Meanings of Race – Fall 2013

This theme will investigate the meanings of race throughout modern history and across cultures. Speakers will examine the ways in which science, law, the state, literature, art, music, and popular culture have constructed and reconstructed racial categories. They will simultaneously inquire into the past and present effects of racialization on distributions of social, political, and economic power in the United States and elsewhere.

Erica Frankenberg

Pennsylvania State University

Contemporary School Segregation

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Racial and economic segregation is rising, unraveling many of the gains of the civil rights era, as students of color become the majority of enrollment in public schools. Professor Frankenberg describes the benefits of integrated schools, contemporary trends in public school enrollment, and what should be done to further integration in schools and communities.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, the Program in Policy Studies, the Departments of Education and Sociology, and the Churchill Fund. It was initiated by the Clarke Forum Student Project Managers and is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Erica Frankenberg is an associate professor of education and demography at the Pennsylvania State University, and co-director of the Center for Education and Civil Rights. Her research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality in K-12 schools, school choice & segregation, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies particularly in suburban communities. Prior to joining the Penn State faculty, she was the research and policy director for the Initiative on School Integration at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.  Her recently published books are School Integration Matters: Research-Based Strategies to advance Equity (with Liliana Garces & Megan Hopkins, from Teachers College Press); Educational Delusions? Why Choice Can Deepen Inequality and How to Make it Fair (with Gary Orfield, from University of California Press); The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education (with Gary Orfield, from the Harvard Education Press); and Integrating Schools in a Changing society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation (with Elizabeth DeBray, from the University of North Carolina Press). She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in leading education policy journals, law reviews, and housing journals as well as writing for policy and practitioner publications. She has also served as an expert witness in a number of desegregation cases and has assisted local districts in the design or implementation of integration plans. She received her doctorate in education policy from Harvard University, her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and is a proud graduate of the public schools of Mobile, Alabama.

Video of the Lecture

Howard Winant

Winant Poster FinalProfessor, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Dark Matter: Race and Racism

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Race and racism are in many ways the building blocks of the contemporary world and the social universe we take for granted.  The unfreedom, despotism, exclusion, inequality, and violence that are associated with the absolutist regimes from which contemporary society has evolved lives on in the profound presence of race and racism: the “dark matter” of our lives today.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Spanish & Portuguese, Sociology, and Middle East Studies.

HW2010Biography (provided by the speaker)

Howard Winant is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is also affiliated with the Black Studies and Chicana/o Studies departments.  He chaired the UCSB Law and Society program during the 2009-2010 academic year.  He received his Ph.D from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1980.  He has worked and taught in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.

Winant is the founding director of the UC Center for New Racial Studies (UCCNRS), a MultiCampus Research Program active on all ten UC campuses. He is the author of The New Politics of Race: Globalism, Difference, Justice (University of Minnesota Press 2004); The World is a Ghetto: Race and Democracy Since World War II (Basic Books 2001); Racial Conditions: Politics, Theory, Comparisons (University of Minnesota Press 1994); Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s (co-authored with Michael Omi – Routledge 1986 and 1994); and Stalemate: Political Economic Origins of Supply-side Policy (Praeger 1988).

Video of the Lecture


Jenny Reardon

Reardon PosterDirector, Science & Justice Research Center, UC, Santa Cruz

The Anti-Racist Democratic Genome?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

The opening decade of this millennium witnessed genome scientists, policy makers, critical race theorists and world leaders proclaiming the anti-racist democratic potential of human genomics.  These views stand in stark contrast to the 1990s concern that genomics might create new forms of racism.  This lecture explores this shift, both why it happened and what it reveals about emerging challenges for understanding issues of race and racism in the genomic age.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, and Spanish & Portuguese. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, The Meanings of Race.

Reardon PicBiography (provided by the speaker)

Jenny Reardon is an associate professor of sociology and faculty affiliate in the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She also founded and directs the UCSC Science and Justice Research Center.  Her book, Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics, was published with Princeton University Press in 2005.  Reardon is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work in race and genomics and science and justice, as well as her skills working across the natural and social sciences.  In all her work, she seeks to innovate spaces and languages capable of facilitating reflection and deliberation in an age increasingly mediated by emergent forms of technoscience.  Her writing has appeared in a diverse range of popular and academic venues, including Science, Nature, Current Anthropology, the Social Studies of Sciencedifferences, and the San Francisco Chronicle.  She is currently at work on her second manuscript, The Post-Genomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, Knowledge After the Genome, a book she has been writing while on fellowship at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland.

 Video of the Lecture


Sarah Tishkoff

Tishkoff Final Poster

Professor, University of Pennsylvania

African Genomic Variation

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Tishkoff will discuss the results of recent analyses of genome-scale genetic variation in geographically, linguistically, and ethnically diverse African populations for the purpose of reconstructing human evolutionary history in Africa and the genetic basis of adaption to diverse environments.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Biology and Anthropology. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, The Meanings of Race.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Tishkoff Hi Res 2010Sarah Tishkoff is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, holding appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Tishkoff studies genomic and phenotypic variation in ethnically diverse Africans. Her research combines field work, laboratory research, and computational methods to examine African population history and how genetic variation can affect a wide range of practical issues – for example, why humans have different susceptibility to disease, how they metabolize drugs, and how they adapt through evolution.  Dr. Tishkoff is a recipient of an NIH Pioneer Award, a David and Lucile Packard Career Award, a Burroughs/Wellcome Fund Career Award and a Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) endowed chair. She is on the editorial boards at Genome Research; Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health; Molecular Biology and Evolution; G3 (Genes, Genomes, and Genetics), and The Quarterly Review of Biology. Her research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Video of the Lecture

David Eng

Eng Poster FinalProfessor, University of Pennsylvania

Absolute Apology, Absolute Forgiveness

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Eng will address how the atomic bombing of Japan and the postwar politics of reparations are both connected to a longer history of native dispossession in the New World, uranium mining of indigenous lands, and more recent colonial violence and militarism in the Cold War transpacific.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of American Studies and East Asian Studies. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, The Meanings of Race.

image001Biography (provided by the speaker)
David L. Eng is Richard L. Fisher Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also a member in the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory as well as the Program in Asian American Studies. After receiving his B.A. in English from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley, Eng taught at Columbia and Rutgers before joining Penn in 2007. His areas of specialization include American literature, Asian diaspora, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, queer studies, and visual culture. Eng has held visiting professorships at the University of Bergen (Norway), Harvard University, and the University of Hong Kong. He is author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy (Duke, 2010) and Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America (Duke, 2001). He is co-editor with David Kazanjian of Loss: The Politics of Mourning (California, 2003) and with Alice Y. Hom of Q & A: Queer in Asian America (Temple, 1998). In addition, he is co-editor of two special issues of the journal Social Text: with Teemu Ruskola and Shuang Shen, “China and the Human” (2011/2012), and with Judith Halberstam and José Muñoz, “What’s Queer about Queer Studies Now?” (2005). In 2012-2013, he was a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ) as well as an affiliate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University.