RESEARCH

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MY SCHOLARSHIP


An overall question guides my scholarship: 

What is the relationship between the

heterogeneous interpretations of race and the

long-term staying power of racism and racial

inequality?


Toward this end, I study race and ethnicity as a

dynamic and ongoing practice with an emphasis

on racism, meaning-making, and asymmetrical

relations of power.  A thorough scholastic

comprehension of race must move beyond

views of static identities or ideologies.  Rather,

an understanding of the processes and contexts

that produce race, how race is imbued with

particular meanings, and how race constrains

and enables pathways of human action and

order, is necessary.


I situate my worldview against concepts of social life that are entirely individualistic and which analyze society only in terms of psychological make-up, skills, and atomistic behaviors.  These assumptions gesture toward a belief that social structures will magically change via one’s hard work, good intentions, or education.  History affords too many examples of participation by the “righteous,” “educated,” and “hard-working” in structures of oppression to allow any objective observer of social life to accept that notion that equitable or just social arrangements are based entirely on the redemption of the individual without direct attention to external social forces.

 

We are a people. A people do not throw their geniuses away. And if they are thrown away, it is our duty as artists and as witnesses for the future to collect them again for the sake of our children, and if necessary, bone by bone.”


- Alice Walker (In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, 1983, p. 92)