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UM Forum Examines Issues of Race and Ethnicity

By Edwin B. Smith

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi faculty and graduate students will share their research on race and ethnicity in a Feb. 27 forum.

This event begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and the first panel will begin at 9 a.m. in the Butler Auditorium of the Triplett Alumni Center. The goal of the forum is to bring UM faculty and graduate students together as a community to learn about and discuss research on race and ethnicity that’s being done at Ole Miss.

“With over a total of 25 submissions, we got an overwhelming response to the call for proposals,” said Simone Delerme, McMullan associate professor of anthropology and Southern studies. Delerme is coordinating the event alongside Marcos Mendoza, associate professor of anthropology, and Catarina Passidomo, Southern Foodways Alliance associate professor of Southern studies and anthropology.

“We have graduate students and faculty representing the law school; (departments of) Sociology, Southern Studies, History, Leadership and Counselor Education, English, Social Work, and Modern Languages; the Center for Community Engagement; and the School of Journalism and New Media. We were really excited to receive some proposals from very impressive folks from units that didn’t present last year.”

Among the scheduled presenters and their research:

  • Annette Kluck, dean of the Graduate School, “Experience the Place: The Role of Visiting Historical Sites in Graduate School”
  • Michelle Hanlon, co-director of the air and space law program, “Whitey on the Moon”
  • Yvette Butler, assistant professor of law, “Survival Labor”
  • Amy Fisher, associate professor of social work, “Exploring the Relationship between Interpersonal Empathy, Social Empathy and Racial Attitudes”
  • Travis Patterson, doctoral candidate in the history, “Claude Neal and the Fight for Antilynching Legislation, 1934-1950”
  • Maximillian Conrad, master’s degree student in anthropology and Southern studies, “Touristic Imaginaries and Public Space in a Confederate Brazilian Museum”

The forum is organized by the Study of Race and Racism Exploration Group, a working group of faculty seeking to found a Center for the Study of Race and Racism on campus. Co-sponsors include the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Graduate School, Department of History, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Department of Social Work.

This is the second year the group has co-sponsored the forum.

“Last year we had faculty and graduate students present from Southern studies, sociology, anthropology, history, psychology and English,” Delerme said. “We had presentations about youth in Tanzania, international students in Oxford and representations of Confederate heritage in Brazil, to give you some examples. 

“The audience was composed of folks who do research about race and ethnicity, as well as individuals that just wanted to learn more.”

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