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All ISSI events are free and open to the public. (There is a fee for some workshops as noted below).

For more information, please contact us at issi(at)berkeley(dot)edu or (510) 642-0813.

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

Many of our events are video-recorded. You can see a list of available videos on our website. If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you will be notified when new videos are available.



Wednesday, January 24 | 6:30-8:30pm

The Business of Disaster: Colonial Shock Doctrine & the Fight for Health Justice in Post-Maria Puerto Rico

Panel Discussion with Vincanne Adams, Professor in the Joint UCSF/UC Berkeley Program in Medical Anthropology; Cathy Kennedy, Registered Nurse and a Vice President of National Nurses United, and Javier Arbona, Professor of American Studies and Design at UC Davis. 

The ongoing catastrophe following Hurricane Maria’s landfall on Puerto Rico in September has provided a stark reminder that disasters are never merely natural. As with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, historical inequalities have played a clear role in shaping the government’s response. The enduring colonial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico and the market-driven nature of governmental relief efforts are both critical to understanding the current crisis. 

Gifford Room (Kroeber Hall 221)

Sponsored by The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Free and open to the public. RSVP here

Wednesday, January 31 | 5:00-7:00pm

Innocence and Violence: The Theology of a Gun Culture

Dominic Erdozain, Freelance Writer

Gun rights are typically identified with the Second Amendment – a legal, indeed constitutional, prerogative. This lecture argues that they are better understood as part of a culture and a belief system, centering on ideas of innocence and legitimate violence. I argue that this belief system is apparent in the contemporary gun culture’s confidence in the ‘law-abiding citizen’ as a stable and fixed category, and then I seek to explore its origins. The claim is that gun rights, while modern in form and intensity, rest upon older narratives of national righteousness and popular sovereignty, among them, Puritan concepts of salvation and judgment. Although the more sophisticated defenses of gun rights cite natural law and the notion of self-defense as a universal right, I argue that gun rights remain a set of special privileges – almost a code of entitlement. To engage this culture effectively, we need better understanding of the particular theologies from which it has emerged.

3335  Dwinelle Hall

Sponsored by Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by The Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Berkeley Center for Right Wing Studies, and the History Department, UC Berkeley


Wednesday, February 7 | 4:00-5:30 pm

How Did US-Russian Relations Get So Bad and How Might They Be Improved?

George Breslauer, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emeritus, UC Berkeley

The current hostility in US-Russian relations goes back to the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR and the formal end of the Cold War.  US International behavior in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa progressively alienated Russian leaders, leading, under Putin, to sharp reactions.  In response to those reactions, US leaders of both parties came to demonize Russia and Putin and to up the ante.  The spiral of escalation continues to this day, though gingerly, as neither side wants a direct military confrontation with the other.  In the meantime, US efforts to play its traditional leadership role in international politics has revealed both a self-serving tendency and a level of incompetence that has fueled contempt in Moscow.  The shift in power relations globally suggests that a new international order is being born, whether Washington likes it or not.  Even in this context, US-Russian relations can improve through confidence-building and confrontation-avoidance measures.  But more far-reaching rapprochement will likely require greater "modesty and devolution" in US foreign policy.

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

Sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Thursday, February 8 | 5:30pm

Stephen Small Book Talk: 20 Questions and Answers on Black Europe

Stephen Small, Professor, Department of African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Refreshments provided.

Sponsored by African American Studies, Center for African Studies, Ethnic Studies Dept., Center for Race and Gender, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, February 13 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

No Ban, No Wall: Confronting the Militarization of Our Borders and Communities

Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)

Ofelia Ortiz Cuevas, Assistant Professor of Department of Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis

Pierre Labossiere, Co-Founder of the Haiti Action Committee

Abraham Vela M.D., Volunteer, Clínica Martín-Baró 

with Seth Holmes, Co-Chair of ISSI’s Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management and Medical Anthropology as respondent

The Trump presidency has increased attacks on immigrant and marginalized communities through targeting sanctuary cities, instituting the Muslim ban, and revoking temporary protected status for thousands. But, these actions are based on a long-standing foundation of xenophobia and criminalization. Such repression manifests not only at borders, but also in our backyards in the form of militarized policing, state surveillance, and collusion between local and federal law enforcement. Please join us for a panel discussion to analyze these intersections with some of the individuals working to defend the health and rights of immigrant communities. 

Gifford Room (Kroeber Hall 221)

Sponsored by California Nurses Association & Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, February 21 | 4:00-5:30 pm

Marxism Engages Bourdieu

Michael Burawoy, Professor, Department of Sociology, UC Berkeley

The influence of Pierre Bourdieu's thought has spread across disciplines and over the world. Like all the great sociologists before him, his theory emerges from a critique of Marx. In Bourdieu’s case the critique revolves around Marx’s failure to develop a theory of cultural domination. But, like his predecessor sociologists, Bourdieu reduces Marxism to Marx and, thus, never engages such figures as Georg Lukács, members of the Frankfurt School, Simon de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, Paulo Freire and Antonio Gramsci, all of whom address the question of cultural domination. In this talk, I develop the comparison of Bourdieu and Gramsci, starting out from the difference between symbolic domination and hegemony that entails further contrasts: field of power vs. civil society; classification struggle vs. class struggle; academic vs. subaltern theories of knowledge; and traditional vs. organic intellectuals. These divergent perspectives on cultural domination have implications for the critique of society and what is to be done.

Wildavsky Conference Room, 2538 Channing Way, ISSI, UC Berkeley  
Sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Thursday, February 22 I 7:30-9:30pm

The Native American Staff Council presents:

A Documentary Film Screening of "100 Years: One Woman's Fight for Justice" (Elouise Cobell's inspiring story)

Followed by Q&A with Director and Producer, Melinda Janko

For information about the film, please visit

West Pauley Ballroom, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, UC Berkeley (2475 Bancroft Way)

Admission is FREE but attendees must RSVP to the American Indian Graduate Program - by Wednesday, February 14, 2018 or call (510) 642-3228 and provide names and emails of guests. All students, staff, faculty, alumni and the public are welcome! Reserve your space early as seating may go fast! After the talk, completed evaluations will be entered to win great raffle prizes!

Co-sponsored by: Chancellor Carol Christ, Office of the Chancellor; Jo Mackness, Human Resources; Oscar Dubon and Sidalia Reel, Equity & Inclusion; American Indian Graduate Student Association; American Indian Graduate Program; and Native American Studies, and the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, UC Berkeley

If you have questions, please contact Carmen Foghorn ( or Cindy Andallo (, 510-642-3228.

Friday, February 23 | 2:00-4:00 pm

An African American and Latinx History of the United States: An intersectional history of the shared struggle for African American and Latinx civil rights

Paul Ortiz, Associate Professor, Department of History and the Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida

Professor Paul Ortiz will speak about his newly published book, An African American and Latinx History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2018). Spanning more than two hundred years, this much anticipated book is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history, arguing that the “Global South” was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Scholar and activist Paul Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress as exalted by widely taught formulations like “manifest destiny” and “Jacksonian democracy,” and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism.

Drawing on rich narratives and primary source documents, Ortiz links racial segregation in the Southwest and the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, known as International Workers’ Day, when migrant laborers—Chicana/os, Afrocubanos, and immigrants from every continent on earth—united in resistance on the first “Day Without Immigrants.” As African American civil rights activists fought Jim Crow laws and Mexican labor organizers warred against the suffocating grip of capitalism, Black and Spanish-language newspapers, abolitionists, and Latin American revolutionaries coalesced around movements built between people from the United States and people from Central America and the Caribbean. In stark contrast to the resurgence of “America First” rhetoric, Black and Latinx intellectuals and organizers today have historically urged the United States to build bridges of solidarity with the nations of the Americas.

Incisive and timely, this bottom-up history, told from the interconnected vantage points of Latinx and African Americans, reveals the radically different ways that people of the diaspora have addressed issues still plaguing the United States today, and it offers a way forward in the continued struggle for universal civil rights.

Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Multicultural Community Center, UC Berkeley

Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate ResearchAmerican CulturesCenter for Race and GenderDepartment of Ethnic StudiesDepartment of African American StudiesMulticultural Community Center, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by the Center for Research on Social Change, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, February 27 | 12:00-1:30 pm

Enemies of a Nation: The Roots of Rising Authoritarianism in Turkey

Melike Köse, CRWS Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor, Kocaeli University, Turkey

Turkey has been governed under the state of emergency rule since the failed coup d’etat in July 2016. Since then, civil rights and liberties have been eroded daily by governmental decrees. Well-known NGO Freedom House, in its latest report on “Freedom in the World,” classified Turkey as “not free.”  Pressure on media and intellectuals has created an atmosphere of fear throughout Turkish society. While Turkey is going through one of the darkest periods in its political history, this state of exception, in Agamben terms, is not something new for the “others” who have been excluded for decades as enemies of the nation. 

At this talk, Professor Köse will take a brief look at the political history of Turkey, reaching back to the last period of the Ottoman Empire, in order to understand how internal and external threats to unity, security, secularism, and nation are defined and redefined, and how these discourses have become very convenient political instruments to justify the excessive and unconstitutional use of state power against “enemies” of the nation. This brief appraisal will reveal how the current authoritarianism coupled with populism in Turkey is justified in the eyes of some voters, by showing its roots in Turkish political culture.

Duster Conference Room, 2420 Bowditch Street, ISSI, UC Berkeley
Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, February 28 I 12:00-1:30pm

Crossing Paths: Graduate & Undergraduate Exchanges of Indigenous Research 

Started in 2013, the Crossing Paths lecture series provides a space for Native and Indigenous graduate and undergraduate students to share their research, get feedback, and build community with other students, faculty, staff, and allies. Each Crossing Paths meeting consists of two student presenters (an undergraduate and a graduate), a moderator ( a faculty or staff person), and audience discussion.

For more information about this event, please visit

554 Barrows Hall

Co-sponsored by the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, American Indian Graduate Student Association, American Indian Graduate Program, Native American Studies, Native American Student Development, Native American Recruitment and Retention Center, Graduate Assembly, and the ASUC, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, February 28 | 12:00-1:30pm

Mobility, Expulsion and Claims to Home: Migrant Organizing in an Era of Deportation and Dispossession

Monisha Das Gupta, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

The virulence and pervasiveness of immigration enforcement have fueled migrants to organize in heterogeneous ways. My research about and activism in the movement during the last eight years have evolved into an engagement with a strain of anti-deportation organizing which takes up the cause of the most indefensible of immigrants and refugees -- those labeled criminal aliens. Non-citizens, who are branded with this label, are both legal permanent residents and undocumented.  Ninety-two percent of all migrants caught in the dragnet of interior enforcement in 2016 were categorized as “criminal aliens.” What activists term “crimmigration” has become the most effective tool to remove migrants from the interior.

In this talk, I examine the relationship among mobility, forced removals, and claims to space by analyzing how high school-age members of Khmer Girls in Action (KGA) in Long Beach interrogate the school to prison to deportation pipeline. They link the criminalization of Khmer refugees to the legacies of United States’ wars in southeast Asia and the failures of the US refugee resettlement program. The “refugee voice,” which youth leaders learn to use in their communities, resets the dominant frameworks deployed to advocate for immigrant justice. By naming the waves of political trauma Khmer refugees in the United States experience, the KGA youth offer strategies that weld together gender justice, refugee justice and youth justice from an anti-carceral and anti-deportation perspective. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, 2538 Channing Way, ISSI, UC Berkeley
Sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies (AAADS), and the CRG Social Movement Working Group, UC Berkeley


Thursday, March 1 | 4:00-5:30 pm

California Through Native Eyes: Reclaiming History

William J. Bauer, Jr.,  Wailacki and Concow of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, Professor, Department of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

In 1935, Concow Austin McLaine, of northern California’s Round Valley Reservation, told an oral tradition about Lizard, who saw smoke wafting up from West Mountain, now known as Lassen Peak. The people in Lizard’s town planned to steal fire from Eagle, who selfishly kept the fire under his wings. The people teamed up, stole the fire, and raced with it back to town. Before they reached their roundhouse, however, Coyote grabbed the fire, dropped it and set the entire Sacramento Valley ablaze. Traditionally, scholars have treated oral traditions, such as the story of Lizard, as quaint myths. This presentation argues that California Indian oral traditions present an Indigenous version of California’s history and engaged in the political events of the Great Depression. California Indians used their oral traditions to challenge preexisting narratives of California’s past, to claim land and place in the 1930s and provide California Indians with a path to follow in the future. 

Followed by a reception.

Multicultural Community Center (MCC), 220 Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, UC Berkeley

Sponsored by Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by American Indian Graduate Student AssociationAmerican Indian Graduate Program, Native American Student Development, Department of Ethnic Studies, Division of Equity and Inclusion, UC Berkeley

Tuesday,  March 6 | 12:00 - 1:00pm

2018-19 Graduate Fellows Program Application Workshop

In its forty years of existence, the Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) has provided an interdisciplinary research and training environment as a complement to, and resource for, UC Berkeley graduate programs in the social sciences and professional schools. Over 150 UC Berkeley graduate students have completed their doctoral studies and gone on to distinguished academic careers that have significantly influenced their disciplines and fields on issues of social change and inequality.

In an expansion of the Graduate Fellows Program, the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues will provide funding for one additional Berkeley doctoral student who has completed at least three years of graduate studies and whose research focuses on Native American issues in the US today.

GFP Training Coordinators, Dr. David Minkus and Dr. Deborah Lustig, will provide an overview of the application process, the criteria applied when evaluating applicants, and the content and organization of the Graduate Fellows Program. Attending the workshop is not required.

For more information and to download an application (due April 3) visit: 


Duster Conference Room, 2420 Bowditch Street (at Haste)

Sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, March 7 | 4:00-5:30 pm


What explains the dramatic rise in autism prevalence (from one in 10,000 to 1 in 68)?: The hunt for environmental factors

Emily Diamond, Professor, The Wright Institute, Berkeley

Respondent: Troy Duster, Chancellor's Professor, Department of Sociology, UC Berkeley, and Emeritus Silver Professor, Department of Sociology, New York University

Autism prevalence and other neurodevelopmental disabilities have markedly risen in the last 2 decades. Researchers around the world are looking for environmental factors. My project - the International Autism Mapping Project - tries to answer this question through geospatial mapping. Specifically, we examine the place of conception, and its nearness to various kinds of toxins. Since autism prevalence is not equal across all regions, this and other clues help us understand environmental factors better. For example, as our closest toxic exposures are household exposures, we wondered whether the pesticide implicated in the mass bee and pollinator die-off might be significant. Results from our California data will be discussed along with findings from our national study. The talk will close by considering the role of inequity in shaping environmental factors leading to autism, and the other studies we have planned.

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

Sponsored by Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Thursday, March 8 | 4:00-5:30 pm

“Thank You For Your Service”: Gratitude, Silence, and the Production of Militarized Common Sense on College Campuses

Ellen Moore, Visiting Scholar, ISSI

In this contemporary period of prolonged undeclared wars, where lethal-force conflicts are waged not against designated nation-states but against rhetorical abstractions (Terror) in the name of other rhetorical abstractions (Freedom), speech and language are important loci of power. On contemporary college campuses, the needs of student veterans, veteran support programs and veteran identities have become instrumental in the quest to produce “military friendly” institutions and the valorization of military projects in everyday life, through mandated silence about the current wars and ritualized gratitude as expressed in the phrase "thank you for your service." This presentation draws from ethnographic research on U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans as they shift from combat to community colleges and university classrooms. It traces the deployment of silence and praise in veteran support organizations, in trainings, and in college classrooms, as they become, in the words of Comeroff and Comeroff, ‘the animating vernacular around which the discursive flow is organized.’  This study finds that processes of silencing are not only produced though large-scale public displays of military prowess and patriotism; they are also produced in small, everyday classroom practices and through affiliative speech acts. Veterans have highly variable and often contradictory responses to public displays of gratitude and develop ways of using their iconic status to contest mythologies surrounding imposed veteran identities.

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

Sponsored by Center for Ethnographic Research, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by Graduate School of Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, March 13 | 4:00 - 5:30pm

Lives Still in Limbo: Undocumented and Navigating Uncertain Futures

Roberto Gonzalez, Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

More information about this talk to be announced. For other information visit

Followed by reception. 

Location: TBA

Sponsored by the Center for Latino Policy Research, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, March 14 | 4:00 - 5:30pm

City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771–1965

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Associate Professor, History and African American Studies and Interim Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, UCLA

Los Angeles incarcerates more people than any other city in the United States, which imprisons more people than any other nation on Earth. In this talk based on her new book, historian Kelly Lytle Hernández explains how the City of Angels became the capital city of the world’s leading incarcerator. Marshaling more than two centuries of evidence, she unmasks how histories of native elimination, immigrant exclusion, and black disappearance drove the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles. In this telling, which spans from the Spanish colonial era to the outbreak of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, Hernández documents the persistent historical bond between the racial fantasies of conquest, namely its settler colonial form, and the eliminatory capacities of incarceration.

But City of Inmates is also a chronicle of resilience and rebellion, documenting how targeted peoples and communities have always fought back. They busted out of jail, forced Supreme Court rulings, advanced revolution across bars and borders, and, as in the summer of 1965, set fire to the belly of the city. With these acts those who fought the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles altered the course of history in the city, the borderlands, and beyond. This book recounts how the dynamics of conquest met deep reservoirs of rebellion as Los Angeles became the City of Inmates, the nation’s carceral core. View the City of Inmates book trailer here. 

Hearst Memorial Mining Building Room 290, UC Berkeley

Sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by Department of History, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, Division of Equity and Inclusion, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley

Thursday, March 15 | 4:00 - 5:30pm

Is the Alt-Right Collapsing?

George Hawley, Assistant Professor of Political Science, The University of Alabama

In 2015 and 2016, the so-called Alt-Right – the latest iteration of the American white nationalist movement – experienced exponential growth. In 2017, it made headlines across the globe. Some feared it represented a serious threat to racial progress and even American democracy. However, the Alt-Right has also faced extraordinary setbacks, and it is not clear that it will even continue existing as a meaningful political or cultural force.  In this talk, Professor Hawley will reflect on the past, present and future of the Alt-Right in American politics. 

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

Sponsored by Berkeley's Center for Right-Wing Studies, UC Berkeley 

Wednesday, March 21 - March 22 

Invisible No More: A Symposium on Police Violence Against Black Women & Women of Color

This symposium will feature  Andrea Ritchie, local organizers, and scholars: Nikki Jones, Mimi Kim, Patrisse Cullors, Robyn Maynard, Janetta Johnson, Alisa Bierria, Saira Hussain, Ashara Ekundayo, Monica Jones, Monique Morris, Romarilyn Ralston, Emi Koyama, Patricia Berne, and Mia Mingus reflecting on the urgent topics raised in this volume and possibilities for transformation.

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Black lesbian immigrant and police-misconduct attorney, Andrea Ritchie, is a timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. Placing stories of individual women—such as Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Dajerria Becton, Monica Jones, and Mya Hall—in the broader context of the twin epidemics of police violence and mass incarceration, it documents the evolution of movements centering women’s experiences of policing and demands a radical rethinking of our visions of safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.

Wednesday, March 21, 4:00pm – 7:30pm: SHIFTING THE PARADIGM
Andrea Ritchie and a panel of organizers and scholars will discuss why gender analyses has often been marginalized in activism, policy, and research addressing police violence and how to shift the paradigm for a more expansive and transformative politics.

Followed by a reception.

Thursday, March 22, 10:00am – 5:00pm: ORGANIZE, RESEARCH, TRANSFORM
Symposium Panels:

Policing Girls
Policing Reproduction & Sexuality
#SurvivedAndPunished: Policing Survivors of Domestic & Sexual Violence
Resistance Roundtable

Multicultural Community Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union Building | UC Berkeley

Thursday, March 22 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Beyond Identity: Building Collective Struggles for Racial and Health Justice  

George Lipsitz, Professor of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara

Rupa Marya, Associate Professor of Medicine and Faculty Director of the Do No Harm Coalition at UC San Francisco

Carlos Martinez, PhD student in the UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco Joint Program in Medical Anthropology 

More information about this talk to be announced. For other information visit

Gifford Room (Kroeber 221)

Sponsored by The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley


Tuesday, April 3 | 12:00 - 1:30pm

Title: TBA

Greg Prieto, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of San Diego

More information about this talk to be announced. For other information visit

Location: Multicultural Community Center (MCC), 220 Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, UC Berkeley

Sponsored by Ethnic Studies and Center for Research on Social Change, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by Center for Latino Policy Research

Thursday, April 5 | 4:00 - 5:30pm

Bodies of Knowledge: Race, Power, & Pedagogy

Natalee Kēhaulani Bauer, Graduate School of Education

Michael Singh, Graduate School of Education

Natalee Kēhaulani Bauer | "(En)Gendering Whiteness: A Historical Analysis of White Womanhood, Colonial Anxieties, and “Tender Violence” in US Schools"

Natalee Kēhaulani Bauer's dissertation explores the over-disciplining of students of color by taking a thus far unconsidered stance and asking how white women have historically understood their roles in the disciplining of nonwhite student bodies. By asking, “How and why has the role of the heroic white female teacher developed over time and in varying geographic locales?” this study provides a gendered historical analysis of the reinforcing relationship between settler colonialism and anti-Blackness as it manifests itself in schools contemporarily.

This project employs two main methodologies: (1) critical case studies of three pivotal moments in 19th Century US educational history, and (2) Foucauldian discourse analysis, which I use in constructing a genealogy of heroic white womanhood (“benevolent whiteness”). Through this analysis, I explain how the collective acceptance of and participation in the discursive construction of heroic white womanhood has been the normative underpinning of US educational and disciplinary practice for nearly two hundred years. Thus, this dissertation offers a critical link between past and present as a way through which teachers and researchers can consider the over-disciplining of students of color, a task largely performed by white females in an institution haunted by the specter of an imagined benevolent whiteness.

Michael Singh | "The Neoliberalization of Latino Male Identity: Resistance and Complicity in a School-Based Mentorship Program"

The current educational crisis of Latino young men and boys has led to a proliferation of district and non-district programs seeking to remedy the achievement gap experienced by Latino boys through Latino male mentorship programs. Indicative of neoliberal shifts in Latinx education, these programs often involve public-private partnerships and assume a damaged Latino boy in need of technocratic and innovative solutions, rather than structural changes. Through an ethnographic case study of one Latino men and boys mentorship program for an urban school district in California, this study explores the ways the administrative power of Latino male programming constructs the ideal Latino male subject through neoliberal values of individualism, excellence and earning potential, and pushes boys to be the future heterosexual patriarchs of their community. Furthermore, based on in-depth interviews with the 10 mentors of the program as well as participant observations, this paper uncovers deep tensions in the ways mentors attempt to incite racial critique while still adhering to the neoliberal values of the program and its funders.

CRG Conference Room, 691 Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley 

Sponsored by Center for Race and Gender, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, April 10 | 4:00 - 5:30pm

Popular Neoliberalism: Readers and Viewers' Reactions to Milton Friedman

Maurice Cottier, Visiting Fellow, History Department, Harvard University

Milton Friedman was not only a leading neoliberal economist in the second half of the 20th century but, due to his popular books and appearances on TV, also a well-known public intellectual. Focusing on the reactions by viewers and readers of his book Capitalism and Freedom (1962) and book and TV series Free to Choose (1980), Maurice Cottier’s paper discusses how the broader public received Friedman’s message. The letters make it possible to investigate why people outside of academics, politics and the media were attracted by neoliberal free market ideas. 

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

Sponsored by Berkeley's Center for Right-Wing Studies, UC Berkeley

Thursday, April 12 | 12-1:30pm

Hard Work Is Not Enough: Gender and Racial Inequality in an Urban Workspace

Katrinell Davis, Associate Professor of Sociology, Florida State University

with Catherine Fisk, Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law, UC Berkeley, as respondent 

In this talk, professor Davis will discuss African American women’s experiences as bus operators in a San Francisco Bay Area transit firm from 1974-1989, during the height of affirmative action hiring. Through a series of interviews with these transit operators alongside correspondence between management and union leaders, grievance and arbitration data, as well as litigation against the firm, she traces the gradual demise of job security within this SF Bay Area transit company that once led the nation in offering its transit operators good wages and benefits. The findings suggest that transit operating became increasingly stressful throughout the period of study due to declining work conditions and the arbitrary implementation of institutional strategies designed to discipline and eliminate workers deemed undesirable.

Register here for a FREE lunch.  

Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall

Sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by Institute for Research on Labor & Employment, Department of Sociology, Center for the Study of Law and Society, Division of Equity and Inclusion, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, April 18 | 6:00-8:00pm

Latin American Social Medicine, Then and Now

Lecture by Jaime Breilh, Rector of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, Ecuador

Dorothy Porter, Department of Anthropology, History & Social Medicine, UC San Francisco

Clara Mantini-Briggs, Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

Fernando Losada, NNU and Global Nurses United

Luther Castillo, Founder, First Popular Garifuna Hospital in Honduras

More information about this talk to be announced. For other information visit

Gifford Room (Kroeber 221)

Sponsored by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Thursday, April 19 | 4:00-5:30pm

Inland Shift: Race, Space and Place in Southern California

Lecture by Juan De Lara, Assistant Professor in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California

575 McCone Hall

Sponsored by the ISSI's Graduate Fellows Program, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by Center for Ethnographic Research, Division of Equity and Inclusion, Center for Latino Policy Research, Department of Ethnic Studies, Center for Race and Gender, Department of Geography, UC Berkeley

Thursday, April 19 | 6:00-8:00pm

Towards a Public Health for Liberation: New Insights from Latin American  Critical Epidemiology  

Lecture by Jaime Breilh, Rector of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, Ecuador

with Amani Nuru-Jeter, Associate Professor, Public Health, UC Berkeley as respondent

Gifford Room (Kroeber 221)

Sponsored by The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley

Wednesday, April 25 | 4:00-5:30pm

Title: TBA

Lecture by Jason Okonofua, Assistant Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley

More information about this talk to be announced. 

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

Sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
Copyright UC Regents and UC Berkeley
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