Dr. Reid Gómez, the Melon Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, has designed a series of winter term programs and web pages and prompts as a collective resource for a campus-wide conversations on the matter of ethnic studies. For many of these conversations the general public is welcome as well. The series begins with a lecture (Thursday, January 9) titled “What is Ethnic Studies?“ Gómez will give the lecture twice–at 4:10 PM and at 7 PM–in the Mandelle Hall Olmsted Room.
“Conversations about ethnic studies at K have been taking place since 1968,” says Gómez. “Recently a renewed movement and rising range of voices reflect the desire for a further exchange of ideas.”
Features on the ethnic studies website will serve to deepen that exchange. The features include a bookshelf, several faculty discussions, a blog for the K community, a calendar of events (programs occur every week of the 10-week term), and a series of conversations. For the latter, the campus community will be called to join several invited participants to discuss a particular theme, reading, or video prompt. Gómez will moderate. “We will sit in concentric circles (one inside, and the other outside),” says Gómez. “The participants will take their place in the center, and we will leave several chairs open, should someone catch the spirit and chose to formally join the conversation. People may enter and exit the conversation at will, and they may choose to participate in silence, while listening. Everyone in the outside circle will have the opportunity to listen in. Near the end, we will turn the circles inside out for the opportunity to debrief, and review the places our conversation lead us. Opportunities for follow-up conversations will take place on the ethnic studies blog.”