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Experts discuss the origins of race

Sept. 24, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is joining forces with the Kalamazoo Valley Museum to bring three race experts to Kalamazoo for a series of free, public lectures this fall.

Drs. Yolanda Moses, Carol Mukhopadhyay and Arlene Torres will speak in connection with the national touring exhibit "RACE: Are We So Different?" The exhibit, which explores race as a cultural construct rather than a biological fact, is on display at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum Oct. 2 through Jan. 2.

RACE Exhibit
Visiting Scholars Series

RACE lectures will be held Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St., and Mondays at noon in Room 1115 of Moore Hall.

Sunday, Oct. 3--"Looking Back and Looking Forward: Racial Formation in the 21st Century," Dr. Yolanda Moses, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 2 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 4--"Anthropology and Race Formation in the 21st Century," Dr. Yolanda Moses, 1115 Moore Hall, noon.

Sunday, Oct. 10--"How Real is Race?" Dr. Carol Mukhopadhyay, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 2 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 11--"Language and Race: 'Caucasian' and Other Obsolete Archaic Racial Terminology," Dr. Carol Mukhopadhyay, 1115 Moore Hall, noon.

Sunday, Dec. 5--"Latino Settlements and Immigration Debates: What do Race and Culture Have to do With It?" Dr. Arlene Torres, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 2 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 6--"'Blanqueamiento' (Whitening) and the (Im)Migrant Trek North: Its Implications for the Afro-Latino Diaspora," Dr. Arlene Torres, 1115 Moore Hall, noon.

Dr. Yolanda Moses is a nationally recognized expert on cultural diversity. She serves as vice provost for conflict resolution and special assistant to the chancellor for excellence and diversity at the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on the origins of social inequality in complex societies through comparative ethnographic and survey methods. She has explored gender and class disparities in the Caribbean and East Africa and, more recently, her research has focused on issues of diversity and change in universities and colleges in the United States, India and South Africa. She is currently involved with a national public education project funded by NSF and the Ford Foundation on the meaning of race in everyday life.

Dr. Carol Mukhopadhyay, professor of anthropology at San Jose State University, is a cultural anthropologist specializing in gender, family, sexuality, multicultural education, culture-cognition and methodology. She has conducted fieldwork in both the United States and India, and has 40 years of experience as a published researcher, teacher and consultant.

Dr. Arlene Torres is director of the Latino Faculty Recruitment Initiative at the City University of New York and an associate professor of Africana and Puerto Rican studies at Hunter College. She is a cultural anthropologist with expertise in Caribbean, Latino and Latin American Studies, and a tenured associate professor of Africana and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. Torres has conducted research in the Anglophone and Hispanic Caribbean as well as in the United States. Her scholarly interests include: African, Puerto Rican and Latino Diaspora; theories of race, ethnicity, gender and nationalism; ideology and praxis; migration and transnationalism; representation; and class and economic development.

For more information and complete speaker biographies, visit the WMU Department of Anthropology News and Events page.

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National race exhibit opens in Kalamazoo

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Media contact: Tonya Durlach, (269) 387-8400, tonya.durlach@wmich.edu

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