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The Tangled Web of Diversity and Democracy

Monday, March 16, 2015
12:00 AM
Angell Hall 3222

Integrating Diversity and Equality in the Academy (IDEA) and Minorities And Philosophy (MAP) are pleased to announce that Professor George Sanchez of the University of Southern California will be visiting campus for a panel discussion with Professors Maria Cotera and Matthew Countryman.  In the 2004 John Dewey Lecture at the University of Michigan, Professor Sanchez asked "How can our colleges and universities become symbols of civic democracy when our own faculties and students question our commitment to true democracy and civic commitment embodied in concepts of diversity?  What happens when the rhetoric of civic engagement smacks into the realities of the current limitations of access and fundamental retreat from concepts of inclusiveness, whatever the root of the causes?"  Given recent Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action at the University of Michigan, heightened national attention to discussions of diversity, equality, and social justice in universities around the nation in the past few years, and particularly relevant activism at our own university like #BBUM and student involvement in the Ann Arbor to Ferguson movement, this panel will revisit and reformulate these questions for our contemporary moment.  The original lecture and interlocutor discussion is included below.  We hope to see you all there!

George Sanchez is Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity and History at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives. He is the author of Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945 (1993), co-editor of Los Angeles and the Future of Urban Cultures (2005) and Civic Engagement in the Wake of Katrina (2009).  He is Past President of the American Studies Association in 2001-02, and is one of the co-editors of the book series, “American Crossroads: New Works in Ethnic Studies,” from the University of California Press. His academic work focuses on both historical and contemporary topics of race, gender, ethnicity, labor, and immigration, and he is currently working on a historical study of the ethnic interaction of Mexican Americans, Japanese Americans, African Americans, and Jews in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles, California in the twentieth century.

Maria Cotera is Associate Professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is a scholar of feminist of color genealogies, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan.  She is the author of Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita González, and the Poetics of Culture (2008), editor of Life Along the Border: A Landmark Tejana Thesis by Jovita González (2006), and co-editor (with José Limón) of Caballero: An Historical Novel, by Jovita González and Eve Raleigh (1996). Her current work focuses on feminist of color genealogy in the 1960s and 1970s through Chicana por mi Raza, a national digital humanities project that aims to create an online interactive archive of oral histories and material culture documenting Chicana feminist praxis from 1965 to 1985.

Matthew Countryman is Associate Professor of History and American Culture at the University of Michigan. He is the author of  Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia (2006). He is on the editorial board for Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography and is the associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (2014).  His research interests include African-American social and political movements, comparative race and ethnicity, and United States politics.