White Dudes Know All: Citation Politics
Updated: Apr 23
This post is inspired by the April 2021 North Carolina Library Instruction Network (NCLINe) "Share Out" on "integrating critical pedagogy and inclusive teaching into library instruction." Good, thought provoking stuff!
When you really stop to think about this (citation politics or "citational politics"), it is mind blowing. And this is one piece of a giant puzzle that denies voices and restricts access to information.
From Salem State University's "Evaluating Sources: Act Up: Citation Politics" guide:
"Citation politics is about reproducing sameness. If we are always citing white, male authors, we are forever drawing from a very limited set of experiences.
Women are cited less on average than research authored by men, but if a woman co-authors with a man, the paper has a higher chance of being cited.
People of color and other marginalized folx are less cited than their white colleagues even if they have more experience and authority than white researchers.
Well cited scholars have authority because they are well cited. But well cited does not mean quality especially at the expense of those less cited."
"What and who you chose to cite is a reflection of your positionalities.*
You come to research as you and bring with you your experiences, opinions, access to information, specific skill sets, etc.
These positionalities* effect who you include in your research and who you exclude. Who YOU consider an authority on the subject matters.
Citation selecting is not passive. We make a conscious decision who to include and who to exclude in our research.
We need to discuss our intentions and why we chose to cite certain resources over others. It holds us accountable for the research we do and the creations we produce."
Some readings and such:
"Teaching Antiracist Citational Politics as a Project of Transformation: Lessons from the Cite Black Women Movement for White Feminist Anthropologists" published in March 2021 in Feminist Pedagogies
"The Racial Politics of Citation," InsideHigherEd.com which mentions: Richard Delgado Imperial Scholar: Reflections On a Review of Civil Rights Literature, 132 U. Pa. L. Rev. 561 (1984). https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/penn_law_review/vol132/iss3/9
GenderAvenger's "The Politics of Citation"