Race, Resistance, and Reason: Rethinking the Boundaries

Race, Resistance, and Reason: Rethinking the Boundaries
October 20, 2012

State University of New York College at Cortland
Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies

Race matters.  In the wake of the racialized responses to President Obama’s administration, Islamophobia, re-emerging orientalism, immigrant policing, and the perpetuation of poverty in our global communities of color, we held an important conversation about race, resistance and reason.

This conference created a space to rethink the boundaries of race, resistance and reason globally and at the level of lived experience.  Participants were invited to share scholarship and articulations of the tensions between:  the consequences of a racialized body, a strong political identity that is tied to race, and the tensions that are experienced at the intersections of race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, class, and ability.  Equally important, this conference served as a space to think about the resistances to hegemonic categorization, naming and normative ideas of reason and thought that we know are inheritances of race and racialized, gendered bodies.

Below, you will find video recordings of our two speakers, the Latin and Latin American Immigration Activism panel, and the Gospel Choir performance.

Joy James The author of: Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics; Transcending the Talented Tenth;  Resisting State Violence; Seeking the 'Beloved Community': A Feminist-Race Theory Reader (2012), as well as editor of a number of anthologies on incarceration and human rights.  James is curator of the Harriet Tubman Literary Circle digital repository, part of UT Austin's human rights archives <http://sites.tdl.org/htlc/>; and Presidential Professor of the Humanities at Williams College.

John R. Sosa Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Dept. of Sociology/Anthropology at SUNY Cortland since 1985 is a Symbolic anthropologist who has done ethnographic fieldwork in Maya communities in Yucatán, México since 1982.  Sosa is himself of Maya/Mexicano ancestry, and as a fluent speaker of both Maya and Spanish has recognized substantive differences in how cultures define people and social categories.  In fact, there is no “race” concept in Maya culture and language, which allows the idea of “race” as a cultural construct to be seen in stark contrast to Western “reality.”  Sosa has created and taught the classes “Prejudice and Discrimination” and “U.S. Ethnic Identity and Conflict” since 1986, and is Faculty Adviser of the La Familia Latina student organization.