On March 2, 2021, the 117th birthday of Theodor Geisel, the children’s book author and illustrator behind the Dr. Seuss pseudonym, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that it would “cease publication and licensing” of six titles in its collection because the listed books “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” A new battle in the political culture wars ensued, with cries of “cancel culture” exploding in the conservative media.
But who is Dr. Seuss? And why did this action provoke such controversy?
Continue reading “The Dr. Seuss Controversy and the Serious Business of Curating Knowledge of the World for Children”
We are members of knowledge societies, but we live in “an age of ignorance.” We are swimming in “oceans of ignorance” that have been consciously, unconsciously, and structurally produced “by neglect, forgetfulness, myopia, extinction, secrecy, or suppression.” Little wonder, then, that there is also a lot of ignorance about the persistence of racism as a structural phenomenon that orders society in discriminatory ways and racial knowledge as a normalized element of our knowledge societies.
Continue reading “Producing Ignorance: Racial Knowledge and Immigration in Germany”