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"What is Critical Ethnic Studies?"

Critical Ethnic Studies Association Summer Institute

Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 8:00 AM - Sat, Jun 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM
Off Campus


Critical ethnic studies is an approach to scholarship,
institution-building, and activism animated by the spirit of the
decolonial, antiracist, and other global liberationist movements that
enabled the creation of ethnic studies and continues to inform its
political and intellectual projects. It seeks to move away from current
critical deadlocks, to counteract institutional marginalization, to
revisit the political ideas that precipitated ethnic studies' founding
within the US academy, and to create new conversations in multiple

But as critical ethnic studies has emerged in a variety of ways, the question remains: what exactly is critical ethnic studies? Does it imply that ethnic studies was not already
"critical"? What is its relationship to the historic emergence of ethnic
studies in the academy and activist circles? As the academic industrial
complex has increasingly marginalized and coopted critical
interdisciplinary studies such as ethnic studies, gender studies, queer
studies, etc., what kinds of works can critical ethnic studies do across
academic institutions, community organizing, and advocacy efforts? And
insofar as critical ethnic studies claims itself as both a political and
intellectual project, what is its relationship to broad social
justice-based movements? What are the legacies of ethnic studies outside
the United States, and how might a critical approach reconsider its
genealogies and forms of solidarity? And what might be the limitations
of any approach to analyzing and challenging settler colonialism, white
supremacy, antiblackness, imperialism, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy,
when organized through ethnicity? Finally, how might different
approaches to critical ethnic studies – long existing and still
emerging – be brought into conversation with each other?

In this Summer Institute, we will explore collectively the question
“What is critical ethnic studies?” Over three days of intensive
seminars, open conversations, and informal exchanges, we will explore
the possibilities and pitfalls of a critical ethnic studies framework. 
All are welcome to apply. 

The following is a list of seminar leaders.  There may be additions
and corrections to this list, please check our website for updates:

Denise Ferreira da Silva

Rachel Gorman

Jin Haritaworn

John Márquez

Dian Million

Junaid Rana

Dylan Rodriguez

Andrea Smith

Neferti Tadiar

Alex Weheliye

LOCATION: The Summer Institute will be held at the University of Maryland, College
Park, located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, just a few Metro
stops outside of Washington, D.C.

LODGING: Participants will have the option to stay in University of Maryland’s residence
halls in suites with kitchens, common rooms, and a shared bathroom, at a
cost of between $175 (for a shared room for three nights) and $300 (for
a single for four nights). A list of hotels and informal housing
options will be available on CESA’s website soon.

REGISTRATION FEES/SCHOLARSHIPS: All participants will be required to pay a one-time registration fee of
$150 (for CESA members) and $200 (for CESA non-members). CESA Membership
will be available February 2014.  Please check back then! The Summer
Institute registration fee will cover participation in the Institute as
well as daily continental breakfast and a reception hosted by the
Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland. Limited
scholarships are available to help with registration and/or other
expenses, please be sure to complete this section of the application!


Applications Due: February 24 2014, 11:59 Pacitic Standard Time.

Acceptance Notification: March 1 2014

Confirmation and housing reservations due: March 20th

Registration and housing fees due: April 5th.


1. Log in to the CESA website on the top right corner of the website.
Please use a desktop  computer or laptop, no mobile or tablet devices.
If you already see your USERNAME on the top right corner, that means you
are already logged in and can proceed to step 2 . If you don't see your
username, log in and return to this page. If you do not have a
username, or if you have forgotten your username or password, click here then return to this page.

2. Download the application here to your desktop and open in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Do not open
or preview the document in your browser as you will not be able to type
into the form.  You will need an updated version of Adobe Acrobat or
Adobe Reader.  You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader  here.

3. Submit your application and supplemental material here.

4. If you have already submitted your application and need to make a
change, please email a new version to the address provided in the PDF
document. For additional questions, please click here or visit "Contact" at the top of our website.

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