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Join Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE) for discussions on the intersections between food and race as they take place in our everyday lives. Spanning the 19th to early 20th centuries, we will discuss artifacts of U.S. food culture in literature and art.
"Race, Labor, Food and Performance in Disorientalism’s The Food Groups"
This presentation will focus on Disorientalism’s current project, The Food Groups, a five-part series investigating race and labor in midcentury American industrialized food production and promotion. The series continues Disorientalism’s signature blend of crass stereotype, careful craft, and dollar store kitsch in absurd scenarios of misuse as the Disorientals try assimilating to five food industry icons of different races: Wendy of Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Aunt Jemima, the Land O’Lakes Indian Maiden, SunMaid, and Chiquita Banana.
"Sweet! Sweet! Come, Come and Eat, Dear Little Girls With Yellow Curls:
The act of eating is both erotic and violent, as one wholly consumes the object being eaten. At the same time, eating performs a kind of vulnerability to the world, revealing a fundamental interdependence between the eater and that which exists outside her body. This talk explores the links between food, visual and literary culture in the nineteenth-century United States to reveal how eating produces political subjects by justifying the social discourses that create bodily meaning.
In 1998, Lani Guinier became the first woman of color appointed to a tenured professorship at the Harvard Law School and is now the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law. Before her Harvard appointment, she was a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Educated at Radcliffe College and Yale Law School, Guinier worked in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and then headed the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1980s.
Guinier has published many scholarly articles and books, including The Tyranny of the Majority (1994); Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change (1997) (with co-authors Michelle Fine and Jane Balin); Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice (1998); and The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (2002) (co-authored with Gerald Torres); The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: How Wealth Became Merit, Class Became Race and Higher Education Became a Gift From the Poor to the Rich (forthcoming Beacon Press 2013). In her scholarly writings and in op-ed pieces, she has addressed issues of race, gender, and democratic decision making, and sought new ways of approaching questions like affirmative action while calling for candid public discourse on these topics.
Guinier's leadership on these important issues has been recognized with many awards, including the Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women's Political Caucus; the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession; and the Rosa Parks Award from the American Association of Affirmative Action, and by ten honorary degrees, including from Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College and the University of the District of Columbia.
Professor Gerald Torres is former president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He is a leading figure in critical race theory, environmental law and federal Indian Law. He came to UT Law in 1993 after teaching at The University of Minnesota Law School, where he also served as Associate Dean. Torres has served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as counsel to then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.
His book, The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2002) with Harvard law professor Lani Guinier, was described by Publisher's Weekly as "one of the most provocative and challenging books on race produced in years." Torres' many articles include "Translation and Stories" (Harvard Law Review, 2002), "Who Owns the Sky?" (Pace Law Review, 2001) (Garrison Lecture),"Taking and Giving: Police Power, Public Value, and Private Right" (Environmental Law, 1996), and "Translating Yonnondio by Precedent and Evidence: The Mashpee Indian Case" (Duke Law Journal, 1990).
Torres has served on the board of the Environmental Law Institute, the National Petroleum Council and on EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. He is currently Vice Chair of Earth Day Network and Board Chair of the Advancement Project as well as serving on the Board of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Texas League of Conservation Voters. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute. Torres was honored with the 2004 Legal Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for his work to advance the legal rights of Latinos. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Stanford and Yale law schools.
India's almost 200 million Dalits are former untouchables who to this day occupy the lowest position in the caste hierarchy. Dalits have historically been deprived of social, political, economic and cultural rights. Despite a comprehensive system of reservations and affirmative action since the 1950s, Dalits continue to face a systematic discrimination that is strikingly similar to race discrimination: social stigmatization, physical segregation, lack of access to education and social advancement, under-representation at all levels in government, business and the organized labor market.
Is caste discrimination a form of racism? Are the two forms of discrimination comparable? A strong Dalit movement argues that caste is a more pernicious and 'naturalized' than that stemming from race prejudice. The movement has made the question of caste identity and caste prejudice the most controversial question in India, and has pushed for a formal international recognition of caste discrimination as a form of racism.
This panel discussion explores how the struggles against structures of caste discrimination engage with possibilities of freedom and emancipation. Drawing directly on a comparative perspective, two Indian sociologists, Dr. Sumeet Mhaskar (Oxford University, Oxford) and Dr. Suryakant Waghmore (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai) will explore (1) how 'banal' violence against Dalits is woven into the fabric of everyday life in rural India; and (2) how Dalits face systematic discrimination in the rapidly evolving labor market in urban India.
The event will be introduced and moderated by Professor José David Saldívar (CCSRE and Comparative Literature, Stanford University) and Professor Thomas Blom Hansen (CSA and Anthropology, Stanford University).
This event is the first in a series of events on global perspectives on inequality and discrimination co-organized between CCSRE and the Center for South Asia.
The language of science is an extraordinary mechanism for taxonomically organizing and communicating ideas. The efficiency of science language provides a means of international communication and indexing of scientific phenomena. However, the complexity of science language also presents learning challenges for students. From a cognitive perspective, the mere volume of technical terminology, symbols systems, and alternative meanings for vernacular terms hinders cognitive understanding. From a sociocultural perspective, students may engage with the language of science and determine that the culture of science is not for them. Collectively, these cognitive and sociocultural dimensions create a “Language-Identity Dilemma” that educators must learn to address to maximize classroom learning.
Ana Raquel Minian is assistant professor in the Department of History and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her current book project, Undocumented Lives: A History of Mexico-U.S. Migration from 1965 to 1986, explores the late twentieth-century history of Mexican undocumented migration to the United States, the growth of migrant communities, and binational efforts to regulate the border. It uses over two hundred oral history interviews, government archives, migrant correspondence, privately held organizational records and personal collections, pamphlets and unpublished ephemera, and newspapers collected in Washington, DC, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Michoacán, Zacatecas, and Mexico City. Minian is also working on a project on the United Farm Workers (UFW) union.
Cherríe Moraga is the co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Her most recent collection of writings, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings 2000 - 2010, was published by Duke University Press in 2011. Cherríe Moraga's theater and literary contributions have received national recognition, including the NEA Playwrights' Fellowship, two Fund for New American Plays Awards, the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the NACCS Scholar Award, and more. In 2007, she won the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature. Her most recent play, "New Fire: To Put Things Right Again" received its world premiere at Brava Theater Center of San Francisco in 2012.
Since 1997, Moraga continues to serve as an Artist in Residence in Stanford's Department of Theater and Performance Studies, sharing an appointment with Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with an IDA (Identity, Diversity and Aesthetics) focus.
About the book: A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness features essays and poems by Cherríe L. Moraga, one of the most influential figures in Chicana/o, feminist, queer, and indigenous activism and scholarship. Combining moving personal stories with trenchant political and cultural critique, the writer, activist, teacher, dramatist, mother, daughter, comadre, and lesbian lover looks back on the first ten years of the twenty-first century. She considers decade-defining public events such as 9/11 and the campaign and election of Barack Obama, and she explores socioeconomic, cultural, and political phenomena closer to home, sharing her fears about raising her son amid increasing urban violence and the many forms of dehumanization faced by young men of color. Moraga describes her deepening grief as she loses her mother to Alzheimer’s; pays poignant tribute to friends who passed away, including the sculptor Marsha Gómez and the poets Alfred Arteaga, Pat Parker, and Audre Lorde; and offers a heartfelt essay about her personal and political relationship with Gloria Anzaldúa.
Thirty years after the publication of Anzaldúa and Moraga’s collection This Bridge Called My Back, a landmark of women-of-color feminism, Moraga’s literary and political praxis remains motivated by and intertwined with indigenous spirituality and her identity as Chicana lesbian. Yet aspects of her thinking have changed over time. A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness reveals key transformations in Moraga’s thought; the breadth, rigor, and philosophical depth of her work; her views on contemporary debates about citizenship, immigration, and gay marriage; and her deepening involvement in transnational feminist and indigenous activism. It is a major statement from one of our most important public intellectuals.