Race in America lecture series brings professionals to MSU to discuss important research on race

Contact: Karyn Brown

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Several nationally-recognized scholars will visit Mississippi State University for the Race in America lecture series, opening the dialogue about different aspects of race and creating discussion about one of the most pressing topics in today’s headlines.  

In its second year, the lecture series is sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Marion T. Loftin Fund, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the MSU Critical Race Studies Group.   

Leslie Hossfeld, head of MSU’s Department of Sociology, said “the series brings together key experts on race in America who share their research findings to inform critical issues in American society.”

Hossfeld explained how each of the speakers examines race in the United States from a unique perspective while providing a scholarly lens with which to examine race today.

“What is wonderful about higher education is that we provide the setting to examine social issues from a scholarly perspective,” Hossfeld said. “As a leading research university in the country, we are uniquely poised to provide the opportunity for scholars to share their research and provide a social space for discussion and reflection on their research findings. It is part of the longstanding tradition of universities.”

Margaret Hagerman, assistant professor of sociology, said the scholars speaking as part of this series have published important, award-winning books on topics related to race in America. This semester will include lectures that touch on racialized aspects of history, and the sociology of education and politics, she added.

“The purpose of this lecture series is to bring prominent experts on race in America to share their empirical research with our community here at Mississippi State University,” Hagerman said.

“This series is intended for all members of our community, as we collectively embrace the practice of thinking more critically, analytically and carefully about patterns of racial injustice in the United States today,” she said.

The lecture series kicked off earlier this month with Jodi Skipper of the University of Mississippi, sponsored by the MSU Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, and Courtney Carter, assistant professor of sociology and African American studies at MSU, who gave a presentation on diversity rhetoric at historically black colleges and universities.

Upcoming lectures include:

—September 29, Ibram X. Kendi, assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida, will give a lecture titled “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” This lecture is sponsored by the MSU Department of History.

—October 20, Amanda E. Lewis, associate professor of African American studies and sociology and director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois, Chicago, will present, “Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools.”

—November 3, Matthew Hughey, associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, will present “The National Logic of White Supremacy.”

The lecture series will continue throughout the year with scholars from across the country visiting MSU, and the spring 2017 schedule will be announced this November.

The College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,000 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 24 academic majors offered in 14 departments. It also is home to the most diverse units for research and scholarly activities, including natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities.

Natural and physical science research projects have been supported over the decades by the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Additionally, scholarly output in the humanities have helped place MSU in the National Science Foundation’s top 50. The NSF also ranked MSU among the top 25 for research expenditures in the social sciences. 

For complete information about the College of Arts and Sciences, visit www.cas.msstate.edu; the sociology department at www.sociology.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.