4 Adopting a New Mestiza Consciousness in the University: A Southern Approach to Academic Activism in the 21st Century
Journal: PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY IN HIGHER EDUCATION Volume 4 Issue 2 pp. 87 - 105
Universities are presently focused on neoliberal competition, commodification, consumerism and corporatisation. Such processes have devalued knowledge and impoverished the university’s commitment to social and epistemic justice, cultural democracy and inclusion. In this article, I seek to explore why academic activism, both within and outside of the academy, matters more than ever in the 21st century. Focusing on the BlackLivesMatter movement and the imperatives it creates to take seriously the significant theoretical resources offered by Southern philosophical approaches to activism, I outline how Anzaldúa’s concept of a new mestiza consciousness and the three stages of political action she proposes that new mestizas can enact can be applied to academic activism in the present. I argue that adopting these three types of new mestiza political activities might allow us to reconceptualise academic activism and reignite ideas about the university as offering important spaces for resistance, rebellion and political rejuvenation.