us concerned with challenging ‘race’ and racisms – concerns that loom somewhat larger and more pressing than they did only a few years ago. For instance, since at least 2017, we have witnessed spectacle, bravado and celebrity triumph over ‘truth’ (Roberts & Becker, 2017), while structural, symbolic, and material modes of racist violence deepen. In response to this milieu, contributors to the Inaugural Issue offer brief but powerful reflections on the question, what now for critical race and whiteness studies? In other words, what use does this field now offer?
The Issue provides accessible, bite-sized entry points into a complex debate requiring our collective and sustained energy, anger, compassion and creativity, now more than ever. Alana Lentin expertly explores the complexities of doing decolonial work inside colonial academies on colonised land. Deidre Howard-Wagner reflects on her decade-long research into Indigenous policy formation. Damien Riggs turns our attention to the disposition of the researcher, showing how critical race and whiteness studies imbues us with a lens that colour all other aspects of life, including our relationships and the ethical actions we are subsequently compelled to take. Catherine Koerner adopts a whiteness lens in advance of radical compassion. Toula Nicolacopoulos and George Vassilacopoulos explain how ‘minimalist thinking’ may return us to simple truths for breaking the hold of colonised imaginaries in academia.Kal Gulson draws our attention to the emergent and growing correlation between computation and race. Media studies scholar Holly Randell-Moon demonstrates the productive relationships Indigenous sovereignties brings to her disciplinary field. While David Roediger leaves us with the suggestion that ‘pessimism’ is a legitimate response to present times, and moreover, that pessimistic thinking can ‘breathe fresh air’ into radical thought. We warmly welcome readers ‘back into’ the fray with this collection of thought-provoking commentaries and we look forward to new submissions.
Keep an eye on the website for the all-new ‘First Glimpse‘ section coming soon, a chance to see what is coming up in soon-to-published issues of the journal as they come.