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Weekly Digest


The Weekly Digest is a collection of announcements for majors and minors, as well as students currently registered in AAS classes.


White Supremacy, Ethnic Projects, and the National Imaginary




Vilna Bashi Treitler


Wednesday, April 15, 2015 

7:30 – 9:00 pm

Graham Auditorium-Hillyer Hall


This lecture is free and open to the entire Smith College community

Co-sponsored by the Provost’s Office, the Department of Africana Studies, and the American Studies Program


Dr. Vilna Bashi Treitler is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College and in the Sociology Program at the Graduate Center, in the City University of New York. She’s the author of The Ethnic Project: How Racial Fictions Buttress Ethnic Factions (Stanford University Press, 2013), andSurvival of the Knitted: Immigrant Social Networks in a Stratified World (Stanford University Press, 2007).  She also edited Race in International and Transracial Adoption (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and is co-editing the book Global Hierarchies and Inequalities.

Dr. Bashi Treitler's talk will derive from The Ethnic Project, in which she traces the ethnic histories of several social groups, illustrating that each was incorporated racially into the U.S. social and economic structures, and showing how they fought back by seeking to improve their racial status. Social scientists have known for more than a century that race is a fiction. Yet, race won’t die. The Ethnic Project offers an explanation as to why.



Janet Mock and Professor Kevin Quashie

in conversation on April 6, 2015

at John M. Greene Hall


Transgender rights activist Janet Mock spoke on campus at 7 p.m. Monday, April 6, in John M. Greene Hall. “A Conversation with Janet Mock” was moderated by Kevin Quashie, professor of Africana studies, and a book signing followed. Sponsored by the senior class, the event was open to the public.

Mock first told her story of growing up as a trans girl in 2011 in Marie Claire, a magazine where she now serves as a contributing editor. Her memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, was published in February 2014; critic bell hooks said the book was a “lifemap for transformation.”

In 2012, Mock launched #GirlsLikeUs, designed to empower trans women and celebrate the diversity of womanhood. In 2013, she joined the board of directors at the Arcus Foundation, a global organization advancing social justice and conservation issues.

Mock serves as host of So POPular, a weekly culture show on MSNBC’s Shift network. She has been featured in the HBO documentary “The Out List” and has served as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. She has been honored by organizations including the Feminist Press, Planned Parenthood and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and earlier this year she was named one of Time magazine’s 12 new faces of black leadership.

A native of Honolulu, Mock did her undergraduate work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned her M.A. degree in journalism from New York University.

Photo by Aaron Tredwell




Paula Giddings


In an article in The Nation, Paula Giddings, Smith's E.A. Woodson Professor of Africana Studies, cites the key role that African American women have played in racial justice organizing and anti-violence work.




Two Web Sites of Interest