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Spring 2017 Events

 

Friday, April 21 I 9:00am-3:30pm

Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies Symposium:

Anxious Democracy: The First Hundred Days of The Trump Presidency

This conference focuses on the first hundred days of the presidency of Donald Trump from perspectives including legal, historical, sociological, and policy analysis. Our aim is to begin academic conversations and develop analyses of how the Trump administration and the movement and ideology it represents relate to social, economic and political transformations in the United States and around the world. Scholars from UC Berkeley and other Bay Area academic institutions will speak on implications and effects of the administration's foreign and domestic policies, as well as the legal questions surrounding its agenda.

This symposium is free and open to the public.

REGISTER for the conference here

Read more about the symposium's panels and speakers here.

Blanche DuBois Room (D37), Hearst Field Annex, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by the History Department, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Graduate School of Journalism, and the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society, UC Berkeley

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Thursday, April 6 I 4:00-5:30pm

ISSI Graduate Fellows Seminar Series: 

How It Slips Away/We Still Here: A Blues Geography of Black Portland

Lisa K. Bates, Associate Professor, Director, Center for Urban Studies, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University

with Carolina Reid, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley, as respondent

Black Portland is often portrayed through metrics of disparity and deficiency, without reference to particular regional structures of opportunity and disenfranchisement, and without hearing the voices of Black Portlanders themselves. Professor Bates uses Clyde Woods’ framework of blues epistemology as Black ways of knowing geography in order to elucidate the place history and justice claims of Black Portland. Black Portlanders’ experience is at once highly particular and universal in its blues narrative of enclosure, displacement, and the desecration of sacred spaces, expressed through stories of what artist Sharita Towne calls “joyful hardships.” Professor Bates considers how an emancipatory planning process, the Portland People’s Plan, can shift from recognition--the blues story of what might have been but for racial oppression-- to reclamation. By asking Black Portlanders to imagine what it would look like if their city loved Black people, the planning creates a space for both a counter-narrative of community history and a collectively developed pathway towards a more just future.  

170 Wurster Hall

Co-sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change, Center for Race and Gender, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, Department of City and Regional Planning, and Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, UC Berkeley

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Tuesday, April 4 I 4:00-5:30pm

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine presents:

What Gets Inside: Violent Entanglements and Toxic Boundaries in Mexico City 

Elizabeth Roberts, Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Michigan

Entanglement is a key concept in contemporary science and technology studies (STS).  By tracing all the contingent and uncertain relations that endow objects with seemingly stable boundaries, entanglement allows us to see how such boundaries restrict our ability to know the world better.  This talk deploys the concept of entanglement in an examination of contemporary life in a working-class Mexico City neighborhood, Colonia Periferico, and a longitudinal environmental health project that studies the neighborhood’s residents.  While entanglement is useful for analyzing the study (e.g., for reconnecting variables that the scientists have isolated), my examination of the entanglement of working-class bodies with NAFTA and the ongoing War on Drugs shows that the concept has its limits.  For working-class residents of Mexico City life is already deeply entangled with chronic economic and political instability shaped through the violent ravages of transnational capital.  To explore the utility and limits of entanglement, Roberts traces how residents in Col. Periferico seek stability by making boundaries to keep out the disruptive effects of police and public health surveillance. Col. Periferico’s toxic boundaries, which include a sewage-filled dam, cement dust, and freeway exhaust, are clearly entangled with residents’ health.  They get inside. These entanglements are the price paid for a remarkable stability within Col. Periferico’s boundaries, where children can play on the streets and attentive care for drug-addicted and disabled residents is part of everyday life. Additionally, residents would like to share in the privilege of inhabiting a world where objects can be experienced separate from the relations that make them; a world with reliable drinking water and accurate blood lead measurements. With the goal of knowing the world better, then, STS might complicate celebratory calls for the uncertainty of entanglement by taking into account both the practices that make boundaries, and what boundaries have to offer.   

Co-sponsored by Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society, UC Berkeley and Medical Anthropology (UCB-UCSF)

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

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Tuesday, March 14  I 4:30-6:00pm

Center for Right-Wing Studies Colloquia Series:

The Present Political Divide: What To Do Now

George Lakoff, Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society and Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, UC Berkeley

How does Trump think, how does he control public discourse, and why does he have the appeal that he has? What do the Democrats fail to understand about Trump and his followers? And what can those in the American majority that oppose Trump do now, and what should the majority and the media not do that would only help Trump?

Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology, Linguistics Department and Berkeley Center for Neural Mind & Society, UC Berkeley

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Monday, March 13 I 4:00-5:00pm

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine​ presents: 

Fighting for Health Equity in 2017 and Beyond

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

With welcoming remarks by Nicholas B. Dirks, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley

Affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare is a fundamental human right. Congresswoman Lee served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the drafting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and worked to ensure strong provisions that expand health care access, address health disparities and create incentives for people to live healthy lives. As a psychiatric social worker, Congresswoman Lee is dedicated to ensuring everyone has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare, especially the most vulnerable. Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s main healthcare focus is always on health disparities and health equity, especially for racial and ethnic minorities. Congresswoman Lee is strongly opposed to any efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and will continue to fight to ensure that we all have access to affordable, quality healthcare.

Free and open to the public. Please register in advance.

Chan Sun Auditorium, 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building. Please enter from the east side of the building (facing the Campanile)

Co-sponsored by the Schools of Public Health and Social Welfare, UC Berkeley, and Samuel Merritt University

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Tuesday, March 7 |  4:00-5:30pm

Center for Research on Social Change presents: 

Is ‘Decarceration’ Even a Word? The Legal Reform of Mass Incarceration in California

Anjuli Verma, Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow, Jurisprudence and Social Policy, UC Berkeley

Scholarship on mass incarceration in the U.S. has surged over recent decades, for good reason. However, this talk pivots attention to prison downsizing and decarceration as emergent social facts in the 21st century. Prisoner rights litigation (Brown v. Plata 2011) in combination with state law and policy innovations in the form of Public Safety Realignment (Assembly Bill 109 2011) and the voter-initiated Proposition 47 (2014) have made California the current epicenter of prison downsizing. Realignment legislation devolved criminal justice supervision from the state to the county level, making counties responsible for the penalties they impose for a sizeable class of offenses. The present research investigates how California’s 58 counties responded to this challenge. Findings from the first in-depth analysis of the state’s prison Realignment will be presented with respect to a key question: will Realignment result in system-wide decarceration, or merely the relocation of incarceration to alternative institutional sites, such as local jails? Multiple methods are used to describe and explain different responses and identify the local conditions that appear to have made decarceration possible in some places but not others. Discussion of the theoretical and policy implications will confront foundational questions about the social organization of governmental power and conditions of institutional change and resistance, as well as urge the field to revisit deinstitutionalization as a distinct social process with consequences for stratification and inequality, community health and wellbeing, and human dignity.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

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Wednesday, March 1 I 4:00-5:30pm

Center for Right-Wing Studies Colloquia Series:

Oh, God! The Religious Right to Sexual Pleasure on Christian Sexuality Websites

Kelsy Burke, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

This talk examines how some conservative evangelical Christians justify a wide range of sexual practices and pleasures within the confines of religious orthodoxy and heterosexuality. Based on her 2016 book, Christians under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet, Burke shows how online dialogue on Christian message boards and blogs both reinforces and reimagines religious rules about gender, marriage, and what counts as sexually normal and good.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley

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Monday, February 6 | 4:30-6:00 pm

Center for Research on Social Change Colloquia Series:

Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation

Gary Okihiro, Professor, International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

A conversation with author about his book, Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation.  In 1968 the Third World Liberation Front at San Francisco State College demanded the creation of a Third World studies program to counter the existing curricula that ignored issues of power—notably, imperialism and oppression. The administration responded by institutionalizing an ethnic studies program; Third World studies was over before it began. Detailing the field's genesis and premature death, Gary Y. Okihiro presents an intellectual history of ethnic studies and Third World studies and shows where they converged and departed by identifying some of their core ideas, concepts, methods, and theories. In so doing, he establishes the contours of a unified field of study—Third World studies—that pursues a decolonial politics by examining the human condition broadly, especially in regard to oppression, and critically analyzing the locations and articulations of power as manifested in the social formation. Okihiro's framing of Third World studies moves away from ethnic studies' liberalism and its U.S.-centrism to emphasize the need for complex thinking and political action in the drive for self-determination. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Race & GenderDepartments of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

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Thursday, February 2 | 4:00-5:30 pm

Center for Right-Wing Studies Colloquia Series:

The Master Plan: ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory   

Brian Fishman, Counterterrorism Research Fellow in the International Studies Program at New America

This talk will offer an incisive narrative history of the Islamic State, from the 2005 master plan to reestablish the Caliphate to its quest for Final Victory in 2020. Drawing on large troves of recently declassified documents captured from the Islamic State and its predecessors, counterterrorism expert Brian Fishman tells the story of this organization's complex and largely hidden past--and what the master plan suggests about its future. Fishman argues that only by understanding the Islamic State's full history--and the strategy that drove it--can we understand the contradictions that may ultimately tear it apart.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Institute of European Studies


Fall 2016 Events 

Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, November 16 | 12:00-1:30 pm

"Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change and Societal Transformation"

Andrew Jolivette, Professor and former Chair, American Indian Studies Department, Affiliated Faculty, Race & Resistance Studies, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Graduate Program in Sexuality Studies and Interim Executive Director, San Francisco American Indian Community Cultural Center for the Arts, SFSU

This talk examines how we can approach research from new ways that center collective responsibility and and shared ownership over the research process. In particular Jolivette will review the thinking behind the development of his edited volume, Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change and the influential work of Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Dr. Michelle Fine who are contributors to this project. Central to the presentation and discussion will be the work of the DataCenter, a grassroots community-based organization in Oakland where the term Research Justice was coined. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change, Center for Race & Gender Social Movements Working Group, American Indian Graduate Program, Native American Studies, and American Indian Graduate Student Association

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ISSI Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, November 9 | 4:00-5:30 pm

"The Emotional Lives of Epidemics: Hate and Compassion from the Plague of Athens to AIDS"

Samuel Cohn, Professor, Medieval History, University of Glasgow, UK

From an interdisciplinary array of scholars, a consensus has emerged: invariably, epidemics in past times provoked class hatred, blamed the ‘other’, and victimized the victims of epidemic diseases. Such hate and violence, moreover, more readily erupted when diseases were mysterious without known cures or preventive measures. The evidence for these proclamations, however, rests on a handful of examples--the Black Death, the Great Pox at the end of the sixteenth century, cholera riots of the 1830s, and AIDS, centred almost exclusively on the U.S. experience. From investigating thousands of descriptions of epidemics reaching back to one during Pharaoh Mempses’s First Dynasty (c. 2920 BCE) to the distrust and violence that erupted with Ebola in 2014-15, I argue that the trajectory and essence of epidemics' socio-psychological consequences across time differ radically from present notions. First, historians post-AIDS have missed a fundamental ingredient of the history of Epidemics. Instead of sparking hate and blame across time, epidemics have shown a remarkable power to unify societies across class, race, ethnicity, and religion and to spur self-sacrifice and compassion. Second, instead of spurring hate and violence when diseases were mysterious, that is, almost without exception before the ‘Laboratory Revolution’ of the late nineteenth century, modernity was the great incubator of a disease-hate nexus. Third, even with those diseases that have provoked hate as with smallpox, poliomyelitis, plague, and cholera, blaming ‘the other’ or victimizing diseased victims was rare. Instead, the history of epidemics and their socio-psychological consequences is more varied and richer than historians and pundits have heretofore allowed.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

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BCSM Structural Competency Series:

Friday, November 4 I 12:00-6:00pm

"Structural Competency: New Responses to Inequity and Discrimination in Health and Welfare"

Structural competency is a new framework for understanding and addressing the inequalities that make us sick. This framework analyzes institutional and structural hierarchies and discrimination in order to respond to the ways these lead to sickness and disease. This conference, the first focused on public health and structural competency, will bring together national and local experts and community organizations to imagine paths towards a more equal and healthy future.

Keynote: Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology, New York University. “Structural Competency for Public Health.” 

For a complete program, location, and registration, please visit the conference website.

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CRSC Colloquia Series:

Thursday, November 3 I 4:00-5:30pm

"23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary​ Confinement"

Keramet Reiter, Assistant Professor, Criminology, Law & Society and Law, UC Irvine 

With an introduction by Jonathan Simon, Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law, UC Berkeley 

Commentators: 
Francisco Casique, Lecturer, Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley 

Rebecca McLennan, Associate Professor, History, UC Berkeley  

Franklin E. Zimring, William G. Simon Professor, Law, UC Berkeley 

Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long term and common. Prisoners in solitary spend twenty three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end. They are held entirely at administrators’ discretion, with no judges or juries involved. In 23/7,legal scholar Keramet Reiter tells the history of an original “supermax,” California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, where extreme conditions sparked statewide hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013—the latter involving nearly 30,000 prisoners. Reiter describes how the Pelican Bay prison was created—with literally no legislative oversight—as a panicked response to the perceived rise of black radicalism in California prisons in the 1970s. Through stories of gang bosses, small-time parolees, and others, she portrays the arbitrary manner in which prisoners are chosen for solitary confinement, held for years, and routinely released directly onto the streets. Here we see the social costs and mental havoc of years in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book is instant required reading on a topic that increasingly commands national attention.

 2240 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley, CA

Sponsored by Center for the Study of Law and Society

Co-sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change and Human Rights Center

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Monday, October 31 | 12:00-1:30pm

"2016 FOUNDATIONS FOR CHANGE: Thomas I. Yamashita Prize Award Ceremony honoring Aileen Suzara"

Keynote: “Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape”
by Lauret Edith Savoy, Professor of Environmental Studies 
& Geology, Mount Holyoke College

Anna Head Alumnae Hall, 2537 Haste Street, Berkeley

Co-sponsored by Berkeley Food Institute and Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management

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CRWS Colloquia Series:

Thursday, October 27 | 4:00-5:30 pm

"Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans"

Corey Fields, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Stanford University

What is it like to be black in the highly racialized context of the Republican Party? Black Elephants in the Room considers the role of race in the political experiences of African American Republicans and discusses the dynamic relationship between race and political behavior in the purported “post-racial” context of U.S. politics. Drawing on vivid first-person accounts, this talk will shed light on the different ways black identity structures African Americans’ membership in the Republican Party. Moving past rhetoric and politics, we begin to see everyday people working to reconcile their commitment to black identity with their belief in Republican principles. And in the end, we see that the identity politics of African American Republicans is shaped by the meanings they attach to race and the political contexts in which those meanings are developed and expressed.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science and Department of Sociology, UC Berkeley

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CRSC Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, October 26 | 12:00-1:30 pm

"Birth Matters: Black Women and Research Justice as Transformative Praxis"

Julia Chinyere Oparah, Associate Provost and Professor and Co-Chair of Ethnic Studies, Mills College

Research justice is a strategic framework within which those directly affected by structural violence and discrimination use research tools in order to achieve self determination and lasting social change. Based on a term coined by DataCenter, an Oakland-based research collective, this movement toward community-driven research demands that academic researchers interrogate questions of power, privilege and accountability in our research praxis. Using a research justice approach, Oparah worked alongside members of Black Women Birthing Justice to document black women's experiences of childbirth, and to publish an anthology of critical essays and testimonies on black bodies and birth justice. Their research uncovered birthing as a site of disabling, trauma or even death for black women and gender non-conforming people. In this talk, Oparah explores her experience as an activist scholar in the movement to #LiberateBlackBirth and shares both the transformative power and the dilemmas of research justice.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Race & Gender Social Movements Working Group and Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

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CRWS Colloquia Series:

Thursday, October 20 | 4:00-5:30 pm

"Political Passion and the Gun Debate: How a Small Minority Came to Dominate Gun Safety in the US"

Firmin DeBrabander, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Maryland Institute College of Art

Twenty-first century America is undergoing a radical experiment in gun rights. The number of privately-owned guns, and expansive gun laws, has ballooned in recent years. Most Americans favor stronger gun control restrictions, but the NRA’s radical agenda remains largely uncontested. Why is this? Why isn’t our gun violence epidemic, unparalleled in the developed world, sufficiently alarming to American voters, to stand up against the loud and angry gun rights minority? This presentation will examine the reasons behind the success of a small, but passionate minority able to dominate debate over gun safety in the US.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology, UC Berkeley

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CRSC Colloquia Series:

Thursday, October 13 I 12:00-1:30pm

"Career Choices, Return Paths, and Social Contributions: Findings from the African Alumni Project"

Robin Marsh Ph.D., Resident Researcher, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

This talk reports on a two and half year (2014-2016) collaborative multi-university tracer study of African alumni of partner universities (UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, McGill University, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser and EARTH in Costa Rica), supported by the MasterCard Foundation.  The abridged and full reports are just out: http://africanalumni.berkeley.edu.  This pioneering study, led by Robin Marsh, is the first of its kind to investigate the career trajectories and social contributions of African alumni of international universities.  In addition to a comprehensive survey, the in-depth interviews with sixty UC Berkeley African alumni on the continent and in the diaspora reveal fascinating life stories of return dilemmas, career choices and transformational leadership.  The findings have important policy implications for international scholarship programs and for universities interested in expanding their global impact particularly through stronger alumni networks. This talk will present the main research questions and findings of the study.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for African Studies, UC Berkeley

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CRNAI Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, October 12 I 4:00-5:30pm

"The Indian maiden is not allowed to pine in loneliness”: Ruth Kellett Roberts and the Yurok Club, 1928-1934"

Victoria Haskins, Professor, History, School of Humanities & Social Science, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

The remarkable story of Ruth Kellett Roberts (1885-1967) and her advocacy for the Yurok Tribe of Del Norte County on the Pacific northwest coast of California provides a fascinating insight into relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in the 1920s and 1930s, a time of rapid social change. The wife of the accountant of a salmon cannery at Requa on the lower Klamath, Ruth Roberts was befriended by local Yurok women, in particular Alice Spott, and quickly became a passionate supporter of the ongoing Yurok struggle for land and employment. Over the next two decades, until the closure of the river to commercial fishing, Roberts was a staunch advocate for the Yurok cause, utilising her connections with society women in the Bay area of San Francisco. In 1928 she formed a ‘Yurok Club,’ for the young Indian women whom she had assisted in finding domestic situations in the Bay. Her initiative would, however, bring her into direct conflict with the BIA Outing matron who oversaw the placement of other Indian girls in white homes in San Francisco and the Bay. In this paper, I reflect upon the ambivalent and complex nature of Roberts’ advocacy for the Yurok people through her involvement with Indian domestic employment, an engagement that highlights broader questions around the political significance and impact of women’s work in the home, in the modern settler colonial nation.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the American Indian Graduate Program, Native American Studies, American Indian Graduate Student Association, and Center for Race and Gender

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CRSC Colloquia Series:

Thursday, October 6 I 4:00-5:30pm

"When States ‘Come Out’: The Politics of Visibility and the Diffusion of Sexual Minority Rights in Europe"

Phillip M. Ayoub, PhD, Assistant Professor, Politics, Drexel University

In the last two decades, the LGBT movement has gained momentum that is arguably unprecedented in speed and suddenness when compared to other human rights movements. This talk investigates the recent history of transnational movement in Europe, focusing on the diffusion of the norms it champions and the overarching question of why, despite similar international pressures, the trajectories of socio-legal recognition for LGBT minorities are so different across states. In this talk, I suggest new domestic preconditions and international pathways for socio-legal change. I make the case that a politics of visibility is central to norm diffusion. The exchange of ideas with other countries—which activists can broker and enable—and the extent of a state’s openness to international organizations have demonstrable effects on diffusion and social change. They have engendered the interactions between movements and states that empower marginalized people - mobilizing actors to demand change, influencing the spread of new legal standards, and weaving new ideas into the fabrics of societies. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Race & Gender Social Movements Working Group and the Institute of European Studies

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CER Colloquie Series:

Thursday, September 29 I 4:00-5:30pm

"The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules: Latinos and African Americans in South Los Angeles"

Cid Martinez, Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of San Diego

South Los Angeles is often seen as ground zero for inter-racial conflict and violence in the United States. Since the 1940s, South LA has been predominantly a low-income African American neighborhood, and yet since the early 1990s Latino immigrants—mostly from Mexico and many undocumented—have moved in record numbers to the area. Given that more than a quarter million people live in South LA and that poverty rates exceed 30 percent, inter-racial conflict and violence surprises no one. The real question is: why hasn't there been more? Through vivid stories and interviews, The Neighborhood Has Its Own Rules provides an answer to this question.  

The talk highlights two key ideas from the book.  First, urban America can no longer be viewed in terms of black-white.   An alternative framework is introduced to begin to understand black and Latino interracial relations in urban poor neighborhoods.  Second, in the face of weak ties to the state (i.e., law enforcement and local government), alternative governance has arisen in black and Latino South Los Angeles in the response to high levels of violence.

Based on in-depth ethnographic field work collected when the author, Cid Martinez, lived and worked in schools in South Central, this study reveals the day-to-day ways in which vibrant social institutions in South LA— its churches, its local politicians, and even its gangs—have reduced conflict and kept violence to a level that is manageable for its residents. Martinez argues that inter-racial conflict has not been managed through any coalition between different groups, but rather that these institutions have allowed established African Americans and newcomer Latinos to co-exist through avoidance—an under-appreciated strategy for managing conflict that plays a crucial role in America's low-income communities. Ultimately, this book proposes a different understanding of how neighborhood institutions are able to mitigate conflict and violence through several community dimensions of informal social controls.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology 

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CER Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, September 21 | 4:00-5:30 pm

"The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream"

Steve Viscelli, Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States.  Deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.

This talk will explain how this massive degradation in the quality of work occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it.  It is based on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months spent training and working as a long-haul trucker.  

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Labor Research and Education


Spring 2016 Events

CRNAI Colloquia Series:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond"

Renya Ramirez, Associate Professor, Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz

Most Native Americans in the United States live in cities, where many find themselves caught in a bind, neither afforded the full rights granted U.S. citizens nor allowed full access to the tribal programs and resources—particularly health care services—provided to Native Americans living on reservations. A scholar and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Renya K. Ramirez investigates how urban Native Americans negotiate what she argues is, in effect, a transnational existence. Through an ethnographic account of the Native American community in California’s Silicon Valley and beyond, Ramirez explores the ways that urban Indians have pressed their tribes, local institutions, and the federal government to expand conventional notions of citizenship

Professor Ramirez’s ethnography revolves around the Paiute American activist Laverne Roberts’s notion of the “hub,” a space that allows for the creation of a sense of belonging away from a geographic center. Professor Ramirez describes “hub-making” activities in Silicon Valley, including sweat lodge ceremonies, powwows, and American Indian Alliance meetings, gatherings at which urban Indians reinforce bonds of social belonging and forge intertribal alliances. She examines the struggle of the Muwekma Ohlone, a tribe aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay area, to maintain a sense of community without a land base and to be recognized as a tribe by the federal government. She considers the crucial role of Native women within urban indigenous communities; a 2004 meeting in which Native Americans from Mexico and the United States discussed cross-border indigenous rights activism; and the ways that young Native Americans in Silicon Valley experience race and ethnicity, especially in relation to the area’s large Chicano community. A unique and important exploration of diaspora, transnationalism, identity, belonging, and community, Native Hubs is intended for scholars and activists alike.  Professor Ramirez will discuss the theoretical frame of Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond and a meeting between U.S. Natives and Indigenous people originally from Mexico in relationship to the concept of Native Hubs.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the American Indian Graduate Student Association, American Indian Graduate Program, Department of Ethnic Studies, Native American Studies and Native American Student Development

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CRWS Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Nostalgia and conspiracy theories in right wing ideologies – The case of New Dawn in Greece and the risks for Europe"

Yiannis Gabriel, Chair in Organizational Studies, University of Bath, School of Management

The presentation will examine conspiracy theories and nostalgia as parts of the unfolding European drama, focusing on developments in Greece. Conspiracy theories represent a quest for scapegoats, sometimes in the form of ‘parasites’, people or groups who take and give nothing back. Nostalgia, for its part, exacerbates a desire for the return of a mythical past, free of parasites and undesirables. Both conspiracy theories and nostalgia play a central part in the ideology of the New Dawn against Greece’s financial, social and existential crisis. The talk will develop the argument that the rise of conspiracy theories and xenophobic nostalgia can be viewed as warning signs of miasma, a highly contagious state of material, psychological and spiritual pollution that descends plague-like, and afflicts entire communities, organizations or nations. Miasma dissolves love bonds and leaves a community dominated by fear, guilt, hate, despair and lies. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Institute of European Studies

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Tuesday, April 7, 2016

BCSM Colloquia Series:

"Chasing the Dragon: The Malleable Addict and Shaming in a Chinese Therapeutic Community"

Sandra Teresa Hyde, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, McGill University, and Visiting Scholar, ISSI

Until the late 1990s, convicted Chinese illegal drug users were considered criminals and placed in either the justice system’s drug prisons or in labor camps. Today, while the drug prison and the labor camp still exist, a small group of psychiatrists and AIDS activists who want to embrace what Foucault labeled the humanism of the asylum provides clinical residential care at "Sunlight." As such there are two competing ideologies on controlling drug epidemics in China: the dominant one is punitive and the other therapeutic; however, within these two ideological positions, there remains a massive disjuncture between the reality of everyday life and official policy. In this paper I focus on the intersection of subjectivity and the social-psychological dimensions of individual and collective lives in the onslaught of globalization and illegal drug consumption. I ask: 1) how do Chinese users of illegal street drugs learn to reform their emotions in an effort to rethink the modern Chinese healthy citizen? And 2) how does one write a clinical ethnography of the emotions in a therapeutic community in contemporary China?  Sunlight is a clinical space that rises and falls within a particular set of institutions and ideas that travel across the globe -- behavior modification, AA/Narcotics Anonymous, Mind/Body treatments, abstinence -- what do these modalities say about how ‘a complicated kindness’ travels?  I end by problematizing the conditions and practices within Sunlight therapeutic community, where we find new kinds of post-millennial citizens performing therapeutic rituals that lead to a complicated kind of care and healing.  

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies

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CRWS Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"The Koch Effect: The Impact of a Cadre-Led Network on American Politics

Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University 

In Washington, DC and the states, Republicans push unpopular policies - and sometimes also oppose legislation favored by prominent business groups. Why is that? New research highlights resource shifts on the U.S. right and the growing influence of the Koch network, a coordinated set of big donors, lobbying groups, and constituency organizations that now rivals America's political parties. At this talk, Professor Skocpol will present early results from a collaborative study of "The Shifting U.S. Political Terrain" under way at Harvard University and grassroots mobilizations orchestrated by the Koch Network. 

Room 60, Evans Hall

Co-sponsored by the Scholars Strategy Network and Department of Sociology

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CRSC Colloquia Series:

Thursday, March 31, 2016

"The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty"

Erica Kohl-Arenas, Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management, The New School

Can philanthropy alleviate inequality? Do antipoverty programs work on the ground? In this eye-opening analysis, Erica Kohl-Arenas bores deeply into how these issues play out in California’s Central Valley, which is one of the wealthiest agricultural production regions in the world and also home to the poorest people in the United States.  Through the lens of a provocative set of case studies, The Self-Help Myth reveals how philanthropy maintains systems of inequality by attracting attention to the behavior of poor people while shifting the focus away from structural inequities and relationships of power that produce poverty.  In Fresno County, for example, which has a $5.6 billion-plus agricultural industry, migrant farm workers depend heavily on food banks, religious organizations, and family networks to feed and clothe their families.  Foundation professionals espouse well-intentioned, hopeful strategies to improve the lives of the poor.  These strategies contain specific ideas—in philanthropy terminology, “theories of change”— that rely on traditional American ideals of individualism and hard work, such as self-help, civic participation, and mutual prosperity.  But when used in partnership with well-defined limits around what foundations will and will not fund, these ideals become fuzzy concepts promoting professional and institutional behaviors that leave relationships of poverty and inequality untouched.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way, UC Berkeley

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CRWS Colloquia Series:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

"The Rise of Far-Right Nationalism and the Russia Angle: Implications for International Security and Foreign Policy"

Alina Polyakova, Deputy Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council 

Far-right nationalist parties are on the rise in Western and Eastern Europe. Buttressed by the financial crisis of 2008, the ongoing migration crisis, and the threat of terrorist attacks, previously fringe political parties resonate with growing numbers of Europeans who are disenchanted with the European project. Many European far-right parties are also supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin. While far-right parties are not new to Europe, Russia's financial and ideological support for such parties, is. The reemergence of nationalism, as evidenced by the rise of the European far right, and the Kremlin's use of far-right groups as a tool of political influence presents short- and long-term foreign policy challenges. My book, The Dark Side of European Integration, based on dissertation research at UC Berkeley, argued that the success of far-right parties across Europe is, in part, a cultural backlash against rapid European economic and political integration. In this lecture, I will focus on how recent geo-political events have helped euroskeptic far-right parties such as the National Front and Jobbik while solidifying the relationship between such parties and Putin's Russia. While the rise of the European far right has not been a top priority for US foreign policy, these political parties, and their ties to Russia, present a growing challenge to the transatlantic partnership. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Institute of European Studies and the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, UC Berkeley

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ISSI Colloquia Series:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"The Class Pay Gap in Higher Professional and Managerial Occupations"   

Sam Friedman, Assistant Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science

The hidden barriers, or 'gender pay gap', preventing women from earning equivalent incomes to men is well documented. Yet in this talk we demonstrate that, in Britain, there is also a comparable 'class origin pay gap' in higher professional and managerial occupations. We find that even when those from working-class backgrounds are successful in entering high-status occupations, they earn sixteen percent less, on average, than those from privileged backgrounds. This class-origin pay gap translates to up to £7,350 ($11,000) lower annual earnings. This difference is partly explained by the upwardly mobile being employed in smaller firms and working outside London, but it remains substantial even net of a variety of important predictors of earnings. These findings illustrate how, even beyond occupational entry, the socially mobile often face a significant and previously undetected earnings "class ceiling" within high-status occupations. 

Anna Head Alumnae Hall, 2537 Haste Street

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CRWS Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"2015: A Transformative Year in Far Right Politics?"

Cas Mudde, Associate Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia

Although 2015 did not have a central focal point, like the European elections in 2014, the alleged rise of far right and populist politics was again among the main political debates in most western democracies. Every major event in European politics was linked to a possible surge in the support of far right parties and politicians, from the terrorist attacks in France at the beginning and end of the year to the Eurozone crisis and refugee crisis in between. Politicians like Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orban, and Donald Trump dominated the news with crass nativist, authoritarian, and populist statements. Commentators argued that the far right had moved to the mainstream, while some critics alleged that the mainstream had moved to the far right. Whatever the exact direction of the movement, it is clear that distinctions between traditional far right politicians and mainstream politicians are more and more difficult to make, which calls for a reflection on both terminology and classification. In this lecture I will focus on the main developments in far right politics of the past year and assess whether 2015 was merely a freak year or constitutes a transformative year for the far right. I will discuss the fate of the usual suspects, i.e. the far right parties in Europe (e.g FN), as well as some new unusual suspects, i.e. far right politicians in the political mainstream parties (e.g. Orban and Trump), and argue that the mainstreaming of far right politics has made the distinction between far right and mainstream parties less clear and less relevant.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, UC Berkeley, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change and Institute of European Studies

Fall 2015 Events

CRWS Colloquia Series:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State"

William McCants, Director, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World and Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution

The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaida. How has it attracted so many followers and conquered so much land in its relatively brief existence? On December 9, Will McCants will discuss the Islamic State’s history, tactics, and goals, and the many ways in which it is more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than any of its predecessors or current competitors. McCants' recently-published book, The ISIS Apocalypse, is based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic—including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaida and Islamic State letters that few have seen—and explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Institute of European Studies 

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CRNAI Colloquia Series:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

"Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and International Bodies"

Robert T. Coulter, Executive Director, Indian Law Resource Center

For almost 40 years, American Indian nations and other indigenous peoples have organized, worked, and advocated inside the United Nations and other international forums to defend themselves and their cultures and to win recognition of their rights as distinct peoples.  Indigenous peoples fought and negotiated for more than 30 years to win adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations General Assembly, making historic changes in international law. Indigenous leaders also initiated on-going campaigns in many other international forms dealing with climate change, biodiversity and environmental protection, intellectual property rights, the rights of women, and many other crucial topics. Barely a year ago, they won major commitments from the United Nations to take actions to implement the UN Declaration at the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. They are working today to put those commitments into action in the UN. In the Organization of American States as well, indigenous peoples are negotiating and winning an American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is expected to be completed in 2016. In the view of some experts, advocacy in international fora may be one of the most productive means for defending and asserting the rights of Indian nations and tribes. The talk will survey what has been accomplished, what is being done now, and how Indian and Alaska Native nations can participate in this work.  Attorney Robert T. Coulter of the Indian Law Resource Center has been working in the United Nations and other international bodies since 1976, when he wrote the first draft of what would become the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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CRNAI Colloquia Series:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Native American Justice System: Incarceration/Rehabilitation on the Rosebud Reservation"

Miskoo Petite Sr., Facility Administrator at Rosebud Sioux Tribe Corrections 

Miskoo Petite Sr. has played an integral role in development of innovative cultural based programs and services for the youth detained in the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Juvenile Detention Center. At this talk he will provide a historical overview of federal policies and events that have helped to shape Native American justice systems, highlight the challenges facing these systems, and outline current practices that seek to restore and repair Native American communities by integrating cultural programs.

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BCSM Colloquia Series:

Friday, October 232015

Theory in Action: Violence in the Margins

Javier Auyero, Professor of Latin American Sociology, University of Texas, Austin

Philippe Bourgois, Professor of Anthropology and Family and Community Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor of Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley

James Quesada, Professor of Anthropology, San Francisco State University, as moderator and discussant

Violence at the Urban Margins (Oxford University Press, 2015) brings together scholars across disciplines working on a perplexing question. How did Latin America emerge from decades of extreme violence - revolutionary, counter-insurgency, and military state - at the end of the 20th century only to plunge into a cauldron of delinquent, criminal, interpersonal, and political state/para-state violence under democratic regimes? Violence in the inner-cities of North America is another matter, though linked through the drug trade and forced migrations, as well as to US militancy and wars abroad that have come home to roost. Our purpose is to ignite a North-South hemispheric dialogue and debate on "theory in action" - the creative uses of diverse theoretical, analytical and ethnographic/methodological tools applied to the study of the networks of trans-national, state, paramilitary, criminal, global and local perpetrators, collaborators, victims, and bystanders of urban terror in the Americas.

Co-sponsored by: Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley-UCSF Critical Social Medicine Working Group, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, and Center for Latin American Studies

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Youth, Jobs and The Future: Responses to Youth Unemployment

Youth joblessness, and the future prospects of young people, is a major public issue that has received little attention in the United States. This timely conference will featured a diverse group of speakers who will share new analyses with a solutions-oriented approach.

A Two-Day Academic Conference sponsored by ISSI, Hunter College's Department of Sociology, and the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute.

October 22-23, 2016

Welcome remarks, Harold Holzer, Jonathan F. Fanton Director, Roosevelt House; and Lynn Chancer, Professor and Chair of Sociology, Hunter College, City University of New York

Panel 1: A "Macro' Overview of the Problem

Michael Hout, Professor of Sociology, Director, Center for Advanced Social Science Research, NYU

Arne Kalleberg, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Panel 2: Youth Un/employment: Diverse Effects on Working Class/Poor Young People

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Shawn Bushway, Professor of Public Administration and Policy, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York

Andy Stern, former President, Service Employees International Union

(The Keynote and other panels were not videorecorded.)

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CRSC Colloquia Series

Thursday, October 20, 2015

"Biotechnologies and Immigration: Biological Citizenship and the Use of DNA Testing for Family Reunification"

Torsten Heinemann, Professor of Sociology, Institute of Sociology, Universität Hamburg

Since the 1990s, many countries around the world have begun to use DNA analysis to establish biological relatedness in family reunification cases. To be reunited, family members have to prove their family status by official documents. Even if applicants possess the required documents, immigration authorities often reject the information as they question the authenticity of the documents. In this context, many countries resort to DNA tests to resolve cases in which they consider the information presented on family relations to be incomplete or unsatisfactory. In this talk, I present the results of an international research project on the use of DNA testing for family reunification in Europe and will compare them with the situation in the USA. I outline general trends of DNA analysis for family reunification and analyze the societal and political implications of parental testing in this context. I argue that DNA analyses for family reunification establish and strengthen a biological family model which is in contrast to the more pluralistic and social concepts of family in many societies in Europe and North America. I will then relate my findings to the ongoing debate on biological citizenship and show that biological criteria play an important role in decision-making on citizenship rights in nation-states. I argue that the use of parental testing for immigration endorses a biological concept of the family that is mobilized to diminish citizenship rights.The argument is based on an extensive document analysis as well as interviews with representatives of international governmental organizations, international and national NGOs and immigration authorities, lawyers specializing in immigration law, geneticists and those applying for family reunification.

Co-Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

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CER Colloquia Series

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Motel Ethnography Revisited"

Ann Swidler, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley

The usual ideal for ethnographers is deep immersion for a long period in one place – a village, neighborhood, or street corner. In stories and pictures, I describe the advantages of a more fluid, accidental set of encounters, following deepening ties over years of shorter interludes, staying in motels, not villages. Motels in rural Malawi were an ideal location for understanding the encounters of AIDS NGOs with those they sought to transform through workshops and trainings. But the “motel” is also a metaphor for a certain way of doing ethnography, revisiting people and places over many years, seeing lives unfold in surprising ways. I also highlight what one learns when one is more than a neutral observer. Analysis focuses on the aid industry, local experiences of the AIDS epidemic, the role of malice and mistrust (as well as “miracles”) in Africans’ lives, and the pervasive role of patron-client ties in sub-Saharan African societies.

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ISSI Colloquia Series

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

“The End Game: How Inequality Shapes Our Final Years”

Corey Abramson, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona 

Growing old presents physical problems for everyone. However, when these problems occur and how people confront them are mediated by inequalities that reflect persistent socioeconomic, racial, and gender divides. The End Game (Harvard University Press 2015) shows how inequality structures social life in old age - and what examining old age can tell us about the mechanisms of inequality more generally. This talk explains how and why health disparities, unequal material resources, social networks, and culture extend inequality into seniors’ final years and ultimately shape the strategies that may or may not enable people to persevere.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Ethnographic Research

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CER Images from the Field Series

Thursday, October 8, 2015

"Using Visual Methods to Learn about Human Rights Violations under Dictatorship"

Jacqueline Adams, Senior Researcher, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

Researchers can use a number of visual methods, in conjunction with other qualitative methods, to yield fruitful data and findings about human rights violations under dictatorship. This paper employs a case study to demonstrate how this may be done, focusing on research that formed the basis of two books on shantytown mothers’ experiences of state violence, exacerbated poverty, human rights activism, and collective, income-earning strategies during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (Surviving Dictatorship: A Work of Visual Sociology, Routledge, 2012, and Art against Dictatorship, University of Texas Press, 2013). The methods discussed include the analysis of drawings and text in ephemera produced by shantytown inhabitants (flyers dropped in the street, posters advertising resistance-oriented cultural events, and the bulletins produced by groups formed to cope with poverty); the collection and analysis of photographs from human rights organization bulletins, exile organization newsletters, left-leaning magazines, memoirs, and academic books and articles; the photographing and analysis of dissident art works produced by shantytown women, relatives of the disappeared, political prisoners, and Chilean exiles; photo elicitation (interviews based on photographs); and “art elicitation” (asking research subjects to talk about art works). These five visual methods, together with semi-structured interviews and participant observation, produced rich data about shantytown experiences of state violence, impoverishment, human rights activism, and collective income-earning, as well as about transnational activism involving refugees and sympathizers abroad.

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CRWS Colloquia Series

Thursday, September 29, 2015

“The Art of Recruitment: How the 'Islamic State' Trains its Community Organizers"

Brian Fishman, Counterterrorism Research Fellow, New America Foundation and Research Fellow, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

In early 2009 a new document appeared on jihadi web forums. It was designed to empower a small group of very radical, and very dedicated, people to take over the world. This document, titled “A Course in the Art of Recruitment,” aimed to resolve a deep tension in the global jihadi movement: the Internet was the connective tissue holding together radicalized jihadis from across the globe, but recruiters still found that an on-the-ground, personal touch was necessary to mobilize would-be recruits. The 51-page document, attributed to pseudonymous Abu 'Amr al-Qa'idi, aimed to resolve that conundrum not by directly recruiting individuals to al-Qa'ida's cause, but rather by empowering already radicalized, but inadequately trained, individuals to more effectively select, recruit, and organize on their own.

Abu `Amr’s handbook prescribes a highly structured recruitment process with multiple stages and clear, simple metrics to assess a recruit’s suitability and progress—essentially, the bureaucratization of decentralized jihadist recruitment. Abu `Amr argues that structuring recruitment and providing simple quantitative assessment tools will allow recruiters with less education and knowledge of Shari`a to recruit safely and effectively.

Abu 'Amr's methods have gained new currency as social media has enabled jihadis recruiters, often in Syria or Iraq, to apply an individualized touch to the recruitment process from thousands of miles away. But the concepts these digital recruiters utilize are not new, they are not ill-defined, and, for many, they are not always intuitive. Abu 'Amr's acolytes, for example, will explicitly avoid recruiting devout Muslims out of fear that they will understand the particulars of Islamic doctrine better than the recruiters themselves. Regardless, Abu 'Amr's manual provides insight into the movement that has become the 'Islamic State' and offers a glimpse into how a wide-range of radical movements, not just jihadis, are likely to organize in the future.  

Co-sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Institute of European Studies.

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CRSC Colloquia Series

Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Moments of Refusal: Thinking through Antiblackness and Black Futurity in Research on Urban Communities and Schooling"

Michael Dumas, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education and African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Hegemonic notions of race, multiculturalism and diversity proffer an understanding of social progress that is generally linear, gradual, steady and earnest. The story we tell ourselves is that we are becoming ever more democratic and tolerant, that we are more sophisticated in our ability to synthesize and analyze information about race and racism, and that we are more committed to racial equity, justice and opportunity than ever before. However, in this historical moment, we also witness increasing economic inequality along racial lines, nearly weekly stories of anti-Black violence and death, massive urban deterritorialization and dispersal, erasing Black homeplaces and priming these spaces for white accumulation. Through it all, the discourse in the public sphere suggests an increasing sense of justification of economic and social inequality, a sense of corporate and white entitlement to (dis)possession of land, and a seething disgust and disregard for the lives of Black people. In this talk, Professor Dumas wants to briefly explore what it means to research and document contradictory historical moment(s) of official anti-racist progress and white innocence, on the one hand, and on the other hand, enduring white defensiveness and racial fragility in the face of material and psychic Black suffering. Most importantly, how do we refuse hegemonic constructions of historical racial memory in our own work, and how do we acknowledge and honor attempts by insurgent Black subjects to refuse antiblackness and put forward alternative notions of Black historicity and futurity?

Spring 2015 Events

CRSC Co-sponsored Event

Monday, May 4, 2015

"Racialized Punitive Social Control: The Criminalization of Black and Latino Boys"

Victor Rios, Associate Professor of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara

Professor Rios will discuss his findings from 10 years of ethnography in Northern and Southern California with "juvenile delinquent" and gang associated boys.  He will also discuss findings from his latest research project on social movements in Ferguson, Missouri. Rios' work analyzes the role of social control in determining the well-being of young people living in urban marginality, tracks the social consequences of the punitive state and punitive social control-across institutional settings, and examines young people’s resilience and responses to social marginalization.

Sponsored by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Co-sponsored by the School of Social Welfare and Center for Research on Social Change

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ISSI Colloquia Series

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"The Triumph of the Corporate Rich and Why They Succeeded"

William DomhoffDistinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor of Sociology, University of California Santa Cruz

A new liberal-labor alliance slowly came together between 1932 and late 1934. It had some real successes in 1935 and 1936, and unions made major breakthroughs in 1937. But things went down hill for liberal legislation and for the union movement from 1938 onwards, despite appearances to the contrary that are based on greater income equality from 1939 to 1953 and the increase in union density until 1945.

So what happened? This talk addresses that question. The answer involves the reuniting of the temporarily divided Northern and Southern segments of the ownership class, the fracturing of the temporarily united union movement, the rise of the conservative voting coalition in Congress, the rollback of the New Deal during World War II, racial divisions in the working class, and conservative appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Supreme Court by Republican presidents.  

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CRNAI Colloquia Series

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Education, Ethnic Studies and Justice in Arizona"

Bryan BrayboyBorderlands Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University

In Arizona and elsewhere, justice is a systematic struggle for recognition. Ethnic Studies programs were created, in Arizona, to provide a sounding board for youth and peoples whose voices are too often marginalized in classroom discussions and materials. Despite the high academic success rates of Tucson students enrolled in ethnic studies, these programs have been framed as dangerous and unproductive. Eventually, the courses were banned from the Tucson Unified School District. In this talk, I will reflect on the role of justice in creating, and later marginalizing, ethnic studies programs in Arizona, while contemplating the importance of youth, structures and social engagement.

Co-sponsored by UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education 

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ISSI Colloquia Series

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Shadow Transnationalism: Cross-Border Networks and Planning Challenges of Transnational Unauthorized Immigrant Communities"

Gerardo SandovalAssistant Professor of Planning, Public Policy & Management, University of Oregon; Associate Director, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies

Informal transnational networks support unauthorized communities, in what I call Shadow Transnationalism. I trace the intertwined fortunes of Postville, Iowa, and El Rosario, Guatemala. I identify shadow network flows through employment recruitment networks, lending networks, remittance transfers, and smuggling networks. I further investigate efforts of transnationalism from “below” scholars by building on the idea of a “shadow place.” I then analyze the transnational networks that are supported by employers, the state, and immigrants, and that create exploitative transnational spaces dependent on unauthorized communities. The study offers planners a better understanding of the vulnerability, risks, and interdependence of shadow transnational networks.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Research on Social Change

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Perspectives on Native Representations Symposium:

"Native Appropriations: representations, pop culture, and cultural resistance in cyber space"

Dr. Adrienne Keene

"Bullets in the Front, Arrows in the Back: A Look at Humor and Imagery in Indigenous Media” 

Migizi Penseneau

"Changing the Way We See Native America"

Matika Wilbur

Keynote Speaker Panel 

Dr. Adrienne Keene, Migizi Penseneau & Matika Wilbur 

While the history between Native peoples and representations of identity projected upon them (having been replicated and reinforced in popular culture) is layered and complex, the rise of technology and social media has ushered in an era of accessible activism that pushes against this history. Native peoples across the world now have practicable, highly visible modes to express unique voices that challenge and redefine how Natives are represented both internal and external of their communities. "Perspectives on Native Representations" seeks to highlight the multiple contexts through which representations of Native communities, culture and individuals are being shifted and re-imagined.

Sponsored by UC Berkeley's Native American Student Development. Co-sponsored by the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues.

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CRWS Colloquia Series

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution"

Amanda Hollis-BruskyAssistant Professor of Politics, Pomona College 

Fred Smith, Assistant Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, as respondent 

There are few intellectual movements in modern American political history more successful than the Federalist Society. Created in 1982 to counterbalance what its founders considered a liberal legal establishment, the organization gradually evolved into the conservative legal establishment, and membership is all but required for any conservative lawyer who hopes to enter politics or the judiciary. It claims 40,000 members, including four Supreme Court Justices, dozens of federal judges, and every Republican attorney general since its inception. But its power goes even deeper.

In Ideas with Consequences, Amanda Hollis-Brusky provides the first comprehensive account of how the Federalist Society exerts its influence. Drawing from a huge trove of documents, transcripts, and interviews, she explains how the Federalist Society managed to revolutionize the jurisprudence for a wide variety of important legal issues. Many of these issues-including the extent of federal government power, the scope of the right to bear arms, and the parameters of corporate political speech-had long been considered settled. But the Federalist Society was able to upend the existing conventional wisdom, promoting constitutional theories that had previously been dismissed as ludicrously radical. As Hollis-Brusky shows, the Federalist Society provided several of the crucial ingredients needed to accomplish this constitutional revolution. It serves as a credentialing institution for conservative lawyers and judges and legitimizes novel interpretations of the constitution that employ a conservative framework. It also provides a judicial audience of like-minded peers, which prevents the well-documented phenomenon of conservative judges turning moderate after years on the bench. As a consequence, it is able to exercise enormous influence on important cases at every level.

Sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Law and Society, the Center for Research on Social Change, and the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

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CRNAI Colloquia Series

Tuesday, February 5, 2015

"This Is a Story about History: American Indians and U.S. Citizenship"

K. Tsianina LomawaimaProfessor of Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University; Distinguished Scholar in Indigenous Education, Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University

Many people understand that U.S. citizenship is a fraught and complicated status, one that raises many questions: Who is? Who isn’t? Who might be? Who shouldn’t be? Who’s scary? Who’s safe? Where shall we begin in order to talk about the status of American Indians? Not in 1492; or in 1620 – that’s much too long. We’ll start in 1924 (I am a historian, after all) because that’s the year Congress passed the American Indian Citizenship Act. And we’ll end, not with a date and not with answers, either, but with Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins visiting Zuni Pueblo.

Sponsored by Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues. Co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Social and Cultural Studies Program and Graduate School of Education

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Fall 2014 Events

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Children at the Border, Children at the Margins: Health, Responsibility, and Immigration"

Stefano M. Bertozzi, Dean and Professor of Health Policy & Management, Public Health, UC Berkeley

Lariza Dugan-CuadraExecutive Director, CARECEN Central American Resource Center

Seth HolmesAssistant Professor, Public Health and Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Rubén MartínezJournalist and Author of Desert America, Crossing Over, and The New Americans

Casey Peek, Producer of “New World Border”

Adrienne PineAssistant Professor, Anthropology, American University

Patricia Baquedano-LópezChair, Center for Latino Policy Research, and Associate Professor, Education, UC Berkeley, as moderator

Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Co-sponsored by Center for Latino Policy Research, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and School of Public Health

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Friday, October 23, 2014

"Rising Tide; Sinking Ships: Climate Change and Inequality"

Jon KrosnickFrederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences, Stanford: "Inequality and Public Opinion on Global Warming"

Blas Pérez HenríquezDirector, Center for Environmental Public Policy, UC Berkeley

"Climate-Smart Policy: Carbon Pricing, Investment and Marginalized Communities"

Sponsorsed by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley, and Stanford's Center on Poverty and Inequality

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"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.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"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."

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"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.

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Spring 2014 Events

Friday, May 2, 2014

"Breaking Barriers, Building Community: 35 Years of Training Social Change Scholars"

2014 marks the 35th anniversary of graduate training at the Institute for the Study of Social Change (now the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues). For more than three decades, ISSC/I has provided mentorship, training and support to numerous doctoral students, who have gone on to produce social change scholarship that transforms the world and the academy. In recognition of this anniversary, this conference features presentations by alumni of the graduate training program, now distinguished academics, whose groundbreaking work on stratification and social change in US cities challenges the presumptions of power and the powerful. Panelists draw on research that 1) examines the erasure of history and memory that occurs around race and gender; 2) explores the processes and contexts in which the definitions and enforcement of (il)legality are undergoing change in schools and community settings, on the streets and in workplaces, and around the use and design of the built environment; and 3) engages with the efforts of community organizations and activists to challenge the policies and control of dominant interests.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Fourth City: The American Prison Writer as Witness"

Doran Larson, Professor of English, Hamilton College

with responses from Jonathan SimonAdrian A. Kragen, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Society, UC Berkeley

and Patricia Penn HildenProfessor Emerita, Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

Mass incarceration in the United States is the largest, most lucrative, most racialized, and most destructive social experiment in recent history.  Only the men and women who live behind bars are fully invested in the truth, are willing and able to bear witness to the state of our prisons, and are subjects of sufficient public fascination to be heard by a broad public.

This talk will present Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America, a collection of 71 essays from writers incarcerated in 27 American states. Fourth City is the largest collection to date of first-person witness to how the American prison is experienced by those living inside it. Fourth Citypresents the prison population as it sees itself: not as a regrettable abstraction or liability of the neoliberal state, but as an extant community of 2.26 million living under hostile supervision, and for this reason experiencing a life more cohesive, across an archipelago of facilities, than that experienced by residents of New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago.  Fourth City presents incarcerated Americans as a national constituency, and as the constituency best positioned to witness what is wrong with current prison practice in the U.S., its real effects on its wards, and how the prison in America fails the mission of correction so badly. The talk will also discuss a Digital Humanities project now in progress, The American Prison Writing Archive.  The APWA is planned as an open-source, digital archive of non-fiction, American prison writing, including the work of incarcerated people, prison staff, administrators, and volunteers.  Fourth City and the APWA are efforts to relocate those directly affected by the prison complex from the periphery to the center of the conversation about mass incarceration in the U.S. today.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Not Imprisonment in the Legal Sense: The Invention of Immigrant Detention"

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Associate Professor of History, UCLA

with Leti Volpp, Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven, Professor of Law and Access to Justice, Berkeley Law School

Immigrant detention is, today, the single-largest dimension of human confinement operated by the U.S. Federal government. Yet immigrant detention is often forgotten as a pillar of the nation's carceral regime. This strange omission is rooted in a decision made one century ago by the United States Supreme Court, which determined that human confinement in the pursuit of deportation is "not imprisonment in a legal sense." This paper excavates the origins of immigrant detention as a practice of human confinement that operates, in a legal sense, separate and apart from imprisonment but everyday fills the nation's jails, prisons, and detention facilities.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Why Are So Many Americans in Prison?"

Steven Raphael, Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

Between 1975 and 2007, the American incarceration rate increased nearly fivefold, a historic increase that puts the United States in a league of its own among advanced economies. We incarcerate more people today than we ever have, and we stand out as the nation that most frequently uses incarceration to punish those who break the law. What factors explain the dramatic rise in incarceration rates in such a short period of time? Professor Raphael will speak about his new book, Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? (co-authored with Michael A. Stoll),  which analyzes the shocking expansion of America's prison system and illustrates the pressing need to rethink mass incarceration in this country.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"A New Movement Era? Reflections by Frances Fox Piven"

Frances Fox Piven ,Distinguished Professor of Political Science, CUNY Graduate Center

Moderated by Catherine Albiston, Professor of Law, Berkeley School of Law

As the global economy experienced one of the worst downturns in recent memory, ordinary people around the world poured into the streets to protest the daily injustices they faced. Income inequality, debt, dispossession, exploitation, and state repression were among the many concerns that propelled mass disruption from below. In a fireside chat format, Professor Frances Pox Piven will reflect on the potential for change in the current historical moment. Does this mass refusal of cooperation constitute a new movement era? If so, to what extent will it trigger reforms that moderate capitalist excesses? And how do and how should students, scholars, and academia figure into this era?

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Fall 2013 Events

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"The Marketization of Good Works? Rival Dispositions of Caring in Egypt and Turkey"

Cihan Tugal, Associate Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley

Why do people give? Sociologists have provided two basic answers to this question (which I call the solidaristic and domination accounts). We can't, however, understand giving except in its very broad context. The tension between the solidaristic and domination aspects of giving (both of which we have to integrate into an analytical framework for a comprehensive understanding) play out very differently in contrasting contexts due to histories of sociopolitical mobilization; state-society links; and patterns of distinction and giving techniques.  Islamic giving provides a unique lens into these problems due to the centrality of benevolence in Islam. Yet, Islamic giving is not made of one cloth, as the distinctions between Egyptian and Turkish charities and philanthropies demonstrate. In Turkish philanthropy, there is a relatively smoother marriage of the Islamic and the market mission. In Egypt, marketization of giving is uneven and communitarian philanthropists predominate. Moreover, in Turkey, the communitarian associations (which are in the minority) have started to shift from an emphasis on Islam to an emphasis on redistribution.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

"My People, My People: How Competing Ideas about 'Black People' Shape African-American Republicans' Political Behavior"

Corey Fields, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Stanford University

with Laura Stoker, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, as respondent

This research explores how race animates the politics of African-American Republicans. I depart from existing approaches that treat race as an axis of identity. Instead, I argue for the necessity of treating race as a set of ideas about black people. Interviews and ethnographic observations reveal that strong expressions of racial identity are common among African-American Republicans. However, there are very different ideas about who constitutes the group being identified with. Divergent ideas about black people divide African-American Republicans. These ideas impact 3 aspects of their political behavior: (1) interpretation of conservative social policy, (2) their ability to organize themselves, and (3) their capacity to build alliances with white Republicans. To fully understand black political behavior, analysts must move from only considering race as a marker of identity for black people, to also thinking about race as a set of ideas black people have about black people.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Neurocratic Futures in the Disability Economy: Pregnancy, Addiction, and Mental Illness in the US Welfare State"

Kelly Knight, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine

Drawing on four years of ethnographic research, I will address a collision of politics, science, and social policy with historic roots in 1990s neoliberal welfare reform and current consequences in the everyday lives of addicted pregnant women.  In 1997, the disallowance of substance use dependence as a qualifying, disabling health condition for Social Security Income (SSI) benefits spurned the development of a new disability economy.   Despite widely accepted scientific evidence demonstrating the high frequency of mental illness and substance use disorder comorbidity, a new social actor, "the neurocrat," was constructed to document mental health disorders in exception of substance use disorder for SSI applicants. Today, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Bipolar Disorder are diagnosed at very high frequency and the prescription of broad spectrum atypical antipsychotic medications is routine among homeless women.  Clinically speaking, PTSD and Bipolar Disorder are difficult conditions to diagnose and treat in the presence of active substance use.  Yet the symptoms of these conditions - trauma, despair, rage and mania - are viewed as appropriate responses on the part of pregnant addicts to experiences of structural violence, social suffering, and housing instability.   It is also well understood that accessing SSI welfare benefits through successful neurocratic disability claims enables the safety-net health care system while also ensuring access to subsidized housing, case management, and other social benefits.  In this way, neurocrats make the madness of poverty socially legible.  Neurocratic futures for pregnant addicts are now necessary and entrenched on both institutional and personal levels. They can ensure social recognition and material viability for pregnant addicts, as long as women can agree to be mentally disabled, rather than merely addicted and just poor.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

"The Interface Between Native American Culture, Economic Growth and Institutions"

Duane Champagne, Professor of Sociology, American Indian Studies, and Law, UC Los Angeles

Economic development, and social change in general, is a multidimensional and institutional process. An argument is offered that the patterns of indigenous institutional autonomy, the presence or absence of market values and institutions, access to markets, and the constraints of external bureaucratic control play key roles in understanding the possibilities of sustained and beneficial market participation among American Indian nations. In the way of introduction, the arguments are traced through the literature and examples given from history and policy. A case study is provided which traces economic, cultural, and political change among the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2013

"Understanding Ethnic Cooperation: Evidence from Experiments in East Africa"

Edward Miguel, Oxfam Professor in Environmental and Resource Economics and Faculty Director of the Center for Effective Global Action, UC Berkeley

We employ lab experiment data from Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to document the extent of ethnic divisions, and to test whether - and how - ethnic divisions can be rendered less salient. The study employs both standard and novel lab measures, develops new ways to prime both ethnic and national identity, uses implicit association tests to clarify the mechanisms underlying behavior, and employs a pre-analysis plan that specifies hypotheses to generate more credible estimates. 

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Fall 2012

"Cuba and California: Prospects for US-Cuban Relations"

In Fall 2012 ISSI co-sponsored (with the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Center for Latino Policy Research, and the Center for Latin American Studies) a conference entitled "Cuba and California: Prospects for US-Cuban Relations."  The conference featured leading Cuban, American, and Canadian experts who spoke about the evolving relationship and emerging opportunities between Cuba and the United States. Conference speakers (including Rep. Barbara Lee [D-CA], Julia Sweigand Carlos Alzugaray Tretoamong others) provided analysis of the economic, social, and political developments taking place in Cuba and the role Californians, especially, might play in advancing U.S.-Cuba business and cultural exchanges and intiatives.  Video of the conference is now available on UCTV.  To view video of the conference, click here.

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