Friday, April 17, 2015

PhD Adventures: An Anecdote Apropos of Nothing

During a presentation of Steam Around The World, when I was taking questions, a young woman, white woman, wearing a robe of some sort, stood up, to explain her costume, which went something like this: "this is the costume of an Orientalist. I'm purposely dressing wrong just like how they would have done it back in the day. It's supposed to show how ignorant the colonizers were back in the day that they would appropriate clothing from the natives like this. So it's not that I'm dressing to be a racist, just to look like how they would have done it back in the day."

I didn't really know how to respond to it back then, but this moment, among many other such moments, has stuck with me to this day. The more I think about it, though, the more I'm filled with secondhand embarrassment for this girl, so I guess it's good that I didn't really have an answer for her back then, because I think today I might have just burst out laughing in her face. 

1 comment:

  1. But SHE is not living "back in the day" and therefore should know better.