Suspending Damage

IV. Background

Indigenous scholar Eve Tuck wrote a paradigm-shattering call to action in “Suspending Damage,” where she argued that scholars in the Social Sciences (this includes historians) had a tendency to write about the history of marginalized, oppressed, and discriminated peoples often only in context of the discrimination and oppression they encountered. By extension, I would argue that history courses often engage in damage-centered instruction where the histories of marginalized peoples are often taught only in terms of marginalization and discrimination

For example, you have likely had history classes before where African-Americans only came into view during slavery, in World History courses you likely saw the histories of world cultures mostly in context of when they came into contact with Europeans, and you likely have encountered histories where women only come into view when they encountered, sexism, misogyny, and gender inequality. Similarly, we often only see the history of indigenous peoples in context of conquest and subjugation. Indeed, to some extent, these histories are necessary—students need to learn of the pernicious history of white supremacy, colonization, discrimination, oppression, and inequality. But also, as you saw from “The Danger of a Single Story,” if this is the only story we tell about these peoples then they are solely portrayed only in context of discrimination in oppression. Which leads to the question I bring to you.

V. Question

In a response that is at least 250 words and that pulls from the “Danger of a Single Story,” as well as your own lived experience, knowledge of history, or exposure to other history courses answer the question below:

What happens when we only teach the history of people in context of their discrimination and oppression?  What is the impact of that “single story?” Also, how might that single-story impact a student of history who might come from that same background, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, immigrant status, or class?

And while all classes must teach damage (eg: the history of repression, discrimination, white supremacy, colonization, slavery, inequality, etc), how do we make sure this isn’t the only historical narrative or “single-story” that is told and how do we accomplish that?


Pressed for time?


Hire a skilled expert and get original paper for 3+ hours now

More Similar Essays

White’s The Clash of Economic Ideas

Pick one of the topics to write a 6 page paper on. Please use citations and quotes mentioned in the topic you chose (An Outline of the history of Economic Thought by Screpanti or The Clash of Economic Ideas by White). 1. Screpanti/Zamagni in chapter 12 provide a host...

read more


1. Wright a summary of content and methods used in the chronological development of metaphysics. 2. Choose a philosopher from the ancient, medieval, or modern period then discuss and compare his distinct metaphysical teaching and method with Martin Heidegger (a...

read more

EXAM 4 History

5 short answer questions 2 essay questions. This exam covers Chapters 13-16 in the textbook.George Brown Tindall and David Emory Shi, America: A Narrative History (11th Edition, Volume 1) ISBN # 978-0-393-66893-3Joshua D. Rothman, Reforming America, 1815-1860. ISBN #...

read more