All ISSI events are free and open to the public.

For wheelchair access to the Duster Conference Room (2420 Bowditch St.) or Wildavsky Conference Room (2538 Channing Way), please call (510) 642-0813(510) 642-0813 one day before the scheduled event.

For more information, please contact us:

August 2014

Friday, August 15


Celebrating Troy Duster

Please join us for this day-long celebration of Troy Duster's scholarship, public engagement, and commitment to social justice.

This event will feature talks and reflections from many of Troy's colleagues as they discuss his scholarly influence, contributions, and the significance of his work for current and future challenges.

Location: Booth Auditorium of the Berkeley Law School, University of California (2778 Bancroft Way)

Read more about the conference agenda and panels here.

Sponsored by: Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, UC Berkeley Department of Sociology, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, Center for Research on Social Change, Center for the Study of Law and Society, Center for Genetics and Society

September 2014

Thursday, September 4


CLPR Speaker Series:

Immigrant Children at the Border: Challenges, Issues, and Policies

Allison Davenport, Supervising Attorney and Clinical Instructor, International Human Rights Law Clinic, UC Berkeley

Lariza Dugan-Cuadra, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center, San Francisco

Beatriz Manz, Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies and Geography, UC Berkeley

The recent arrival and detention of unaccompanied minors from Central America and Mexico have generated a number of responses ranging from pro-immigrant action to anti-immigration sentiment. There have been questions about the ways children's rights are being protected and whether the responses from the U.S., Mexico, and Central American governments have been appropriate. This panel brings together perspectives from research, law, policy and community to examine international and local actions taken to ensure the protection of these children. It also furthers dialogue on immigration reform from family reunification to refugee concerns, and on the unprecedented number of children migrating on their own in response to high stakes economic and social reasons in their home countries.

Center for Latino Policy Research, Shorb House, 2547 Channing Way

Tuesday, September 16


ISSI Colloquia Speaker Series:

Making Hispanics: How Activists, Bureaucrats, and Media Constructed a New American

Cristina Mora, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley

How did Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Cubans become known as "Hispanics" and "Latinos" in the United States? How did several distinct cultures and nationalities become portrayed as one? Cristina Mora answers both these questions and details the scope of this phenomenon in Making Hispanics (University of Chicago Press 2014). She uses an organizational lens and traces how activists, bureaucrats, and media executives in the 1970s and '80s created a new identity category-and by doing so, permanently changed the racial and political landscape of the nation.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Wednesday, September 17


 Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues Speaker Series:

"Dancing Salmon Home" Film Screening and Discussion with Michael Preston

'Dancing Salmon Home' is a journey of loss and reunification, across generations and oceans, as the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California journeys to New Zealand to meet their long-lost Chinook salmon relatives, which have been missing from their river for 65 years. Along the way, the 28 tribal members hold four days of ceremony beside New Zealand's Rakaia River, forging enduring bonds with the Maori people of the region, sharing a message of respect for the natural world, and launching plans to bring their salmon home. The film was released in 2012 and produced by Will Doolittle.

Michael Preston (Winnemem Wintu) is a recent UC Berkeley graduate who is featured in the film.

Power Bar Building, 2150 Shattuck Ave, 10th floor, Room 1019, Berkeley

Monday, September 22


Myanmar's Sexual Minority Rights Movement and the Cultural Processes of Translating and Mobilizing Human Rights

Lynette J. Chua, Assistant Professor of Law, National University of Singapore

This paper draws from fieldwork in Myanmar and Thailand to examine how human rights matter to a sexual minority rights movement that is emerging in Myanmar as the country undergoes political transition. Building on the cultural study of human rights, it analyzes how activists collectively disseminate and mobilize the ideas and practices of human rights in a state known for its violation of human rights and repression of dissent.

Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Ave.

Reception to follow in Kadish Library

Cosponsors: Center for the Study of Law and Society, ISSI, Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Department of Gender and Women's Studies

Tuesday, September 30


ISSI Colloquia Speaker Series:

Political Therapeutics in Italy

Cristiana Giordano, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC Davis

In this paper, I discuss the experience of Italian clinical ethno-psychiatry as an emerging technique that provides culturally appropriate therapeutic services exclusively to foreigners, political refugees, and victims of torture and trafficking. This clinical practice has a political impact on other Italian institutions (such as the Catholic Church, the police, and social services) involved in aid programs for foreigners that increasingly turn to ethno-psychiatrists to consult on how to shape culturally and psychologically appropriate interventions for foreigners. The specificity of Italian ethno-psychiatry, though, can only be understood against the backdrop of the debates around the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and the radical critique of public institutions initiated by Franco Basaglia and the de-institutionalization movement in the early 1970s. Crucial to the Italian context is also the work of Antonio Gramsci and his reflections on the relationships between hegemony and subaltern cultures, in addition to the role of the organic intellectual in creating a field of political action that could involve subalterns in defining what counts as politics. Through an ethnography of clinical cases and interactions between ethno-psychiatrists and local communities, I show how these legacies intersect in the practice of Italian ethno-psychiatry in ways that are broadly relevant not only for the politics of alterity within clinical settings, but also for critiquing psychiatric, legal, and moral categories of inclusion. This clinical practice allows for a re-thinking of the political and phenomenological grounds of existence, while also offering a critical frame to issues of "global mental health."

Anna Head Alumnae Hall, 2537 Haste Street

October 2014

Wednesday, October 1


CRWS Colloquia Series:

Hungary's Conservative Revolution: Sui Generis or Future Pattern?

Jason Wittenberg, Associate Professor, Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley

Since the landslide victory of Fidesz in the 2010 Hungarian national parliamentary election, Hungary has undergone nothing short of a conservative revolution. With its parliamentary supermajority, Fidesz can rule without regard for opposition views, and has used that power with vigor. Since taking power Fidesz has drafted and passed a new conservative constitution, weakened the separation of powers, restricted freedom of speech, squeezed its socialist and liberal rivals out of positions of influence, and gerrymandered the electoral system in its favor. My comments will examine the roots of these changes and whether they are harbingers of future developments in post-communist Eastern Europe.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the EU Center.

Thursday, October 9


Production to Picture to Personhood: Food, Representation and Identity in Contemporary American Cultures

Many new theories have bound food production and consumption to representation, and have endeavored to unpack the profound effects of seeing food on the construction of identity. In particular, theories by Julie Guthman and others have revealed how food discourse helps produce and exclude certain permutations of race, class, gender, and sexuality. This conference frames food as both a site and a sign to understand how bodies are constructed, ideals are maintained and monitored, and how those constructs get undone through various interventions. How is alimentary desire shaped by what we see? How are paradigms like race, class, gender, and sexuality policed and regulated through food? What are the effects of being seen as food due to stereotyping or the creation of other codes? And in what ways do the morals and manners associated with food figure within the dynamic operations of culture? For our purposes we understand "culture" very broadly-as film, television, everyday practices, fine art, and performance paradigms.

Speakers, agendar, and more information available here.

Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Spponsored by the Berkeley Food Institute. Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Media Studies Program, and Department of Sociology, UC Berkeley.

 Monday, October 13


Indigenous Peoples' Day

Join us for a free day-long series of events, performances, and participatory workshops. Schedule and registration available here.

Bancroft Dance Studio, 2401 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, the American Indian Graduate Student Association, the American Indian Graduate Program, Native American Student Developmen, and Native American Studies.

Monday, October 20


CRSC Colloquia Speaker Series:

Non-Citizen Nationals: Neither Citizens Nor Aliens

Rose Cuison Villazor, Professor of Law & Martin Luther King Jr. Hall Research Scholar, UC Davis School of Law

The modern conception of the law of birthright citizenship operates along the citizen/noncitizen binary. Those born in the United States generally acquire automatic U.S. citizenship at birth. Those who do not are regarded as non-citizens. Unbeknownst to many, there is another form of birthright membership category: the non-citizen national. Judicially constructed in the 1900s and codified by Congress in 1940, non-citizen national was the status given to people who were born in U.S. territories acquired at the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Today, it is the status of people who are born in American Samoa, a current U.S. territory. This Article explores the legal construction of non-citizen national status and its implications for our understanding of citizenship. On a narrow level, the Article recovers a forgotten part of U.S. racial history, revealing an interstitial form of birthright citizenship that emerged out of imperialism and racial restrictions to citizenship. On a broader scale, this Article calls into question the plenary authority of Congress over the territories and power to determine their people’s membership status. Specifically, this Article contends that such plenary power over the citizenship status of those born in a U.S. possession conflicts with the common law principle of jus soli and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Citizenship Clause. Accordingly, this Article offers a limiting principle to congressional power over birthright citizenship.

240 Boalt Hall

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Law and Society

Tuesday, October 28


ISSI Colloquia Speaker Series:

Protestant Techniques of Caring for the Self

Ian Whitmarsh, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine

In Trinidad, as in other countries, the state increasingly works with Protestant churches to disseminate biomedical techniques of maintaining health, conducting blood tests and teaching proper diet and body size.  I draw on recent rethinking of "the secular" to argue that ties between Presbyterianism and biomedical practices in Trinidad reveal a Protestantism latent in international techniques of care for the chronic disease subject.  Protestant endeavors have long focused on, the "involuntary poor" as a figure unable to enact proper choice, suggesting not a contradiction but rather a deep kinship between the liberal individual and the subject founded in economic, social, political structures. As international medical techniques implicitly carry out a Protestant care for the involuntary poor, new tensions are produced with traditions such as Hinduism and obeah that run counter to Christian logics.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

November 2014

Thursday, November 13


CRWS Colloquia Speaker Series:

The Great European War and the Rise of Radical Sinto Ultranationalism in Japan

Walter Skya, Associate Professor, History Department; Director, Asian Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Few students of  history are aware of the ideological linkages between Shintō nationalism in Japan and the new nationalists of early twentieth-century Europe, especially Italian Fascists and German Nazis-a linkage that began prior to the First World War and continued throughout the 1920s and 1930s.  There is much historical evidence to show that Italian Fascists and German Nazis were inspired by, and in some cases in awe of, Japanese völkisch Shintō nationalists.  Still more, the First World War gave momentum to a surge of vicious forms of radical Shintō ultranationalism that resulted in a wave of assassinations of Japanese politicians and mobilized the Japanese masses for war against the Western democracies in the 1940s.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies and the Department of History.

Monday, November 17


Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies Speaker Series:

Narendra Modi and the Sangh parivar

Christophe Jaffrelot, Senior research fellow at Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales at Sciences Po (Paris), and research director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at the King's India Institute (London) and Global Scholar at Princeton University.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Institute for South Asia Studies

Tuesday, November 18


ISSI Colloquia Speaker Series:

The Remittance Landscape: The Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA

Sarah Lynn Lopez, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Texas, Austin

International migrant remittances have received much attention in the last ten years, as-according to the World Bank-flows increased from 72.3 billion in 2001 to an estimated 483 billion in 2011. While dollars sent home are used for an array of expenses, little is known about how they are used to turn migrant aspirations into concrete and fired-brick realities. This talk explores the remittance landscape-the built environment elements in rural Mexico that have been envisioned by migrants and erected with dollars-as well as the spaces in both Mexico and the U.S. defined by information flows, practices, and organizations that give rise to remitting as a way of life. I argue that the architectures of migration are powerful evidence of the aims, desires, and fears that drive social change in rural Mexico and urban USA; producing complex results for migrants, their families, and their home communities who must balance new kinds of freedom and agency with familial fragmentation, changing social norms, increased responsibility, and growing debt.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Thursday, November 20


Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues Speaker Series:

Title TBA

Dian Million, Associate Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Washington, and author of Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights

Power Bar Building, 2150 Shattuck Ave, 10th floor, Room 1019, Berkeley

Co-sponsored by American Indian Graduate Program