Edwina Barvosa, PhD
Associate Professor of Social and Political Theory in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at UC Santa Barbara
2014 Roundtable on Latina Feminism
“The Mestiza Way & Social Change: Political Selfcraft in an Age of Implicit Bias”
Contemporary analyses of racial, ethnic, and gender hierarchies, as well as other social inequities, often focus on the structural elements that sustain persistent inequalities. While such structural analyses shed considerable light on how and why racism and other systems of inequity persist, evidence has also mounted that the persistence of social inequities can be also significantly traced to unconscious perspectives or “implicit bias” that can shape thought and action without conscious awareness, and thereby produce superficially elusive yet strong societal impacts. Implicit bias can be detected in individuals through various diagnostic tools, but there remains much to be learnt regarding how implicit biases can be faced and resolved as a practical measure toward social justice. In this presentation, Edwina Barvosa discusses how Latina feminist thought—and particularly the work of Gloria Anzaldúa—can shed light on how forms of selfcraft can play an important role in helping us to resolve unconscious biases in ourselves, and also help us to generate productive contexts in which many may fully face and transform their own unconscious prejudices.
Edwina Barvosa is an associate professor of social and political theory in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at UC Santa Barbara where she is also faculty in Feminist Studies and affiliated faculty in political science. She is the author of Wealth of Selves: Multiple Identities, Mestiza Consciousness and the Subject of Politics (Rio Grande/Rio Bravo: Borderlands Culture & Traditions Series, Texas A&M University Press, 2008). She has published numerous essays on the political insights to be drawn from Chicana and Latina feminist thought, including publications in the journals Aztlán, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, The Journal of Political Philosophy, Perspectives on Politics, and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. Her current research focuses on how the multiplicity of the self and implicit bias relate to the prospects for deepening democracy and enhancing social justice in the domains of science governance, LGBTQ civil rights, economic inequality, and criminal justice. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University, and an MA from Cambridge.