CUNY: 'Whiteness continues to be a crucial problem in our English department'

The Graduate English Center at the City University of New York is set to host an event on March 22,  titled, “Refusing Institutional Whiteness: Possibilities, Alternatives, and Beyond.”

The event’s description states that “whiteness continues to be a crucial problem in our English department.” The Graduate English Center brought “together a group of scholars and thinkers in a range of disciplines in order to help us imagine, discuss, and produce new ways of resisting whiteness and envisioning alternatives in institution settings.” 

“Refusal,” “dissent,” and “protest” are listed as possible ways to combat whiteness in academia.

Bianca Williams, Tami Navarro, and Asilia Franklin-Phipps will serve as panelists for the event.

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Williams is an associate professor of anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center and identifies as a “black feminist cultural anthropologist.” Her work has focused on “race, gender, and feminist leadership and pedagogy,” and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Navarro, meanwhile, is associate director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women. She is a Duke University graduate, served as a fellow and scholar at Rutgers and Columbia, respectively, and previously taught at Rutgers University and Wesleyan University. Her research interests include neoliberalism, gender and labor, capital, and identity formation.

Franklin-Phipps works at the Teaching & Learning Center at CUNY’s Graduate Center. Her previous bio from the University of Oregon listed race theory as one of her research interests. 

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The moderatorChy Sprauve, is an English Ph.D. student at the CUNY Graduate Center, and studies “pedagogy + urban education, affect studies, Africana studies, [and] fashion studies.”

The co-sponsors for the event are the Graduate Center (GC) Poetics Group, Composition and Communications Group, and English Student Association (ESA) Diversity Committee.

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