In 2016, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture celebrated its 20th Anniversary. We marked our anniversary from the date of our founding conference, June 7, 1996. That conference highlighted many of the intellectual debates and themes that the Center’s faculty and students have pursued over the past two decades. Our Center has grown tremendously under the leadership of former directors Cathy Cohen, Waldo Johnson, and Ramón Gutiérrez. We now have a robust undergraduate comparative ethnic studies program; have a vibrant program in the arts; and continue to develop and deepen ties with partners locally, nationally, and internationally. As we developed outstanding programs in those areas we continued our fundamental commitment to producing the best scholarship in the field of racial and ethnic studies.
Programming in 2016 focused on examining the state of racial and ethnic studies in the early 21st century. Exciting programming included public discussions of fields of inquiry such as racial inequality and urban studies in the U.S. and internationally; race and the study of legal history; the state of Latino and Chicano Studies; and the study of the intersection of race and capitalism. We also brough to campus a series of renowned speakers who debated the place of racial and ethnic studies in the academy.
These programs continued CSRPC’s strong tradition of simultaneously pursuing the most rigorous scholarship, while linking this scholarship to debates and events that continue to affect societies throughout the world. CSRPC’s mission has never been more important than now at a time when scholars and pundits agree that racial polarization and conflict are dangerously increasing within the U.S. and new waves of refugees are heightening ethnic, racial and religious tensions in Europe and other regions.
Thank you for celebrating the past 20 years of our efforts to promote engaged scholarship in the topics of race and ethnicity.
Michael C. Dawson
John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science and the College
Founding Director, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture