The Place of Antifascism in Hate Studies: Revisions and Reconsiderations

Location

Littlefoot B Room 124B

Start Date

21-4-2023 1:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2023 2:15 PM

Publication Date

2023

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Law | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

The field of hate studies has a complicated relationship with antifascism as philosophy and movement. This dynamic was demonstrated in stark terms in the controversy over an opinion piece published on the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right blog that castigated antifascists. The controversy that ensued demonstrated some of the tensions within hate studies and among researchers and practitioners in the field. At the core was the question of whether hate studies is an area that is or should be explicitly antifascist in its mission. The work of hate studies focuses on the practices and beliefs that underlie fascist ideology and the systems of domination that it seeks to reinforce. Yet, hate studies as a discipline is presented as politically neutral or apolitical on questions of ideology. The core of the work of hate studies is focused on research and education regarding prejudice and its discriminator and violent manifestations. This overlaps in many ways with the work of antifascist activists who conduct their own research and education projects; however, there is a distinct difference in the solutions proposed by activists versus those of most scholars in this field. Hate studies scholars generally take a position that the solution to the problems they identify is legislative and policy based, whereas antifascist activists generally eschew working within existing structures of power in favor of popular forms of mobilization. This paper will expand on the tensions and contradictions described. I propose that both hate studies and antifascist activism have much to learn from one another that would not only reconcile potential differences and tensions but also strengthen both the scholarly field and activism.

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Session Title

Strategies and Approaches to Challenging Hate

Type

Meeting

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Apr 21st, 1:00 PM Apr 21st, 2:15 PM

The Place of Antifascism in Hate Studies: Revisions and Reconsiderations

Littlefoot B Room 124B

The field of hate studies has a complicated relationship with antifascism as philosophy and movement. This dynamic was demonstrated in stark terms in the controversy over an opinion piece published on the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right blog that castigated antifascists. The controversy that ensued demonstrated some of the tensions within hate studies and among researchers and practitioners in the field. At the core was the question of whether hate studies is an area that is or should be explicitly antifascist in its mission. The work of hate studies focuses on the practices and beliefs that underlie fascist ideology and the systems of domination that it seeks to reinforce. Yet, hate studies as a discipline is presented as politically neutral or apolitical on questions of ideology. The core of the work of hate studies is focused on research and education regarding prejudice and its discriminator and violent manifestations. This overlaps in many ways with the work of antifascist activists who conduct their own research and education projects; however, there is a distinct difference in the solutions proposed by activists versus those of most scholars in this field. Hate studies scholars generally take a position that the solution to the problems they identify is legislative and policy based, whereas antifascist activists generally eschew working within existing structures of power in favor of popular forms of mobilization. This paper will expand on the tensions and contradictions described. I propose that both hate studies and antifascist activism have much to learn from one another that would not only reconcile potential differences and tensions but also strengthen both the scholarly field and activism.