Experiences of Black Womanhood in Swedish Academia: Contested Narratives
This thesis explores how black women as students and faculty members experience racism in Swedish universities, and what strategies they use to cope and resist. Through their lived experiences and autoethnographic elements I found similar experiences, reflections and a multitude of reactions. One commonality is a type of questioning that relates deeply to my interlocutors intersecting identities as black women. The faculty interlocutors have their knowledge questioned by students, especially if that knowledge pertains to blackness or colonial history. The students experience racist and other oppressive narratives from both lecturers and other students. Their narratives and experiences are contested inside and outside of academia, as one of my interlocutors puts it, the university is a microcosm of society at large. I argue that the racist structures in Swedish society which shape these accounts, should be explored through a historical and critical lens. Through my findings I conclude that black women in Swedish academia are well aware of how they are perceived, and relate this to larger societal structures.