28/09/2023 – Colloquium by Joel E. Martinez: Racecraft in Psychological Science


Racecraft in Psychological Science

Joel E. Martinez
Data Science Initiative
Department of Psychology
Harvard University

Joel E. Martinez will present his work on racecraft, which investigates how data-driven methods help us measure collective and idiosyncratic understandings of contemporary topics in race, sexuality, and migration discourse and explores how analytic methods and philosophical commitments (e.g., social epistemologies and ontologies) shape knowledge-building in psychology.

What makes this talk special is the fact that Joel is an illegalized immigrant in the United States of America, a so-called “Dreamer”. This trip to the Netherlands is his first time leaving the country and is part of a legal procedure to grant him re-entry and subsequently legal status in the US.

Abstract. Research practices used by social scientists to understand and dismantle the psychological foundations that uphold racist hierarchies can backfire when they rely on racecraft methodology, which assumes the reality of race(s) and reifies them to
the detriment of theoretical and practical goals. In considering how to study racism without reifying race, I generally explore how racecraft ideology can manifest throughout the research process (i.e., study design, analysis, and theoretical interpretations), as well as experiment with preliminary ideas for counter-practices. Specific practices that are interrogated include the use of racialized stimuli meant to represent specific “racial groups”, attempts to summarize the psychologies of “racial groups” through average analyses, and essentialist theorizations of race categories.

Location: De Bonte Zaal, UNS 50, K0.420
Time: Thursday, 28.09.2023 at 16:00-17:30
Drinks afterwards