Ainsley LeSure

Assistant Professor in Politics
Occidental College

Ainsley LeSure is a political theorist whose research lies at the intersection of the critical philosophy of race, feminist theory and contemporary political theory. Her book manuscript, Making Racism Visible in the World: Achieving Racial Justice through Political Resistance, argues that in the contemporary moment we have over emphasized the role of individuals’ unconscious inner states in the perpetuation of racial injustice.  As a result, we have at best, underplayed, and at worst, simply ignored the role the intersubjective – that is, our worldly relations and social meanings with regards to race – has played in perpetuating racism.  But even of more importance, we have missed the ways that the intersubjective can be leveraged politically to effectively resist racism.  In the book manuscript, she offers an account of political resistance that has as its aim the disruption of pernicious social meanings about race.  This can be done by restoring the plurality of perspectives racism damages through the creation of public political spaces where racial matters have a chance to appear and be challenged in public.  She develops this public worldly account of racism and political resistance through an engagement with the political thought of Hannah Arendt and Frantz Fanon.  Her next research project critically interrogates the distinction between the inner and outer in accounts of domination and oppression by putting feminist & queer theory in conversation with critical race theory.