Lectures, Discussions + Conferences

Anne Anlin Cheng, Princeton: "Ornamentalism, Aesthetic Being"

Hillel, Winnick Chapel, 80 Brown Street

How does retrieving the ornamental logic of Orientalism impact how we think about race, personhood, and modernism? In her talk, Professor Anne Cheng will explore the meeting of violence and beauty and ask what kind of life subsists as broken or superfluous things. Through a series of readings of literary, legal, and visual texts, her talk will isolate instances of dark, miraculous moments when ornaments become flesh. 

"A Hope in the Unseen, Revisited" Conversation with Ron Suskind

Pembroke Hall, Room 305

Ron Suskind's book,  A Hope in the Unseen, has, for two decades, moved many to focus on issues of race and class inequality. The story follows Cedric Jennings, a young black honor student at Washington, D.C.'s Ballou High School, as he manages a bewildering array of intellectual and social challenges during his freshman year at Brown University.

Lunchtime Conversation with Prof. Richard Tapia

CSREA Conference Room, Hillel 303

CSREA invites you to engage in an informal conversation with Professor Richard Tapia (Rice University) over lunch. This discussion presents an opportunity to learn more about his experiences as a researcher in the computational and mathematical sciences, and discuss challenges faced by underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

Please RSVP by Friday, 4/10 at 5pm if you would like to attend: [email protected]

Seminar with Ellen Wu, Indiana University Bloomington: "Writing the History of Race in America: Opportunities and Challenges"

CSREA Conference Room, Hillel 303

How do historians write about race? Ellen Wu (History, Indiana University) will discuss her research trajectory for "The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority" (Princeton, 2014), including the pitfalls and promises of taking on a ubiquitous topic. The conversation will also consider strategies for emerging race scholars to consider when writing about race for a general audience.

See also:

Ellen Wu, Indiana University Bloomington: "How Asians Became America's Model Minority"

Smith-Buonanno 106, 95 Cushing Street, Providence RI 02912

Today the reigning perception of Asians in the United States is that of the “model minority”: naturally smart and hardworking, socio-economically mobile, quiet, and unlike other peoples of color for these very reasons. Observers often attribute the putative “success” of Asian Americans to “culture.” By excavating the origins of the “model minority” image in the 1940s-60s, historian Ellen Wu explains that it is an invented fiction rather than timeless truth.

See also: 

Talk with Prof. Marcus Rediker: Prophet against Slavery: Benjamin Lay, Atlantic Abolitionist

Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

Prof. Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh. His books and essays have been published in fourteen languages. His most recent work is Outlaws of the Atlantic: Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail (Beacon Press, 2014). He is producer of the prize-winning documentary film Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels (2014), directed by Tony Buba.

RSVPs are required for this event. Please email [email protected] to attend.

Seminar with Ian Haney López, UC Berkeley: "Dog Whistle RACISM"

Friday, April 3, 2015 10:00 am to Wednesday, April 11, 2018 11:30 am

Pembroke 305, 172 Meeting Street

The prevalence of coded racial appeals in American politics invites us to reconsider racism, racial ideologies, and the social construction of race. In this seminar we'll talk about strategic and routine racism, colorblindness, and the interplay between dog whistle politics and a racially stratified society. Looking toward the future, we'll also consider whether demography will save us, or whether instead whiteness as an organizing principle in politics and society is likely to expand, for instance to incorporate many Hispanics and Asian Americans.

See also: 

Third Rail Series Lecture: Ian Haney López, UC Berkeley, "Dog Whistle Politics: Coded Racism and Inequality for All" [VIDEO]

Pembroke Hall, Room 305, 172 Meeting Street, Providence RI 02912

Rejecting any simple story of malevolent and obvious racism, in this lecture Ian Haney López links the two central themes that dominate American politics today: the Republican Party’s increasing reliance on white voters, and the destabilization and decline of the middle class—white and nonwhite members alike.

Nancy Khalek, "Religion, Violence, and the College Classroom"

From ISIS's abuse of Christian minorities in Iraq, to massacres of Muslims in the Central African republic, to the Charlie Hebdo incident in France, religion and violence (and the question of "religious violence") are current issues about which students and faculty alike have pressing questions. What I've been thinking about as a professor of Islamic Studies in the department of Religious Studies is how to help students frame their learning about these conflicts within broader discourses on secularism, power, media, and the conflation of race and religion in the US and abroad.

Lunchtime Conversation with Prof. Jim Gates

CSREA invites you to engage in an informal conversation with Professor Jim Gates (University of Maryland) over lunch. This discussion presents an opportunity to learn more about his experiences as a black professor and theoretical physicist, and discuss challenges faced by underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

Please RSVP by Monday, 3/16 at 5pm if you would like to attend: [email protected]