What About Race?
In this contribution, we zoom in on a shape-shifting object: race. We seek to demonstrate how an actor-network-theoretical, non-dualistic sensitivity to concrete practices has diffracted the study of race in politically and ontologically fruitful ways by raising new questions, shedding light on ill-understood practices and opening up the possibility of finding a language with which to do justice to novel configurations of race. As such, ANT has been instrumental in attending to race as a relational and multiple object, and in doing so has challenged us to rethink its status as either a ‘fact’ or a ‘fiction,’ or as a matter of ‘nature’ or a matter of ‘culture.’ However, we not only pay attention to what ANT can do to ‘race,’ we also want to attend to the question what ‘race’ does to ANT. As a shape-shifting object, race challenges certain ANT habits of thought, that is, its emphasis on presence, and secondly, its emphasis on the present. With race, we are forced to think not only presence but also absence; and with race, we are required to attend not only to the here and now, but also to multiple histories, presents and possible futures.