Campuswide Center for New Racial Studies to Be Located at UCSB
By ANDREA ESTRADA
A $1.73 MILLION grant from the UC Office of the President will support a new multi-campus research program based at UCSB. The UC Center for New Racial Studies (UCCNRS) will support innovative race and ethnicity research and teaching throughout the UC system. Making its official debut in July, the center is a part of the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research.
“The idea is to create a network, a research institute that spans the entire UC system,” said Howard Winant, professor of sociology and director of the center. “We are inspired by past efforts within the UC system to highlight issues of race and racism. At the same time, we recognize that hundreds of current UC faculty and thousands of UC students continue to do cutting-edge research on these issues.
“Our goal,” he continued, “is to support their work and to help generate a new account of race and racism in California and, ultimately, beyond it as well. For example, the demographic changes occurring in California — as well as the state’s education, criminal justice, and budget crises — all have significant racial dimensions.”
The center is guaranteed funding for five years, each of which will focus on a different area of research emphasis. For the 2010-11 academic year, the theme is “The Nation and Its Peoples: Citizens, Denizens, Migrants,” and research will center on issues related to immigration, citizenship, and the racial dimensions of national identity. Earlier this month, $150,000 in grants were awarded to UC faculty members and graduate students, for research to be carried out next year.
“Researchers are looking at these issues broadly,” Winant said. “They are asking, ‘Who and what is the American people?’ and ‘How does race shape our sense of nationhood?’ They are also working on parallel issues in other countries and other epochs.”
Themes to be addressed in subsequent years include “Race Neutrality and Race Consciousness,” “The Racial State,” “Race, Gender, Class Intersectionality,” and “Global Raciality: Empire, Post-Coloniality, and Identity.”