A Critique of Anti-Racism in Rhetoric and Composition – Education Book Discussion

On Tuesday, May 7th, the Martin Center welcomed Erec Smith for a discussion of his book, A Critique of Anti-Racism in Rhetoric and Composition: The Semblance of Empowerment.

About the book:

A Critique of Anti-racism in Rhetoric and Composition: The Semblance of Empowerment critiques current antiracist ideology in rhetoric and composition, arguing that it inadvertently promotes a deficit-model of empowerment for both students and scholars. Erec Smith claims that empowerment theory—which promotes individual, communal, and strategic efficacy—is missing from most antiracist initiatives, which instead often abide by what Smith refers to as a “primacy of identity”: an over-reliance on identity, particularly a victimized identity, to establish ethos.

About the author:

Erec Smith is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric at York College of Pennsylvania, and his primary work focuses on the rhetorics of anti-racist activism, theory, and pedagogy. He is the president of the Foundation for Free Black Thought. In addition to A Critique of Anti-Racism in Rhetoric and Composition, Smith has also published The Lure of Disempowerment: Reclaiming Agency in the Age of CRT (2022).


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And read more about higher education at our website: https://www.jamesgmartin.center/