CRG Research Working Groups

The Center for Race & Gender sponsors on-going research initiatives that investigate specific areas of inquiry related to racial and gender justice.  CRG also hosts research working groups to support faculty and/or graduate students to sustain interdisciplinary critical research on topics related to race, gender, and their intersections.   Working groups create productive intellectual exchange among members, facilitate deeper understandings of the identified research topic, and catalyze innovative ideas about the research area.

The deadline for 2017-2018 research working group applications has been extended to June 9, 2017.  For more details visit the call for applications.



Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative
Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project
Political Conflicts, Gender, & People's Rights Project


Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies
Collaborative and Community-Engaged Research
Color of New Media: Race, Ethnicity, and Digital Culture
Critical Black Fabulation: Gender, Genre, Aesthetics
Critical Trauma
Deconstructing Research Methodologies of "Undocumented" Research
Intersectional Working Group
Islamophobia, Gender, and Sexuality
Living Archives: 1960s-1980s Indigenous, Third World & Anti-Colonial Women's and Queer Transnational Solidarities
Muslim Identities & Cultures
Pacific Imperialisms
Race & Yoga
Reproductive Justice
Social Movements Working Group


 Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies (AAADS) (2nd year)
AAADS seeks to merge community-engaged research, activism, and critical race theory and methodology. As a working group, we do not take the category of “Asian American” for granted, but instead seek to understand the complex matrices of identity, history, and community that produce racialized and gendered communities. This group will provide a dynamic and engaging space for reading new scholarship, exchange ideas on shared research interests, and critiquing ongoing writing projects; create opportunities for Asian Americanists across disciplines to foster connections, build academic community, and learn from one another; and provide ongoing professionalization and mentorship opportunities for working group members with invited speakers, informal “brown bag” meetings, and presentation opportunities.

Collaborative and Community-Engaged Research
To ethically and effectively examine race, gender, and other marginalizations, it becomes necessary to seek out radical subaltern approaches that challenge the power relations and epistemologies inherent in these research processes. This research group intends to reverse this narrative and practice by supporting a diverse group of researchers and practitioners who are trying to explore the liberatory potential of alternative methodologies.  Through shared readings and discussion, we intend to learn about the history, theories, methodologies, and methods of collaborative and community-based research, such as liberatory forms of participatory action research (PAR) and community-based action research (CBPR). From this collaboration we hope to create a hub of shared resources and begin to build more institutional connections between UC Berkeley and other spaces that are doing this kind of work. 

Color of New Media: Race, Ethnicity, and Digital Culture (3rd year)
This working group will seek to add new voices, and new lenses, to the new media studies “conversation,” in order to diversify and broaden the scope of that conversation.  The overarching goals of this group will be: to share resources on issues of race/ethnicity/nation and new media, to foster the creation of new scholarship on these issues, and to nurture fellowship and social networking among scholars, particularly scholars of color, working in the field of new media studies.  More here:

Critical Black Fabulation: Gender, Genre, Aesthetics
In our working group we will examine critical fabulation, a term coined by Saidiya Hartman in her 2008 article “Venus in Two Acts,” and its implications for literary and cultural genres and aesthetics, including science fiction and fantasy, memoir, afrofuturism and nonWestern cosmology. The question animating our group will be: How have black women cultural producers and historians mined the etymological entanglement of “genre” and “gender” through critical fabulation, exploring the limits and possibilities for the present? Through creative works that challenge the racial homogeneity of conventional genre fiction and explore questions of black engenderment and subjectivity in present and futuristic contexts we will consider how black speculative fictions have not only looked toward the racial future, but reimagined the past and its relationship to the present in groundbreaking ways.

Critical Trauma
We are a group of graduate students and community practitioners who conceptualize trauma as a symptom/proximal manifestation of exposure to structural and interpersonal oppression e.g. colonialism, capitalism/economic racism, patriarchy, etc, and acknowledge individual and community-level capacities to heal from oppression. As a working group, we wish to create a safe space to share our own ideas, work-in-progress, and theoretical frameworks in order to develop a more nuanced understanding of the larger implications of trauma on groups of people. We will explore how systemic forms of oppression lead to biological, psychological, and community detrimental effects within and across generations and within and across various marginalized populations.

Deconstructing Research Methodologies of "Undocumented" Research
This research team will interrogate the limits, methods, and frameworks of scholarship and research on undocumented subjects, and experiences of erasure produced by US scholars. The team will consist of primarily undocumented doctoral students, and migrants, positing the research as both academic and community-based. The participation of the Berkeley (un)documented graduate student community in examining research methods about (im)migration provokes a new form of critical engagement with texts that further contend arguments, findings, theories and methods traditionally utilized when talking about ‘the undocumented.’ This particular research theme brings together cross-disciplinary texts from the fields of social theory, diasporic citizenship, legal studies, performance studies, decolonial thought, and women and gender studies.

Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative
According to the ACLU, nearly 60% of people in women’s prison nationwide, and as many as 94% of some women’s prison populations, have a history of physical or sexual abuse before being incarcerated. For many survivors, their experience of domestic violence, rape, and other forms of gender violence are bound up with systems of incarceration and police violence. In response, local and national organizations launched the #SurvivedAndPunished project in 2015 which illuminates the “gender violence to prison pipeline,” providing a structural analysis for and political challenge to the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The Feminist Anti-Carceral Policy & Research Initiative (FACPRI) will build on this surge of organizing in two ways. First FACPRI will work with law students and other students, faculty, and local organizers to develop a policy strategy to improve and strengthen California’s historic “Habeas Law” to make it more accessible to more survivors, creating a powerful route out of prison. Second, FACPRI will address the lack of research and theory about the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. 

Intersectional Working Group
Using intersectionality as a primary analytic frame, this group will explore the implications of race, class, and gender across research areas including: how weight bias, race, and gender stereotypes affect Black women in health care settings; how long‐term incarceration affects Black men and their relationships to their families and community; how sociological factors, explain the absence, presence, and severity of implicit racial bias; how the national context of France shapes the anti‐racist efforts of nonprofit organizations; and finally, how racial struggles and the suppression of black voices influenced the evolving notion of educational equity and desegregation reform in the Chicago Public Schools.

Islamophobia, Gender, & Sexuality
The primary goal of this working group is to develop analyses of the place of gender, sexuality, and race in Islamophobia and the effects of Islamophobia on gendered, sexualized, and racialized subjects.

Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project
The Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project focuses on a systematic and empirical approach to the study of Islamophobia and its impact on the American Muslim community.  Today Muslims in the U.S., parts of Europe and around the world have been transformed into a demonized and feared global "other," subjected to legal, social, and political discrimination.  Even at the highest levels of political discourse, the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections, Islamophobia took center stage as a sizeable number of Americans expressed fear that Barack Obama, the first African American president, is somehow a closet Muslim.  Newspaper articles, tv shows, books, popular movies, political debates, and cultural conflicts over immigration and security can readily produce ample evidence of the stigmatization of Islam within dominant culture.  The challenge for understanding the current cultural and political period centers on providing a more workable and encompassing definition for the Islamophobia phenomenon, a theoretical framework to anchor present and future research, and a centralized mechanism to document and analyze diverse data sets from around the U.S. and in comparison with other areas around the world.  For more info, please visit: or contact Hatem Bazian at

Living Archives: 1960s-1980s Indigenous, Third World & Anti-Colonial Women's and Queer Transnational Solidarities (2nd year)
Living Archives plans to challenge this erasure by engaging in the study and the construction of oral histories on the overlapping archive of women’s movements, LBT movements, Black Panther, Third Worldism, Latin American and Arab revolutionary anti-imperialisms and pan-Africanism of the 1960s and 1970s.  We will convene periodically  to share our distinct but overlapping research projects on anti-colonial movements in Africa, Latin America, and the Mediterranean, and their inter-articulations with anti-racist feminist and LBT activism in the United States, and particularly Indigenous, Black, Latina, Asian, Arab, and Muslim Power and anti-colonial movements.  More here:

Muslim Identities & Cultures (4th year)
The Muslim Identities and Cultures (MIC) working group studies Muslim identities and cultures from multiple standpoints including but not limited to: race, gender, queer (of color) theory, nationalism, critical cultural geography, etc.  Our primary objective is to study the impacts of '9/11' on Muslim individuals and communities through these lens, as well as the "racialization" of Muslims in the United States and abroad.  In particular, we have been researching the intersections of "anti-terrorist/terrorism" initiatives around the world.  We are interested in how these intersections represent Muslim identitities, especially those of Muslim women.  This theme is, however, not foreclosed; we explore in a way that allows time and space for different inquiries and analyses, as is apparent in our history of activity.  The promotion of inter and transdisciplinary/departmental research is our priority, for we believe that it is precisely through diverse discourses that we can discuss Muslim identities and cultures as well as their worldings.  For more information, please contact Saima Akhtar at

Pacific Imperialisms
The Pacific Imperialisms working group focuses on the interconnected racial and gendered geographies of Pacific spaces from Latin America and California to the western US-Canada borderlands and Alaska, and across the sea to the Pacific Rim of East Asia, the Philippines, and Hawai’i and the rest of the South Pacific. We will build a common core understanding of the different ways in which imperial powers have overlapped and succeeded each other in the Pacific, and how spaces that are locationally distant and racially differentiated have actually been co-produced through Pacific interconnections. We will also build a common core understanding of the different ways in which imperial powers have overlapped and succeeded each other in the Pacific, and how spaces that are locationally distant and racially differentiated have actually been co-produced through Pacific interconnections.

Race & Yoga (6th year)
This across campus working group examines the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, and age in relation to the practice of yoga and other mind-body disciplines. In addition to viewing yoga through the lens of intersectionality and Women of Color / Third World Feminisms, this group will focus on somatic theories and investigate the curricula, pedagogy, and praxis of yoga programs. The group will examine yoga classes offered in non-traditional spaces, such as prisons, schools, and rehabilitation facilities, and in more traditional spaces, such as studio settings. The primary purpose of this working group is to bring race, gender, class, sexuality, and age to the forefront of discourses surrounding yoga in the U.S. The broader implications of such a conversation will be to critique activist work that does not account for the specificities of lived experiences and to develop strategies that foster useful methods of community intervention.  For more information, please contact Tria Blu Wakpa at You're also welcome to visit

Reproductive Justice (4th year)
Currently, there are students and faculty interested in the theory and practice of “reproductive justice,” or the right to have children, the right to parent and the right to not have children.  Advocates and academics from various disciplines will explore meta‐questions that have long plagued efforts to secure reproductive rights for, and eliminate reproductive oppression of, marginalized and vulnerable groups. We plan to build on the foundation already set by a small community of students, faculty and community members interested in or actively engaged in researching issues related to reproductive justice. The group currently reads articles of interest related to exploring the relationship between a broad concept of reproduction and social justice. 

Social Movements Working Group (3rd year)
The CRG “Social Movements Working Group” seeks to be an interdisciplinary space for graduate students and faculty members who teach, research, and/or write about various types of social movements (immigrant rights, climate change, LGBTQ, etc.) and aspects of them (protests, coalitions, discourses, time and space, etc.). The working group is open to scholars who utilize multiple types of data (e.g. interviews, field notes, surveys, archives) and social science research designs (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods). Working Group activities will include, but are not limited to: feedback on works in progress (papers, dissertation proposals, manuscript chapters, grant applications, etc.); reading groups; discussions on pedagogy; guest speakers; and conferences.



Past CRG Research Working Groups

691 Barrows Calendar

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