Thompson Rivers University

Scholar confronts racial violence and settler colonialism

February 15, 2023

Dr. Sherene Razack

Canadian scholar, author and activist Dr. Sherene Razack has spent decades researching, writing and teaching about racial violence. Best known for her contributions to feminist and critical race studies, Razack’s work has influenced the way we think about race, power, culture and society.

Later this month, Razack tackles issues around colonialism and racial violence in the Inaugural Dean of Arts Distinguished Lecture on Human Rights and Social Justice.

In conjunction with TRU’s new interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Human Rights and Social Justice program, Razack’s lecture, Unimaginable Fury: Settler Colonialism and White Men’s Violence Against Indigenous Women, explores the need to understand how what is done to Indigenous women’s bodies supplies the settler and the settler state with power.

“It will be impossible to decolonize unless we begin to name and analyze the nature, function and extent of white men’s violence against Indigenous women,” says Razack. “This violence is seldom explicitly named as white men’s violence. We miss something very significant about settler colonialism when the violence against Indigenous women that occurs in sex work, policing, the justice system and in a myriad of everyday encounters is not acknowledged.

“What we miss is the very core of how the colonial project is made, namely an aggressive, anti-Indigenous white masculinity, a self-making that is accomplished directly on the Indigenous woman’s body and given social and legal approval.”

Prior to joining the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2016, Razack was a professor of critical race and gender studies in the Department of Social Justice at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is currently a Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies in the Department of Gender Studies at UCLA. Razack is the founder of the virtual research and teaching network, Racial Violence Hub.

“The Faculty of Arts is delighted to have esteemed scholar and fearless social commentator Dr. Sherene Razack present on a topic of critical importance to the university and larger public discourse on violence against Indigenous women,” says Dean of Arts Richard McCutcheon. “She has been an inspiration to students, faculty and the public for her courageous research and willingness to publicly tackle social injustice wherever she sees it.

“The urgency of Dr. Razack’s topic is made evermore stark by the revelations of the unmarked graves at the former residential school on the grounds of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.”


This free, in-person event is open to students, alumni, faculty and the public. Registration through Eventbrite is requested as space is limited. If attendees have accessibility requirements, they can contact by Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 28
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
Location: Campus Activity Centre, Mountain Room (third floor)
Free parking is available on-site: Lot H, Lot N, and Lot NT.

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