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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.

Fall 2019


Tuesday, September 10 I 12:30-2:00pm

Center for Research on Social Change Colloquia Series:

Legal Passing: Navigating Undocumented Life and Local Immigration Law

Angela S. Garcia, Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

This book talk analyzes the ways federal, state, and local immigration laws shape the lives of undocumented Mexicans in the US. Comparing restrictive and accommodating immigration measures in various cities and states, it shows that place-based inclusion and exclusion unfold for immigrants in seemingly contradictory ways. Instead of erasing undocumented residents from the community, increased threat from restrictive localities creates conditions for immigrants to subvert the public gaze by “legal passing,” or attempting to mask the stigma of illegality to avoid police and immigration enforcement. As legal passing becomes embodied, immigrants distance themselves from their ethnic and cultural identities, resulting in coerced assimilation. In accommodating localities, undocumented Mexicans experience a sense of local membership and stability that is simultaneously undercut by federal deportation threat and complex street-level tensions with police. Combining social theory on immigration and law as well as place and race, the talk illuminates the human consequences of contemporary immigration federalism.

Shorb House (Latinx Research Center), 2547 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by the Latinx Research Center, Center for the Study of Law and Society, Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative

Tuesday, September 17 I 4:00-6:00pm 

Berkeley Center for Social Medicine Colloquia Series:

Against Humanity: Why the Concept Does Violence to the Common Good

Sam Dubal, Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Center for Social Medicine

This talk is not about crimes against humanity. Rather, it is an indictment of ‘humanity’, the concept that lies at the heart of human rights and humanitarian missions. Based on fieldwork in northern Uganda with former rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an insurgent group accused of rape, forced conscription of children, and inhumane acts of violence, I examine how 'humanity' conceptualizes the LRA as a set of problems rather than a set of possibilities, as inhuman enemies needing reform. Humanity hegemonizes what counts as good in ways that are difficult to question or challenge. It relies on very specific notions of the good – shaped in ideals of modern violence, technology, modernity, and reason, among others – in ways that do violence to the common good. What emerges from this ethnography is an unorthodox question – what would it mean to be ‘against humanity’? And how can a particular form of anti-humanism foster alternative, more radical efforts at social change in the realms of humanitarianism, medicine, and politics?

223 Moses Hall, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies

Tuesday, September 24 I 4:00-5:30pm

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues Colloquia Series:

Socioemotional Development of Dual Language Learners and Children of Immigrant Families: The Roles of Culture, Language, and Parenting

Qing Zhou, Associate Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley

Shorb House (Latinx Research Center), 2547 Channing Way

Thursday, September 26 I 3:30-4:30pm

Center for Research on Social Change Colloquia Series:

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement

Monica White, Assistant Professor of Environmental Justice, University of Wisconsin-Madison

132 Mulford Hall, UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, College of Natural Resources; Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Berkeley Food Institute

This event will be followed by a reception.


Tuesday, October 22 I 4:00-5:30pm

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

Power and Progress on the Prairie

Tom Biolsi, Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

This talk will be based on Prof. Biolsi’s recently published book, Power and Progress on the Prarie, which traces the history of “modernization,” “improvement,” or “progress” on Rosebud Reservation. The central question of the book is how ideas about making things “better” were invented and applied to the people—both Indian and white—and the land. The cases examined include plans to “civilize” Indians and “modernize” farmers; to rationally manage agricultural production and land-use; to mitigate environmental problems; to “rationalize” plans for nuclear war to increase the likelihood of “national survival”; and to extend voting rights to Lakota people. Each of these plans or programs is an example of what Biolsi calls governing. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault on governmentality, the book aims to understand how “problems” requiring correction came into public focus, or were actively made by experts with “remedies” or “solutions” in search of problems to fix.

Shorb House (Latinx Research Center), 2547 Channing Way

Co-sponsored by Center for Ethnographic Research

Tuesday, October 29 I 4:00-5:30pm

Center for Ethnographic Research Colloquia Series:

Surviving the Sidewalk: Latino Street Vendors in Los Angeles

Rocío Rosales, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Irvine

Shorb House (Latinx Research Center), 2547 Channing Way


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

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

To Profit from Blood?   

Beth Redbird, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Fellow, Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, Northwestern University

Blood quantum is a controversial part of tribal constitutions, yet tribes have not developed their blood quantum standards in a vacuum. Using data from more than 500 tribal constitutions, this presentation examines the relationship between Native citizenship and economic development.   

Shorb House (Latinx Research Center), 2547 Channing Way

Wednesday, November 6 I 4:00-5:30pm

Center for Ethnographic Research Colloquia Series:

Title: TBA

Tania Li, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Moses Hall, Room 223

Co-sponsored by Institute of East Asian Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Institute of International Studies

Tuesday, November 12 I 4:00-5:30pm

Center for Right Wing Studies Colloquia Series:

After Obamageddon: Reflections on the Rise of Right-Wing 'Doomsday' Prepping in 21st Century America

Michael Mills, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Research, University of Kent

This talk draws on a sustained ethnography of American 'Doomsday' prepping. Drawing on fieldwork taking place in 2014 and 2018, it pays particular attention to the political dimensions of doomsday prepping culture, including the political discontents that many preppers identify as energizing their activities (under both Obama and Trump). The talk will highlight ways in which the fears of many American preppers align with relatively mainstream right-wing politics (rather than more fringe perspectives with which prepping tends to be associated in much academic and popular commentary). That said, it will also contend that prepping's status as a 'mainstream' phenomenon is dependent on a continually shifting right-wing mainstream that increasingly embraces Far and Extreme Right thinking. It will conclude by offering some thoughts as to how prepping culture may change in the future – specifically as the USA heads into (and beyond) the 2020 election.

Shorb House (Latinx Research Center), 2547 Channing Way

Tuesday, November 19 I 4:00-5:30pm

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues Colloquia Series:

Title: TBA

Jeff Manza, Professor of Sociology, NYU

Shorb House (Latinx Research Center), 2547 Channing Way



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