2017 - 2018 CRG Forum Series
Bios reflect speakers' status at the time of their presentation at the Center for Race and Gender.
Bios reflect speakers' status at the time of their presentation at the Center for Race and Gender.
04.05.2018 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM | 140 Barrows Hall
All You Need is Love: “Benevolent Whiteness” and Love Language as Colonial Violence
Natalee Kēhaulani Bauer, PhD
This presentation argues that love language in urban schools, particularly when coupled with “benevolent whiteness” (ideological whiteness gendered feminine), is an invocation of colonial violence rather than an act of “authentic caring” (Noddings, 2015) or “reciprocal love” (Jackson, Sealy-Ruiz, & Watson, 2014). Following a historical analysis of the roots of contemporary U.S. schooling with a focus on 19th-century missionary teachers, the author demonstrates the ways in which love language and benevolent whiteness have historically been used to further the U.S. colonial capitalist project of white supremacy. Key Words: love, whiteness, teachers, white womanhood, educational history
The Neoliberalization of Latino Male Identity: Resistance and Complicity in a School-Based Mentorship Program
Michael Singh, Graduate School of Education
The current educational crisis of Latino young men and boys has led to a proliferation of district and non-district programs seeking to remedy the achievement gap experienced by Latino boys through Latino male mentorship programs. Indicative of neoliberal shifts in Latinx education, these programs often involve public-private partnerships and assume a damaged Latino boy in need of technocratic and innovative solutions, rather than structural changes. Through an ethnographic case study of one Latino men and boys mentorship program for an urban school district in California, this study explores the ways the administrative power of Latino male programming constructs the ideal Latino male subject through neoliberal values of individualism, excellence and earning potential, and pushes boys to be the future heterosexual patriarchs of their community. Furthermore, based on in-depth interviews with the 10 mentors of the program as well as participant observations, this paper uncovers deep tensions in the ways mentors attempt to incite racial critique while still adhering to the neoliberal values of the program and its funders.
Natalee Kēhaulani Bauer is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar born in Honolulu and raised between/across Hawai’i and the San Francisco Bay Area. Natalee received her BA in English and American Literature from Mills College in 1997. After teaching in public schools for eight years, she returned to Mills College to complete a Masters degree in English and American Literature in 2007. Her masters thesis is titled, “Marked Difference: Monsters, Miscegenation, and Marking in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” and it explores the “black mark” the creature leaves, like a signature, on the necks of his victims, proposing that this mark operates as a metaphor for miscegenation, the feared “one-drop” of black blood that threatens to contaminate a vulnerable whiteness. After again returning to public education in 2007, Natalee shifted her scholarly focus from literature to social and cultural studies in education, beginning a doctoral program at UC Berkeley as a Chancellor’s Fellow from 2010-2015. Her doctoral dissertation titled, “(En)gendering Whiteness: A Historical Analysis of White Womanhood, Colonial Anxieties, and “Tender Violence” in US Schools,” uses a historical lens to analyze the trope of white female teachers (~80% of the profession) as benevolent mothers/saviors in communities of color, finding its discursive roots in the early 19th century missionary project and US imperial expansion.
In addition to teaching and research, Natalee supervises pre-service student teachers in the UC Berkeley Developmental Teacher Education Program, facilitates an inquiry group for new teachers of color in the Bay Area, collaborates with the feminist collective Hinemoana of Turtle Island, is raising two babies with her partner, and is training for her black belt in Kajukenbo Kung Fu.
Michael Singh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a member of the Designated Emphasis program in Women, Gender, & Sexuality, and a graduate fellow at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. Michael was born and raised in Woodland, California near Sacramento, and attended UC Berkeley from 2008-2012 for his undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. His forthcoming doctoral research is an ethnographic case study of one urban school district’s Latino male mentorship program and the way the program envisions the problems of Latino boys and the embodied solutions of Latino male mentors. His work brings an intersectional approach to the cultural politics of Latino male mentorship and explores the way the image of the male mentor is implicated in the distribution of educational resources as well as the reproduction of hetero-patriarchy in schools.
03.08.2018 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM | 691 Barrows Hall
The Urgent Problem of a Travesti Nosotrx
Giancarlo Cornejo, Department of Rhetoric
This paper offers a reading of the Peruvian LGBTQ theater play Desde Afuera (From the Outside). Contrary to usual modes of understanding travestis as a minoritarian group, this paper suggests the possibility of envisioning travestismo as a new form of constructing peruvianness. It focuses on the possibilities of the collective pronoun nosotrxs and its power to disrupt the living legacy of racism, homophobia, and transphobia of the Peruvian nation state. This paper asks: Can the x of nosotrxs be read as a scar? Further, is there anything for travestismo in thinking of the scar in genealogical terms? In the production of a travesti nosotrxs can the scars be distributed less asymmetrically and can the production of racial and gendered scars be less definitive and tortuous? Can scars be transformed into sites of love and reparation? And finally, can nosotrxs’ respect for opacity become the seed for social and political transformations?
The Transgender Child Must Be Defended
Omi Salas-SantaCruz, School of Education
The past decade, the US has witnessed new forms of public interest on child-bodies. From an increased awareness of incarcerated child migrants and refugees, the extrajudicial murder of Black and Brown children to the explosion of visibility of gender variant and transgender children. In a moment when the conceptualization of the child, as a normative potentiality, is being challenged by queer and race scholars, I ask how the figuration of the transgender child body, its practices, materialities, and knowledge, reconfigures understandings of gender, race, disability, and sexuality. Mainly, I take upon the notion of the mutability of the child figure as a body-in-process and move along with and away from Kathryn Stockton (2009) “queer child,” as a matter of fiction and fictional lives. Rather, I look at how the materiality of the trans child body opens up political and social-life-worlds across various temporalities. I do this by discussing the centrality of biopolitics and necropolitics to the transgender children population particularly concerning school district policies on sex and gender that give rise to the “transgender bathroom wars.”
Giancarlo Cornejo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Rhetoric with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation, Travesti Memory and Politics: Toward a Peruvian Transgender Imaginary, understands travestismo (a local, not fully translatable trans* identity) as a critical tool to read the unstable and contested production of gender, sexuality, and race in contemporary Peru. His essays have appeared in journals such as TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Estudos Feministas, and Íconos.
Omi Salas-SantaCruz is a doctoral student in the Social and Cultural Studies program at the Graduate School of Education with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at UC Berkeley. Their research interests include transgender studies, queer and trans* Latinx literacies, non-white sexual cultures in educational settings, and queer of color theorization in education research. Omi serves as the graduate student representative of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQI Communities at Cal and works as a Graduate Research Associate at Berkeley Law. Omi is a University of California Berkeley Chancellor’s and Tillery Foundation Fellow and holds a M.A. degree in Sociology from Columbia University and a B.A. from UC Berkeley in the same field.
02.15.2018 | 5:30 – 7:00 PM | Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center, Hearst Annex D-3, UC Berkeley
The CRG Thursday Forum Series & Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center present…
The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam
Ula Taylor, African American Studies
The patriarchal structure of the Nation of Islam (NOI) promised black women the prospect of finding a provider and a protector among the organization’s men, who were fiercely committed to these masculine roles. Black women’s experience in the NOI, however, has largely remained on the periphery of scholarship. Here, Ula Taylor documents their struggle to escape the devaluation of black womanhood while also clinging to the empowering promises of patriarchy. Taylor shows how, despite being relegated to a lifestyle that did not encourage working outside of the home, NOI women found freedom in being able to bypass the degrading experiences connected to labor performed largely by working-class black women and in raising and educating their children in racially affirming environments.
Telling the stories of women like Clara Poole (wife of Elijah Muhammad) and Burnsteen Sharrieff (secretary to W. D. Fard, founder of the Allah Temple of Islam), Taylor offers a compelling narrative that explains how their decision to join a homegrown, male-controlled Islamic movement was a complicated act of self-preservation and self-love in Jim Crow America.
Ula Taylor earned her doctorate in American History from UC Santa Barbara. She is the author of The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam, The Veiled Garvey: The Life and Times of Amy Jacques Garvey, co-author of Panther: A Pictorial History of the Black Panther Party and The Story Behind the Film and co-editor of Black California Dreamin: The Crisis of California African American Communities.
Her articles on African American Women’s History and feminist theory have appeared in the Journal of African American History, Journal of Women’s History, Feminist Studies, SOULS, and other academic journals and edited volumes. In 2013 she received the Distinguished Professor Teaching Award for the University of California, Berkeley. Only 5% of the academic senate faculty receive this honor and she is the second African American woman in the history of the University to receive this award.
Co-sponsored by the Townsend Center for the Humanities
02.08.2018| 4:00 – 5:30 PM | 691 Barrows Hall
From Deracialized Bodies to Pathological Biomedical Subjectivities: Constructing Difference in Media Coverage of Health
Charles Briggs, Anthropology
This paper looks at how notions of race are produced in ever-expanding US news coverage of health issues. Much coverage contributes to post-racial perspectives that render racial inequities invisible by constructing bodies, medical technologies, diagnoses, and forms of treatment as post-racial, creating the sense that no one should need to invoke racial to understand medicine. Nevertheless, a plethora of stories focus on genetics, programs that target particular ethno-racial populations, and seeming failures of racialized minorities to understand biomedical content as requiring discourses of race. Such racialized coverage performatively creates understandings of race, in interaction with gender and class, and then simultaneously naturalizes them and portrays them as notions whose invocation is problematic—often in the same story.
Of Mothers and Addicts: Racialization and the Translation of Interests in Contemporary News Coverage of the Opioid Epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area
Mauricio Najarro, Medical Anthropology
Since 2014, there has been a significant increase in news coverage about the opioid epidemic in the United States. In this paper, I will analyze the journalistic conventions that shape how notions of interest (personal interest, conflict of interest) are depicted by journalists who frame medicalized subjects and objects in news stories. I will focus specifically on the role of parent-advocates in constructing a new figure of the racialized addict. Drawing upon the work of feminist scholars and critical race theorists on the relation between racialized motherhood, death, and representation as well as my own interviews with local journalists and lay people, I will focus on the co-production of a fragile and vulnerable whiteness prone to addiction and the collateral figures who remain in the shadows and margins of contemporary discourse and policy debates on addiction as a medical problem.
Mauricio Najarro is a second year PhD student in the Joint UC Berkeley-UCSF Medical Anthropology program with a Designated Emphasis in Science & Technology Studies. He is also a PhD candidate in Religion at the Graduate Theological Union. His research is on the globalization and mediatization of the opioid epidemic both in the United States—specifically the San Francisco Bay Area—and northern India—specifically Punjab. He is interested in understanding how journalists, medical researchers, public health authorities, and lay people construct notions of the addict and the addicted body in news reporting and how such reporting shapes both beliefs and interventions about addiction, the addict, the chemical prosthetic.
Charles L. Briggs is the Alan Dundes Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology. His books include The Wood Carvers of Córdova, New Mexico; Learning How to Ask; Voices of Modernity (with Richard Bauman); Competence in performance; Stories in the Time of Cholera (with Clara Mantini-Briggs); Making Health Public (with Daniel Hallin); and Tell Me Why My Children Died (with Clara Mantini-Briggs). He has received such honors as the James Mooney Award, the Chicago Folklore Prize, Edward Sapir Book Prize, the J. I. Staley Prize, the Américo Paredes Prize, the New Millennium Book Award, and the Cultural Horizons Prize.
11.02.2017| 4:00 – 5:30 PM | 691 Barrows Hall
CRG's Research Working Group, The Color of New Media, has recently completed its first manuscript for publication, an edited volume called #identity, about Twitter and race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and nationality. The two faculty organizers of The Color of New Media, and two contributing authors (one current Berkeley graduate student and one Berkeley alum), will read from excerpts from their #identity essays and discuss the book project, as well as the working group itself.
Aaminah Norris is Assistant Professor in the Teaching Credentials Branch of the College of Education at Sacramento State University. She has more than 20 years of experience supporting schools and not for profit organizations in addressing issues of educational equity for low income students of color. Her background in education includes teaching, administration, and curriculum-development for thousands of students in grades K-16. She researches, teaches, and advocates use of digital and social media in formal and informal learning environments to address racial and gender inequities. Dr. Norris authored curricula for the films Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In.
Malika Imhotep is a black feminist writer/root worker from Atlanta, GA currently pursuing a doctoral degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her thinking engages black femme performance aesthetics and cultural production throughout the African Diaspora.
Abigail De Kosnik is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM, bcnm.berkeley.edu) and the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies (TDPS, tdps.berkeley.edu). She is the author of Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom (MIT Press, 2016). She has published articles on media fandom, popular digital culture, and performance studies in Cinema Journal, The International Journal of Communication, Modern Drama, Transformative Works and Cultures, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, Performance Research, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor, with Sam Ford and C. Lee Harrington, of the edited essay collection The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era (University Press of Mississippi, 2011). De Kosnik is Filipina
Keith Feldman is an Associate Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His research program takes cultural studies approaches to theorize and narrate the interface between race, culture, knowledge, and state power. He explores race as a “master category” (following Omi and Winant) and as a “medium” (following WJT Mitchell) by crafting comparative, relational, intersectional, and transnational analyses situated in localized and embodied contexts. His first book A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America (Minnesota, 2015) received the 2017 Best Book in Humanities and Cultural Studies (Literary Studies) from the Association for Asian American Studies; and was a Finalist for the American Studies Association’s 2016 Lora Romero First Book Publication prize.
10.19.2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM | 691 Barrows Hall
Denaturalizing the Mediterranean border: Mediterraneanism, Mediterranean migration, and the tracing of the boundaries of Europeanness
Ilaria Giglioli, Geography
Over the past five years, the European ‘refugee crisis’ has made painfully clear the human cost of the closure and fortification of the Mediterranean sea. In response, intellectuals, public figures and activists throughout Europe have sought to question the closure of the Mediterranean border, and the notion that this border represents the ‘natural limit’ of Europe, by turning to Mediterraneanism: the celebration of historic interconnections between Europe and North Africa.
Mediterraneanism, however, has multiple articulations. In my talk, I analyze everyday manifestations of Mediterraneanism in Sicily, Italy, as both a multicultural model, and as a regional development discourse, showing how the celebration of Mediterranean interconnection is going hand in hand with the production of racialized difference between Sicilians and Tunisian migrants. By reading current articulations of Mediterraneanism in Sicily in relation to histories of colonial cosmopolitanism in Tunisia, I also show how – more generally – the celebration of Mediterranean mixing and interconnection has historically served to support European (Italian and French) colonial ambitions over Tunisia.
Through this analysis, I show how, in some articulations, Mediterraneanist projects do not question the exclusion of racialized subjects from the national or European community, the fortification of the Mediterranean, or implicit ‘civilizational’ hierarchies between Europe and North Africa. More generally, I argue that in order to challenge the current Mediterranean status quo, Mediterraneanist projects must be accompanied by policies of equal access and redistribution – both within Europe and across the Mediterranean, a critique of Islamophobia, and a questioning of how the boundaries of Europeanness are drawn.
Re-forming Refugee Protection: A U.S. Perspective
Kate Jastram, Human Rights Attorney
U.S. leadership has been indispensable to the international system of refugee protection for decades. Yet now both our domestic asylum system and our program of resettling refugees from overseas are under severe pressure. At home, the U.S. has failed to respond effectively to the rapid rise in recent years of women and children fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America. As a result, the asylum system is unable to deal fairly and expeditiously with claims, and the backlog of cases has grown to nearly 300,000. Lengthy delays in processing cases hurt everyone involved, including the government, and leave the asylum program politically vulnerable.
The overseas refugee resettlement program has been furiously contested since January. Just as years of advocacy for Syrian refugees needing admission to the U.S. was beginning to pay off, the Executive Orders threw the system into reverse, halting Syrian admissions at least temporarily and scaling down the entire resettlement program. Litigation is ongoing, but a more fundamental question is that of political will and imagination. I argue that the U.S. response to asylum seekers at home and refugees abroad must be creative, compassionate and security-conscious. I draw on a previous crisis period in the U.S. asylum system to suggest reforms for today, and ground my policy analysis in the context of the developing Global Compact on Refugees.
Representing the “European refugee crisis” in Germany and beyond: Deservingness and difference, life and death
Seth Holmes, School of Public Health and Heide Castañeda, Anthropology (University of South Florida)
The European refugee crisis has gained worldwide attention with daily media coverage both in and outside Germany. Representations of refugees in media and political discourse in relation to Germany participate in a Gramscian “war of position” over symbols, policies, and, ultimately, social and material resources, with potentially fatal consequences. These representations shift blame from historical, political-economic structures to the displaced people themselves. They demarcate the “deserving” refugee from the “undeserving” migrant and play into fear of cultural, religious, and ethnic difference in the midst of increasing anxiety and precarity for many in Europe. Comparative perspectives suggest that anthropology can play an important role in analyzing these phenomena, highlighting sites of contestation, imagining alternatives, and working toward them.
Ilaria Giglioli is a PhD candidate in the Geography department of the University of California, Berkeley. Her research, partially funded by a grant from the Center for Race and Gender, analyzes cross-Mediterranean migration between Sicily and Tunisia (both current Tunisian northward migration to Sicily, and histories of Sicilian southward colonial migration and settlement to Tunisia), focusing on the drawing of the boundaries of ‘Europeanness’ through the production of racialized difference between Sicilians and Tunisians. She has published her work in a range of journals, including Geopolitics and The International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
Kate Jastram is a practitioner and scholar of public international law. She was a legal advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva and in Washington, DC; then joined the faculty at the University of California-Berkeley Law School; and recently took a position as an asylum officer in the San Francisco Asylum Office. She is a Visiting Professor teaching international law at UC Hastings College of the Law this fall. She teaches, writes and consults on forced migration and on armed conflict. As a policy expert, she recently consulted on a joint project on asylum reform with UNHCR and the Migration Policy Institute. Jastram is active in the leadership of the American Society of International Law, now serving as co-chair of the international refugee law interest group. She served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration Advisory Task Force on Civil Immigration Detention Standards and was a lead expert on asylum issues for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent bi-partisan federal agency. She holds a BA summa cum laude from San Francisco State University, an MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and a JD from University of California-Berkeley School of Law.
Seth M. Holmes is Associate Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology and Co-Chair of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine at UC Berkeley. Trained as a cultural and medical anthropologist and a physician, he has written on ethnicity and citizenship hierarchies in transnational labor, food systems, socially structured suffering, structural vulnerability, symbolic violence, and the production of the clinical gaze in medical training. His book, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States, received the New Millennium Book Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology, the Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Award, and the Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award, the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology, and James M. Blaut Award from the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers.
Heide Castañeda is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. Her research combines medical anthropology and public health perspectives and focuses on migrant health and health policy in Germany, the United States, and Mexico. She is co-editor of Unequal Coverage: The Experience of Health Care Reform in the United States (NYU Press, 2017) and author of two forthcoming books on migration and health. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Fulbright Program, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.
10.17.2019| 4:00 – 5:30 PM | 691 Barrows Hall
The Center for Race & Gender and the Multicultural Community Center present…
DIARY OF A RELUCTANT DREAMER: UNDOCUMENTED VIGNETTES FROM A PRE-AMERICAN LIFE
Book talk by book author and artist, Alberto Ledesma (Arts & Humanities Graduate Diversity Office)
Respondents: Paola Bacchetta (Gender & Women’s Studies) and Juan Prieto (UC Berkeley Alum, ’17)
Dr. Alberto Ledesma’s new graphic memoir, Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer: Undocumented Vignettes from a Pre-American Life, is a hybrid memoir made up of cartoons and essays which all consider the same question—at what point can someone who has been a long-time undocumented immigrant living in the United States be considered an American in the making?
Besides working as a Graduate Diversity Director for Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley — from where he graduated three times over — Dr. Ledesma has also published academic articles and poetry, and four previous short stories: three in Con/Safos: A Chicana/o Literary Magazine, and one, as a chapbook, in Gary Soto’s Chicano Chapbook Series (#17). He has been a faculty member at CSU Northridge, Monterey Bay, and UC Berkeley. His essays have appeared in ColorLines and New American Media. He has also participated in Sandra Cisneros’s Macondo Workshop and in the VONA Writers Workshop. His latest project, Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer, is a series of visual vignettes—drawings and prose—that focus on his experience as an undocumented immigrant student during the early 1980s.
09.21.2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM | 691 Barrows Hall
Bryan Wagner, English
Patty Frontiera, D-Lab
Amani Morrison, African Diaspora Studies
Shadrick Small, Sociology
We are a multidisciplinary research project dedicated to preserving, digitizing, transcribing, translating, and analyzing manuscripts from three Louisiana slave conspiracies. We are building a digital archive that will present these French and Spanish manuscripts alongside original transcription and English translation.The archive also features interactive historical maps that are built to address essential but still unresolved questions about the organization of social relations and the circulation of ideas in these conspiracies.
Learn more about the digital project here.
Patty Frontiera is Academic Coordinator of the D-Lab. Her research focuses on web mapping, spatial databases, environmental informatics and the development of web-based geospatial analysis tools.
Amani Morrison is a PhD Candidate in the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. Her research interests include 20th Century African American literature, performance studies, cultural studies, and the digital humanities. Her dissertation is an interdisciplinary investigation of black Chicago and kitchenette apartments during the 1940s and 1950s.
Shadrick Small is a PhD Candidate in the Sociology Department. He is writing a dissertation about the music industry and social networks among jazz and blues musicians in the 1920s.
Bryan Wagner is Associate Professor in the English Department. He has published Disturbing the Peace: Black Culture and the Police Power after Slavery (Harvard UP, 2009) and The Tar Baby: A Global History (Princeton UP, 2017).