Members of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) community explore and dicuss the meanings and implications of Wilkerson's work.

Earl Lewis
Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Public Policy; Director, Center for Social Solutions

Aliyah Khan
Associate Professor of English and
Afroamerican and African Studies

Karyn Lacy
Associate Professor of Sociology

Magdalena Zaborowska
Professor of American Culture and Afroamerican and African Studies

Damani Partridge
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Afroamerican and African Studies

Renée Pitter
DAAS Alum, Research Program Manager for the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, U-M School of Nursing


U-M Fall 2020 Democracy & Debate Theme Semester

DAAS is proud to participate in the Democracy Cafe Initiative, which is part of the U-M Fall 2020 Democracy & Debate Theme Semester. Democracy Cafés celebrate the ability of people to gather together to exchange ideas, engaging each other both socially and intellectually. Café culture played a role in the historical development of democratic societies in both western and non-western contexts and enshrined ideals of equality, inclusion, self-expression and self-governance – even when they fell short of these ideals in practice. The U-M Democracy Café series seeks to honor and extend this tradition by providing resources to members of our community to organize virtual conversations around topics related to this year’s presidential election season, as well as around themes of democracy more broadly. Housed on a special Canvas site, each cafe provides overviews of the topic and materials (with videos, podcasts, readings, and guided questions) for deeper understanding of a topic area to help direct discussions for groups hosting a “café,” enabling our community to participate in the dialogue and exchange that occurs outside of the confines of the traditional classroom. Democracy Café topics aim collectively to encompass all aspects of the political climate with thought-provoking and engaging material that will last beyond the 2020 election season.

"DAAS in Dialogue: Isabel Wilkerson's Caste" will join a growing body of cafés created as part of this initiative. It features a "toolkit" of materials, including this video, as well as a selection of readings and discussion prompts for members of the community to organize and host their own DAAS-style salons on this important and challenging book.