PhD Thesis proposal


Supervisor/s: Silvia Rodríguez Maeso and Nelson Maldonado-Torres

Doctoral Programme: Human Rights in Contemporary Societies

Funding: POLITICS - The politics of anti-racism in Europe and Latin America: knowledge production, decision-

Anti-Roma racism, as a structural system of domination, has historically set not only a pattern of power relations between Roma and non-Roma, but also a particular semantic framework to legitimate the usurpation of Roma voices, political agency and collective interest in knowledge production. This framework, shaped by the very foundation of the so-called Romani Studies, is intertwined with the academic production of the 'Gypsy-othering' and grounded in the racial hierarchies forged in early Modernity. Accordingly, hegemonic knowledge production on Roma needs to be addressed as a key element in the process of dehumanization suffered by the oldest and largest racialized minority in Europe.

In this sense, this PhD project aims, from a decolonial approach, to analyze the political nature of the knowledge produced in the field of Romani Studies, the racialized formation of this academic area as an undercover producer of 'scientific' alibis to banish racism as explanatory matrix of the socio-political reality of Roma. The research will examine the contribution of Romani scholar-activism and its struggle for opening up critical spaces in academia, for countering biased notions of 'scholarship', 'scientificism', 'objectivism' and other warrantors of white privilege in the academic culture. The project will contribute to foreground alternative methodologies and critical research approaches able to confront and challenge the white criteria of scholarship and mainstream knowledge production.

Keywords: Racism, Anti-gypsyism, Decolonial thought, Decolonizing university, Romani Studies