Workshops and Working Groups
Reproduction of Race and Racial Ideologies Workshop
With the conviction that intellectuals have a responsibility to help clarify discourses of racial difference, we convened this workshop to provide a forum for faculty and graduate students at the University of Chicago and area institutions to explore the problems of race and racial ideologies in the modern era. The issues we examine traverse academic and policy divisions as well as disciplinary and national boundaries.
In fact, the unique contribution of this workshop lies in the boundaries that it crosses — boundaries that often are inviolable in university settings. Through such boundary crossings, this workshop encourages conversation across both disciplinary and methodological paradigms on a regular basis. The workshop attracts students and faculty from the Social Sciences Division (especially History, Sociology, and Political Science), the Humanities (notably English, Cinema and Media Studies, and Philosophy), and the Professional Schools (Public Policy, Social Service, Law and Business). Likewise, presenters come from diverse divisions and departments in order to contribute to the multidisciplinary character of the workshop.
The workshop meets 4 – 5 times a quarter. Each meeting lasts one hour and twenty minutes. Typically, a paper will be circulated one week prior to meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, the author of the paper will present their work for about 20 minutes. For the remaining time, we will hold an open discussion about the paper and the presentation.
The workshop serves as a resource to graduate students and faculty. Moreover it bolsters the confidence of students, early in their graduate careers, to participate more fully in classroom discussion. For more advanced students, the workshop provides the experience to engage their ideas in a public forum as well as to prepare for professional conferences and job talks. Graduate students have presented dissertation proposals, dissertation chapters, and master theses. Faculty members participate in the workshop both as attendees and presenters, providing scholars with needed and insightful feedback on their works-in-progress.
The Race Workshop enjoys support from the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC).
Mass Incarceration Working Group
The Mass Incarceration Working Group explores how the University of Chicago can address social injustices caused by mass incarceration and begin to imagine how we might create pathways to higher education for system-impacted individuals and communities. The group aims to raise awareness about mass incarceration and, in particular, to make visible the unique challenges and the stigma facing formerly and currently incarcerated individuals seeking higher education.
Founded in 2019, participants include faculty, staff, and students in the College, the Division of the Humanities, the Division of the Social Sciences, the School of Social Science Administration, the Law School, and other campus divisions and units.
The group explores how the campus community can foster a sense of belonging and full participation of students, staff, and faculty who may have a history of incarceration, as well as those affected by the incarceration of family members.
The Mass Incarceration Working Group is convened by Alice Kim, Director of the Human Rights Lab, and Tracye Matthews, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. The project is backed by the Office of the Provost.
Race and Pedagogy Working Group
The Race and Pedagogy Working Group at the University of Chicago was founded in the spring of 2015 by Ainsley LeSure and Emily Marker, in affiliation with the CSRPC, to expand the critical attention paid to race in pedagogical settings throughout the university. The group's aim is to foster a community of scholars and teachers committed to addressing race as a subject of both practical and theoretical interest in our classrooms.
To that end, the group organizes events and assembles resources that encourage the cultivation of new pedagogical tools and approaches for thinking about race across the disciplines. An archive of notes from our discussions is maintained and compiled here. To find out about upcoming events, you’re welcome to join the listserv.
In the 2016-17 academic year, the organizers of the Race and Pedagogy Working Group are Madeleine Elfenbein, Sonia Gomez, and Caroline Séquin. For more information >>
The Race and Pedagogy Working is supported by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, with additional support from UChicagoGRAD Development and Diversity and the Chicago Center for Teaching.
Slavery & Visual Cultures Working Group
The Working Group on Slavery and Visual Culture is an interdisciplinary forum created to discuss research related to images of slavery and the slave trade as well as the creation and use of images and objects by enslaved peoples and slaveholders. Our aim is to explore the multivalent relationship between slavery and visual cultures, examining themes such as visuality and memory of the slave trade; the role of the gaze and surveillance in slave societies and societies with slaves; regional comparisons of visual regimes associated with slavery; visual culture’s connection to racialized regimes of slavery; and the roles played by self-fashioning and the accumulation of visual capital by the enslaved.
The Working Group is housed and supported by the CSRPC, and by the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago (CLAS).