White Noise: A Critical Translation Of A Language Gap
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This thesis takes as its starting point the Dutch society in which a certain denial of its own coloniality and its current ramifications exist. This particular environment has produced a systemic gap in the Dutch language surrounding (notions of) whiteness, while at the same time maintaining whiteness as normative. This thesis addresses the gap present in Dutch language with regards to whiteness, and focuses specifically on institutional language and how normative whiteness is addressed implicitly, explicitly or not at all, and to what extent this perpetuates whiteness as the norm. Building on existing work on the Dutch cultural archive, institutional whiteness and the politics of language and silence, this thesis offers an ethnographic analysis of policy documents from Hogeschool Rotterdam and the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam which shows how institutional whiteness is reproduced. This analysis is juxtaposed with testimonials and a case study into a student-based initiative that can be considered an effort to bridge this language gap. Additionally, all findings are interspersed with auto-ethnographic expositions examining the writer’s own whiteness, both in general as in relation to the research subject.