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January 10, 2008

Scholar of Race and Ethnicity to Speak at Smith College

In anticipation of the speech, a Smith faculty pair will facilitate a book group discussion at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in Neilson Library Browsing Room. The discussion will focus on chapters 2 and 3 of speaker Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's "Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States." Copies are available at the reserve desk in the library.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Later this month, a Duke University sociologist will discuss the real, if seemingly isolated, incidents of racism, discrimination and color blindness in the United States during a forum at Smith College.

The lecture by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, titled “It’s Real! Racism, Discrimination, Color Blindness and ‘Isolated (Racial) Incidents,’” will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, in John M. Green Hall.  It is free and open to the public.

The event continues a campus-wide discussion about race and privilege that was begun during the fall semester in the days following a costume party at which a white student dressed as a black celebrity.

Bonilla-Silva first gained visibility in the social sciences with his 1997 article in the American Sociological Review, titled “Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation,” where he challenged social analysts to examine racial matters from a new, structural perspective.

Since that time, Bonilla-Silva has authored three books to critical acclaim. Those are: “White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era”; “Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States”; and, with Ashley Doane, “White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism.”

When he was appointed full professor at Duke in 2005, the announcement noted that Bonilla-Silva’s scholarship has ranged from studies of the political economy of squatters in Puerto Rico to studies of the attitudes of U.S. populations. Reflecting that range, his research has appeared in journals such as the American Sociological Review, Sociological Inquiry, Racial and Ethnic Studies, Race and Society, Discourse and Society, Journal of Latin American Studies, and Research in Politics and Society.

Bonilla-Silva is currently at work on two new books that focus on the impact of racism in the accumulation of social scientific knowledge and on a Latin Americanization of race.


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Kristen Cole
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