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Race and Ethnicity

We study the ways that racial and ethnic categories come into being, especially the manner in which they shape and are shaped by relations of power, social movements, elite and popular thought, and cultural production.  This cluster has considerable strength in the Americas, but bridges significantly into other regional fields such as Africa, Europe, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. We work across areas of specialization to construct an approach that is both comparative, marking how race works differently in different contexts, but also transnational, analyzing the ways that interactions among societies, especially imperialism and migrations, depend on, underwrite, and reconfigure local processes of racialization.  We maintain interdisciplinary ties with ethnic studies programs and African American Studies on campus, as well as area studies. Our faculty members and graduate students also seek to integrate the study of race and ethnicity into many other thematic specializations, considering by what means ideas and experiences of race and ethnicity intersect with other imaginings and structurings of difference, including class, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, politics, science and technology, and space, to name a few.