Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Superdiversity California Style

Inaugural Conference of The Institute of American Cultures at UCLA

Superdiversity California Style: New Approaches to Race, Civil Rights, Governance and Cultural Production

Los Angeles has come to epitomize the global phenomenon of dramatically increased ethnic, racial, linguistic, and religious diversity.  With intensified immigration from all parts of the world, new racial complexities, and the steady growth of Latino and Asian American populations, the entire state of California has become “majority-minority” as districts around the nation follow suit.  The resulting intercultural mélange has obscured some traditional boundaries, while encouraging new forms of production and being.  This new reality raises fundamental questions about the pursuit of equality, social justice, racialization, and the various ways that global pressures interact with and shape our responses to emerging geo-political dynamics. At the same time, ethnic and cultural fusions have launched an explosion of bold new musical, artistic, and even culinary forms.  What these changes mean for Los Angeles specifically and the United States remains under-examined and poorly understood.  Structured in the form of a one-day conference, with a preconference roundtable on the preceding evening, Superdiversity California Style seeks to initiate a conversation about the foregoing developments and identify the kind of research that is necessary to both understand and manage the changing face of our society.
Participants: Stephan Aron, Eric R. Avila, Asli Bali, Elise C. Boddie, Duane Champagne,  Mishuana R. Goeman, Laura E. Gomez, Cheryl Harris, Bill Ong Hing, Darnell M. Hunt, Jerry Kang, Kauanui J. Kēhaulani, Robin D.G. Kelley, Scott Kurashige,  Taeku Lee,  Chon Noriega, Michael Omi, Jemina Pierre, Karthick Ramakrishnan,  Angela R. Riley,  Addie C. Rolnick, Mark Sawyer, Brenda Stevenson, Rene Tajima-Pena, Rebecca Tsosie, M. Belinda Tucker, Abel Valenzuela, Jr.,  Allison Varzally,  and David K. Yoo
DATE: Thursday/Friday, February 28/March 1
TIME: Thursday: 4 pm to 8 pm; Friday: 9 am to 6 pm
PLACE: UCLA Faculty Center, California Room 
INFO:: (310) 825-6815,
The mission of the UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC) is to advance our understanding of the new social and cultural realities in America.  The unparalleled population shifts that have occurred in recent decades have transformed our sociocultural landscape, expanding both intra-group diversity as well as opportunities for intersectional exchanges.  Drawing on ethnic and American studies that serve as its intellectual core, the IAC is devoted to the study of this emerging America, with an emphasis on academic excellence, civic engagement, and diversity.  The IAC serves as the administrative hub for UCLA’s four ethnic studies centers:  the Asian American Studies Center, the American Indian Studies Center, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, and the Chicano Studies Research Center.  It also initiates campus-wide programs and collaborations that support a wide range of disciplinary approaches to the study of ethnic and American cultures at UCLA. Located in Los Angeles – one of the most diverse and dynamic urban areas, and arguably a bellwether for the new demographic and sociocultural changes – the new IAC is well positioned to make innovative contributions to research on these developing trends.   Among other activities, the IAC both supports and initiates original research focused on emerging America, fosters a productive multidisciplinary intellectual environment on- and off-campus (through lectures, symposia, conferences, and workshops), links the research mission to professional development activities for faculty and students, and engages strategic partnerships with the broader community.  

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