Critical Engagements: Intersectionality, Privilege, and Identity Politics

From Charles Burns'

From Charles Burns’ “Black Hole.”
Highly recommended.

This is an ongoing compilation of critical writings on intersectionality, privilege, and identity politics. If I missed any, please let me know and I’ll update the list.

Refusing to Wait: Anarchism and Intersectionality Deric Shannon and J. Rogue (2009)

The Problem with “Privilege” Andrea Smith (2013)

I am a Woman and a Human: a Marxist Feminist Critique of Intersectionality Theory Eve Mitchell (2013)

Intersectionality and the Identity Politics of Class Automatic Writing (2013)

Class Struggle and Intersectionality: Isn’t Class Special? Automatic Writing (2013)

Tim Wise & The Failure of Privilege Discourse Robtheidealist (2013)

On Race, Gender, Class, and Intersectionality Brenna Bhandar (2013)

“I Would Rather be a Cyborg Than a Goddess” Intersectionality, Assemblage, and Affective Politics Jasbir Puar (2011)

Be Careful With Each Other, So We Can Be Dangerous Together (2012)

Who Is Oakland: Anti-Oppression Activism, the Politics of Safety, and State Co-optation CROATON (2012)

A Class Struggle Anarchist Analysis of Privilege Theory– from the Women’s Caucus of AFed (2012)

Privilege Politics is Reformism Will (2012)

Insurrection at the Intersections: Feminism, Intersectionality, and Anarchism Abbey Volcano and J. Rogue (2013)

Marginalization is Messy: Beyond Intersectionality Aphrodite Kocieda (2013)

The Dead End in Checking Class Privilege Ryne Poelker (2013)

Anarchism, Social Emancipation and Privilege Theory: A Critique Jehu (2013)

Identity, Politics, and Anti-Politics: a Critical Perspective Phil (2010)

The Politics of Voices: Notes on Gender, Race & Class Alys Rowe (2013)

Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege Dónal O’ Driscoll (2013)

Intersectional? Or Just Sectarian? James Heartfield (2013)

The White Skin Privilege Concept: From Margin to Center of Revolutionary Politics Michael Staudenmaier (2007)

10 Theses on Identity Politics JMP (2013)

Exiting the Vampire Castle Mark Fisher (2013)

A Neo-Anarchist Vampire Bites Back: Mark Fisher and Neoconservative Leftism Alys Rowe (2013)

What’s Wrong With Identity Politics (and Intersectionality Theory)? A Response to Mark Fisher’s “Exiting the Vampire Castle” (And Its Critics) Michael Rectenwald (2013)

A Question of Privilege Wolfi Landstreicher (2001)

Oppression Within Oppression: A Response to “A Question of Privilege” Beyond Resistance (2011)

Privilege Theory. The Politics of Defeat Sabacat (2013)

Anarchist Debates on Privilege (2013; Dyspohia 4, pamphlet)

The Promises and Pitfalls of Privilege Politics (2012; in pamphlet printing form, i.e. hard to read)

The Poverty of Privilege Politics Tabitha Bast and Hannah McClure (2013)

Marxist Feminism as a Critique of Intersectionality Sara (2013)

On the Abolition of Gender Folie à Deux (2012)

On Fighting Patriarchy: Why Bros Falling Back Isn’t Enough Kim and Arturo (2013)

“Undocumented”: How an Identity Ended a Movement Yasmin Nair (2013)

A Politics of Humanity: Towards a Critique of Conflict, Identity, and Transformation Scott Nappalos (2013)

Black Feminism and Intersectionality Sharon Smith (2014)

The Point of Intersection Richard Seymour (2013)

The Oppression Ouroboros: Intersectionality Will Eat Itself Jason Walsh (2014)

Further Adventures in Intersectionality: On the Hounding of Laurie Penny & Richard Seymour James Heartfield (2014)

Is Intersectionality a Theory? J.J.M.E. Gleeson (2014)

Fragments on Intersectionality, Anger & the Left Automatic Writing (2014)

Intersectionality, Calling Out & the Vampire Castle -we need dialogue & change rather than exclusion Andrew Flood (2014)

The Politics of Denunciation Kristian Williams (2014)

Against Liberalism, for Intersectional Class Politics Garage Collective (2014)

The principle that there is a single world does not contradict the infinite play of identities and differences Alain Badiou (2014)

Rethinking Class: From Recomposition to Counterpower Paul Bowman (2012)

Inclusive, intersectional, anti-racist feminist class war – Many shades, second sex Farah (2013)

Capitalism and Oppression: Against “Identity Politics” Blogging the End (2013)

Decolonial Intersectionality and a Transnational Feminist Movement Sara Salem (2014)

Identity Politics & Class Struggle Robin D. G. Kelley (1997)

Identity in Crisis from Baedan: Journal of Queer Nihilism (2011)

Against Gender, Against Society: This is What a Feminist Looks Like ninjabikeslut (2014, forthcoming in LIES JOURNAL II)

Intersectionality isn’t Just a Win-Win; it’s the Only Way Out  Henia Belalia (2014)

Marxism, Feminism and Privilege Ross Speer (2014)

With Allies Like These: Reflections on Privilege Reductionism Anonymous (2014)

Stay Classy Peter Frase (2014)

Postmodern Origins of Intersectionality Ross Wolfe (2014)

On Being Divisive: Class Struggle versus Intersectionality or Intersectional Class Struggle? Self-Certified Blog (2014)

Against Diversity Walter Benn Michaels (2008)

The Rise of the Post-New Left Political Vocabulary Steve D’Arcy (2014)

“Intersectionality” is a Big Fancy Word for My Life Mia Mingus (2010)

The Politics of Privilege-Checking Sharon Smith (2014)

The Left’s Self-Destructive Obsession with Shame RobtheIdealist (2014)

Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation – WSM position paper Workers Solidarity Movement (2014)

Remarks on Gender Cinzia Arruzza (2014)

Gender Critical Feminism: the roots of Radical Feminism and Trans oppression Cristan Williams (2014)

Essentialism and the Problem of Identity Politics Lawrence Jarach (2004)

Learning From Ferguson Peter Gelderloos (2014)

Lines in the Sand Peter Gelderloos (2010)

Dangerous Foundations: An Argument Against the ‘Identity’ in Identity Politics (2012)

Give up Activism Andrew X (2001)

Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex (2014)

The Necessity and Impossibility of Anti-Activism J. Kellstadt (2005)

Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say: How the language police are perverting liberalism Jonathan Chait (2015)

What Jonathan Chait Doesn’t Understand About Identity Politics Braden Goyette (2015)

Gender Nihilism Automatic Writing (2015)

A Note on Call-Out Culture  Asam Ahmad (2015)

A Critique of Ally Politics originally titled Ain’t No PC Gonna Fix It, Baby (2013)

Race, Identity, and Solidarity in the Fight Against State Violence Advance the Struggle (2015)

Class Brought to Life Nicole Aschoff (2014)

Queer Liberation is Class Struggle JOMO (2010)

Recognising No-One: The Politics of Recognition Jason Walsh (2014)

Mistaken Identity–Or can Identity Politics Liberate the Oppressed? Sharon Smith (1994)

A Critique of Anti-Assimilation Gayge Operaista (2011)

Is Intersectionality Just Another Form of Identity Politics? Feminist Fightback (2015)

Contract and Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia Angela Mitropoulos (2012)

Police at the Borders Abbey Volcano (2012)

Undoing the Reasonable Middle: Sexuality and Gender Movements in the Age of Crisis and Austerity Abbey Volcano (2014)

Karl Marx and Intersectionality Kevin B. Anderson (2015)

My Skinfolk Ain’t All Kinfolk: The Left’s Problem with Identity Politics RobtheIdealist (2014)

On Rhetoric and Strategy in Social Justice and Leftist Spaces Douglas Williams (2014)

The Dead End of Identity Politics Douglas Williams (2015)

Privilege and the Working Class Candace Cohn (2015)

Gender Sabotage Stacy aka sallydarity (2012)

When Feminism is Revolting: Initial Thoughts on Abolition of Gender Stacy aka sallydarity (2012)

Why the Right Loves Privilege Politics Connor Kilpatrick (2015)

Judith Butler addresses TERFs and the work of Sheila Jeffreys and Janice Raymond Cristan Williams interview w/ Judith Butler (2014)

The Intersectional Conundrum and the Nation-State Sara R. Farris (2015)

Against Identity Politics: Spectres, Joylessness, and the Contours of Ressentiment Lupus Dragonowl (2015, PDF download)

Limitations of Identity-based Politics Shane Creepingbear (2014)

A Note on Call-Out Culture Asam Ahmad (2015)

Adolph Reed: Identity Politics Is Neoliberalism Ben Norton (2015)

No Lamps, No Candles, No More Light: Patriarchy on the Left Part 1 of 4 Eve Mitchell (2015)

No Safehouses: Patriarchy on the Left Part 2 of 4 Jocelyn Cohn and Eve Mitchell (2015)

The Hammer In Our Hamlets: Patriarchy On the Left Part 3 of 4  Eve Mitchell (2016)

Six Questions About Your Class Location that Isn’t Asking You to Think About Steve D’Arcy (2015)

From Charity to Solidarity: A Critique of Ally Politics M. (2015, chapter from Cindy Milstein’s edited volume Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism)

Social Reproduction Beyond Intersectionality: An Interview Sue Ferguson and David McNally (2015)

BROC statement re. pattern of disruptions The Black Radical Organizing Collective

No Selves to Abolish: Afropessimism, Anti-Politics and the End of the World K. Aarons (2016)

Is the State Part of the Matrix of Domination and Intersectionality?  An Anarchist Inquiry Francis Dupuis-Déri (2016)

Challenging Privilege: On Solidarity and Self-Reflection Dilar Dirik (2016)

From Politics to Life: Ridding Anarchy of the Leftist Millstone Wolfi Landstreicher (2009)

A War of All Against All: A Review of Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism, Cindy Milstein, ed. (Oakland: AK Press, 2015) Arun Gupta (2016)

Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism Cindy Milstein (Editor)  (2015)

Taking Sides on Taking Sides: A Response to Arun Gupta’s Review of Taking Sides Michael Staudenmaier (2016)

Passing for Politics Asad Haider (2016)

Class Dismissed: Identity Politics to the Front of the Line Alan Nasser (2016)

American Liberalism’s Unwavering Loyalty to Imperialism, Privilege Politics, and Other Hot Bullshit Daughter of Oya (2016)

Centering Prison Abolition in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Priya Kandaswamy (2016)

When Race Burns Class: Settlers Revisited (An Interview with J. Sakai) (2016)

A History of Separation: The Construction of the Workers’ Movement Endnotes (2015)

Class is More Intersectional than Intersectionality  Imperium ad Infinitum (2016)

Not Us, Me Jodi Dean (2016)

The Politics of Identity Sharon Smith (2008)

‘Intersectionality’, Socialist Feminism and Contemporary Activism: Musings by a Second-Wave Socialist Feminist Linda Gordon (2016)

An Imagined Community: All politics are identity politics Peter Frase (2012)

The Blind Spots of Liberalism Adam Fisher (2016)

What Is the Left Without Identity Politics? Walter Benn Michaels, Charles W. Mills, Linda Hirshman, and Carla Murphy (2016)

Is Syndicalism Class Reductionist? Tom Wetzel (2016)

The End of Identity Liberalism Mark Lilla (2016)

Mark Lilla’s “The End of Identity Liberalism” is the Whitest Thing I’ve Ever Read Damon Young (2016)

Questioning ‘Identity Liberalism’ Colleen Flaherty (2016)

Progressives Should Not Cave to Anemic Liberals in the “Identity Politics” Debate David Palumbo-Liu (2016)

Economic Issues are Not Separate from “Identity” Issues Pete Dolack (2017)

Safety Pins and Swastikas Shuja Haider (2017)

White Purity Asad Haider (2017)

The Elusive TWOC Alyssa Pariah (2016)

A Conservative Threat Offers New Opportunities For Working Class Feminism
Romina Akemi and Bree Busk (2017)

Indigenist Intersectionality: Decolonizing an Indigenous Eco-Queer Feminism and Anarchism Laura Hall (2016)

Intersectionality and Its Discontents: Intersectionality as Traveling Theory (a Marxist feminist critique) Sara Salem (2016)

Playing Oppression Against Class: the Neoliberal Legacy in the Age of Trump Tithi Bhattacharya (2017)

On Strike Critiques and Beating All Meaning Out of the Word “Privilege” Kelly Hayes (2017)

Regrouping: White workers, “identity politics” and multiculturalism Bromma (2017)

Male Privilege Alys Rowe (2017)

Identity Crisis Salar Mohandesi (2017)

Not Him, Us (and we aren’t populists) Jodi Dean (2017)

I Apologize In Advance Dr. Bones (2016)

Post-Left vs “Woke” Left: How Alexander R. Ross Got Max Stirner Wrong Dr. Bones (2017)

Privilege Theory’s Critique of Marxism Jehu (2014)

A Marxist Critiques Identity Politics Q&A with Asad Haider (2017)

Reflections on Bash Back! 2007-2010: An Interview NightFall (2017)

Aggrieved Whiteness: White Identity Politics and Modern American Racial Formation Mike King (2017)

On Tuvel, Adichie, Dolezal and the Privilege-Identity Distinction Ani Dutta (2017)

“We’re all just different!” How Intersectionality is Being Colonized by White People Thinking Race (2017)

Un-Identity: Climbing Down the Other Side of Peak Liberalism Pat Mosley (2017)

Introduction to The Perils of “Privilege” Phoebe Maltz Bovy (2017) (link to book)

Amnesiac Nation Jessa Crispin (2017)

Is there really a crisis around identity politics on the left? Sofa Gradin (2017)

Yasmin Nair: ‘Critique on identity politics should be about power’ Hasna Ankal (2017)

Why leftists should shut the fuck up about “Identity politics” The Negro Subversive (2017)

Not Just Being Right, But Getting Free: Reflections on Class, Race, and Marxism Christina Heatherton (2017), book review of David Roediger’s Class, Race and Marxism

Transition and Abolition: Notes on Marxism and Trans Politics Jules Joanne Gleeson (2017)

Does David Roediger disagree with Ellen Meiksins Wood? Richard Seymour (2017)

Not all Politics is Identity Politics Kenan Malik (2017)

Identity Politics: A Zero-Sum Game Walter Benn Michaels (2010)

A Marxist case for intersectionality Sharon Smith (2017)

Until All Are Free: Black Feminism, Anarchism, and Interlocking Oppression Hillary Lazar (2016)

Identity Politics Can Only Get Us So Far Roger Lancaster (2017)

Identity crisis: Leftist anti-wokeness is bullshit Mike Harman (2017)

What Liberals Get Wrong About Identity Politics Mychal Denzel Smith (2017)

Croissants and Roses – New Labour, Communalism, and the Rise of Muslim Britain  Aufheben (#17) (2009)

Class and Identity: Against Both/And Sophia Burns (2017)

The Aggressiveness of Vulnerability Pavlos Roufos (2018)

What’s Wrong with Privilege Theory? Esme Choonara and Yuri Prasad (2014)

Antiracism: A Neoliberal Alternative to a Left Adolph Reed Jr. (2018)

The Blindspot Revisited Nikhil Pal Singh and Joshua Clover (2018)

The above ^ is a response to a conversation between David I. Backer’s Race and Class Reductionism Today (2018) and Adolph Reed Jr.’s Response to Backer and Singh (2018) (all posted on Verso’s blog during October 2018)

Colonialism is a Process Not an Identity: A Review of Asad Haider’s Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump Listen Chen (2018)

Against Anarcho-Liberalism and the curse of identity politics Woke Anarchists (2018)

Marxism and Intersectionality: An Interview with Ashley Bohrer George Souvlis and Ashley Bohrer (2020)


12 thoughts on “Critical Engagements: Intersectionality, Privilege, and Identity Politics

  1. L says:

    Great resource, thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. krys méndez ramírez says:

    Reblogged this on Decolonize Chris! and commented:
    A worthy and impressive compilation of critical writings on intersectionality.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Critical engagements: Intersectionality, privilege and identity politics […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nobody says:

    “Why I Am Giving Up the Word ‘Privilege'” Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg (2013)


  5. […] critiques of identity politics, intersectionality and privilege theory are nothing new, but Asad Haider’s Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump (2018) is […]


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