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William Carter

Right from his first day in school, William has always tried to trace the source of political authority. Suffering under the refrain of his kindergarten teachers, ‘I am the adult, you are the child, therefore I am right, and you are wrong’ as a young carer who didn’t understand how something as arbitrary as age reflected authority; William has always remained skeptical of tradition-based hierarchy and so-called ‘sacred cows’ within society. From his position as a young carer, and as someone who was Dyslexic and Dyspraxic, he began to theorize his educational experiences throughout education as someone who was not only ‘raced’, ‘gendered’ and ‘abled’, but placed in the lowest academic sets throughout his time in K-12.

Despite a ‘difficult’ start, William received the best grades in his High School graduating class and was awarded a double scholarship to read Politics at the University of Bristol.

At Berkeley, William is using his Fulbright Award to begin his studies in Political Geography – where he is studying the origins of racialisation in the Middle Passage of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and the processes which began the association between Blackness, criminality, and ‘madness’. In recognising that race, and thus Blackness, is defined by its shifting relations to archetypal signifiers, this research project addresses the association between Blackness, criminality and madness as the consequence of earlier semiotic processes in the Middle Passage whereby the terrorisation of the enslaved becomes the terror by the enslaved, the African becomes Black, and Black is danger. And it is through understanding Blacks as figures of terror, that their confinement and semiotic attachment to criminality, ‘madness’ and special educational displacement can be understood.

 

Contact: dsap@berkeley.edu