Winter 2013 LSA Understanding Race Theme Semester, a timely examination of a societal force that affects all of our lives.

The Theme Semester was inspired by Race:  Are we so different?, a traveling exhibit created by the American Anthropological Association, coming to the Museum of Natural History from February 9, 2013 through May 27, 2013.

More than 130 courses are affiliated with the semester, including several newly created offerings.  There are over 90 related events, ranging from lectures to performances, facilitated discussions, film screenings, and more.  Fifteen additional related exhibits will be staged on campus and open to the public.  The Theme Semester is organized by co-chairs from the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, the Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, the Museum of Natural History, the Program on Intergroup Relations, and the School of Social Work.  Representatives from around the campus have been participating in faculty/staff and student steering committees.

Uniquely, this Theme Semester has expanded to include significant community and K-12 engagement.  Together, these efforts are called the Understanding Race Project.  For more information, visit

The goals of the Understanding Race Project include an exploration of the idea of race as a social construct, and as an idea that grows in meaning when examined at the intersections of other identities, such as gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and religion.  The Understanding Race Project offers a myriad of opportunities for conversations about race, emphasizing student engagement, highlighting local experience and expertise, and looking beyond the black-white dichotomy.

The theme semester kicks off Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. at the Arthur Miller Theatre with “Identities in Red, Black, and White:  A Roundtable Discussion,” moderated by Professor Tiya Miles, chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.  The event celebrates the opening of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, IndiVisible:  African-Native American Lives in the Americas, for which a rich teaching website has been developed and can be found at