I am a philosopher who has worked for many years on the intersections of knowledge, identity, and power.
My 2018 book, Rape and Resistance, is concerned with how we know how to name our experiences as rape or sexual violation, and how the resistance of survivors is thwarted through contesting our claims to knowledge. Change depends on our knowledge, but our knowledge requires a space for developing, interpreting, and being free to change our language and our assessments of these events in our lives. I both use and argue with Foucault in this book, making use of his attention to discourse in the context of power, but challenging aspects of his approach to sex and to rape.
My 2015 book, The Future of Whiteness, develops an account of how to define what whiteness is, in all its variation and complexity. I argue that whiteness is not a mirage but a social reality with a history, and, thankfully, an open-ended future. The concept helps name the shared experience of European migration which was mostly motivated by poverty or persecution, and a subsequent desire to make oneself anew, free from the past. But being white is mired today by patterns of behavior and perception that foreclose self-knowledge. Changing the future requires changing collective practices and finding new avenues for coalition.
I published Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self in 2006. I argue against the critics of identity politics that the politics of identity need not be essentialist, reductive, or a political obstruction to coalition. I also offer a way to conceptualize social identities using phenomenology and hermeneutics that respects the power of embodied features but also an ever-present historical dynamism. Besides gender and race I look specifically at white, Latino/a and mixed race identities. I was very proud that this book won the Frantz Fanon Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association.