Lectures, Discussions + Conferences

First Readings: The New Jim Crow Lecture

Smith-Buonanno, Room 106

Following up on The New Jim Crow: The Past, Present and Future of Policing and Mass Incarceration in America

Please join us to extend the conversation about Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow with a panel of activists and scholars with deep experience in civil and human rights law, the politics of mass incarceration, and contemporary efforts, on and off campus, to address the intersection of policing, prisons, and race.

Commencement Forum: A Conversation with Tracee Ellis Ross ’94

Salomon Center, Room 101 (De Ciccio Family Auditorium)

Tracee Ellis Ross '94, an honorary degree recipient, is widely recognized for her comedic roles as Joan Clayton in Girlfriends and more recently as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in the series black-ish. Ms. Ross graduated from Brown University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and will be awarded an honorary degree during this year’s Commencement. Professor Tricia Rose '93 PhD, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, will interview Ms. Ross and Vice Provost for the Arts Michael Steinberg will introduce the forum.

"The Gospel of Healing Volume I: Black Churches Respond to HIV/AIDS" Film Screening + Panel Discussion

Smith-Buonanno, Room 106, 95 Cushing Street

The Gospel of Healing Volume I: Black Churches Respond to HIV/AIDS is a documentary film that profiles five innovative models of faith-based HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and/or care primarily targeting African American communities. Viewers will learn how these HIV health ministries were established, what factors contribute to their effectiveness in their communities, what were their common views on faith, healing and the role of the church as the Black community’s primary source of social justice and leadership, in the post-civil rights era.

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.