New Books & Research Methods

Book Launch: Leticia Alvarado, "Abject Performances: Aesthetic Strategies in Latino Cultural Production"

Nicholson House, 71 George St, Providence RI 02912

"Abject Performances" draws out the irreverent, disruptive aesthetic strategies used by Latino artists and cultural producers who shun standards of respectability. Alvarado centers negative affect to capture experiences that lie at the edge of the mainstream Latino-centered social justice struggles to illuminate modes of community formation and social critique defined by a refusal of identitarian coherence that nonetheless coalesce into affiliation and possibility.

Research Seminar with Yến Lê Espiritu, "Critical Refugee Studies: The Critical and the Creative"

photo of Yến Lê Espiritu

CSREA, 96 Waterman Street, Providence RI 02912

The hyper-focus on refugee suffering, desperation, and neediness in media and social science scholarship have represented refugees as passive recipients of western generosity and increasingly as the targets of racial profiling, surveillance, and detention. This seminar invites participants to chart new approaches to refugee studies that integrate theoretical rigor and policy concerns with refugees' rich and complicated lived worlds—approaches that fuse the critical and the creative.

Critical Migration and Refugee Studies Series: Yến Lê Espiritu, "Feminist Refugee Epistemology: Reading Displacement in Vietnamese and Syrian Refugee Art"

Petteruti Lounge, Stephen Robert '62 Center, 75 Waterman Street, Providence RI 02912

Joining the fields of transnational feminist studies with critical refugee studies, this talk introduces the concept feminist refugee epistemology (FRE) to re-conceptualize war-based displacement as not only about social disorder and interruption but also about social reproduction and innovation. FRE does more than critique Western media representation of refugees; it underlines the refugees' rich and complicated lives, the ways in which they enact their hopes, beliefs, and politics, even when they live militarized lives.

Critical Migration and Refugee Studies Series: Sofian Merabet, "Strange Hospitality: Gay Syrian Refugees in Lebanon"

IBES Room 130, 85 Waterman Street, Providence RI 02912

This paper engages with the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon and, specifically, considers how queer-identified Syrians navigate an often-hostile environment in and around the Lebanese capital Beirut. Drawing on hospitality as a philosophical concept and on the sociological notion of the stranger, this paper focuses on discourses and aspirations these refugees express, in terms of language and bodily practices, in the face of what many experience as “hardened borders” within the social fabric of the host country. 

Treva Lindsey, "Building a Chocolate City: African American Women in Jim Crow Washington, D.C."

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

Dr. Treva Lindsey is an Associate Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University. Colored No More: Reinventing Black Womanhood in Washington, D.C. explores the untold history of Black women in the nation’s capital who transformed the burgeoning city into a Black intellectual, cultural, and political center.

Laura Briggs, "How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics" [VIDEO]

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

Today all politics are reproductive politics, argues esteemed feminist critic Laura Briggs. From longer work hours to the election of Donald Trump, our current political crisis is above all about reproduction. Households are where we face our economic realities as social safety nets get cut and wages decline. Briggs brilliantly outlines how politicians’ racist accounts of reproduction—stories of Black “welfare queens” and Latina “breeding machines"—were the leading wedge in the government and business disinvestment in families.

Jennifer Ho, “Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture”

IBES 130 (Carmichael Auditorium)

Jennifer Ho will discuss concepts relating to the ambiguity of race—the ways in which our understanding of racial categories exceeds the boundaries society places around them, particularly by looking at Asian Americans who cannot be neatly typed into boxes: those who are multiracial, transracial adoptees, and existing as an Asian body at a time when race is often talked about in black and white terms.

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.