Epistemic Oppression and Epistemic Activism

Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Virtual Event


***Virtual Event***

"Epistemic Oppression and Epistemic Activism"


Jose Medina

(Northwestern University)


Wednesday, September 22

4:30pm – 6:00pm

Abstract: This talk will provide an analysis of epistemic oppression as a systemic, group phenomenon in which members of oppressed groups are unfairly constrained or mistreated in the exercise of their agency in meaning-making and knowledge-producing practices. I argue that epistemic oppression happens at two levels simultaneously: at the level of social interaction and at the level of institutions. I further argue that resisting epistemic oppression calls for what I term epistemic activism, that is, resistant collective epistemic action aimed at changing both group dynamics and institutional arrangements. Though an analysis of the epistemic activist interventions of grassroot organizations, I show how epistemic activism can work toward the epistemic liberation of oppressed groups in two ways: (1) through the self-empowerment of marginalized voices and perspectives; and (2) through the establishment of social practices and institutional arrangements that can facilitate the exercise of epistemic agency under conditions of oppression.

Zoom Meeting Link