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October 18 (5:30 pm, online)


Being La Dominicana:
            Race and Identity in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo

by Dr. Rachel Afi Quinn

Dr. Rachel Afi Quinn in Conversation with Dr. LeConté Dill (Associate Professor, Department of African American and African Studies, Michigan State University)

           (co-sponsoring with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)


October 14 (6:30 – 8:00 pm, Dudley Recital Hall)

Dr. Harjant Gill
              (visual anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, 
              Associate Professor, Dept of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice, Towson University)

“Politics of Masculinities and Bondings in the Indian Diaspora”
              presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Jagdeep Raina: Bonds” currently on view at Blaffer Art Museum (through October 24)

             co-sponsoring with India Studies; Modern and Classical Languages; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Blaffer Art Museum

CCS was the principal sponsor at the University of Houston of two important and timely art installations: “ HostileTerrain94: A Global Exhibition about America’s Humanitarian Crisis at the Southern Border, addressing the deaths of migrants and refugees crossing the US-Mexico border, which is co-presented by Public Art of the University of Houston System, AND a virtual tour of “ Detention Nation ,” addressing the conditions of migrants and refugees held in detention in the United States, which was created by the Houston-based arts collective Sin Huellas and includes  Professor Delilah Montoya  of the UH School of Art. The installations were exhibited in  The Blaffer Art Museum , April 17 – May 15, 2021.

The Department is pleased to announce its CCS Seminar Series:
“The Politics of Difference”


April 30 (2:00 - 6:00 p.m.)

online international symposium
(Zoom / Facebook Live livestream)

Mapping the “Venezuelan” Crisis:
Venezuela through the Looking Glass

half-day online event, with 3 panels


Dr. Keith E. McNeal,
Associate Professor, Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston

Dr. Soledad Álvarez Velasco
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston

Panel One (2:00 - 2:30 p.m.)


The Venezuelan crisis is highly complex. This first panel opens the symposium with a brief commentary by renowned Venezuelan historian, Professor Miguel Tinker Salas, offering a genealogy of the present conjuncture that sets the scene for the contributions of the second panel and political considerations of the third panel. What are the key historical, political, economic and other factors converging to produce the entangled “crisis” we meet in the present? In terms of scale, what are the interlocking local, national, international, and global components of the “Venezuelan” crisis?

Dr. Miguel Tinker Salas (Pomona College, USA)

moderated by Dr. Keith E. McNeal (CCS)

Panel Two (2:30 - 5:00 p.m.)


From being a migrant-receiving country of intraregional migration, Venezuela has become a major migrant-producer since the turn of the 21st century, with three diverse waves of out-migration in terms of class, age, gender, migratory dynamics, and destinations.  By now, nearly five million Venezuelans have set into motion searching for a decent and safe place to live outside their home country.  In a number of instances throughout the region, borders have been closed and militarized, confining Venezuelans to long periods of indeterminate waiting, often in squalid camps, and visas have been imposed.  Indeed recognition of refugee status for Venezuelans throughout the Americas has been limited, confining them to poverty, precarity, detention and deportation, permanently wandering across borders searching for the prospect of a decent life, against all the odds. The aim of this panel is to discern the dynamics embodied by Venezuelan migrant mobilities across the Americas, seeking patterns and divergences between and among Latin American and Caribbean border regimes, the parameters and paradoxes of regional solidarity, and the ways through which the Venezuelan migrant struggles across the region have inaugurated social and spatial transformations in the countries through which they traverse or come to reside.

Dr. Gioconda Herrera
(Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales [FLACSO], Ecuador):
Venezuelan migration to-through the Andean Region

Dr. Jo ã o Carlos Jarochinski
(Universidade Federal de Roraima, Brazil)
Venezuelan migration to-through Brazil and the Southern Cone

Dr. Natalie Dietrich Jones
(University of the West Indies, Jamaica)
Venezuelan migration to-through Curaçao

Dr. Shiva Mohan
(Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)
Venezuelan migration to-through Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana

Dr. Marco Morales
(Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo [UASD], Dominican Republic)
Venezuelan migration to-through the Dominican Republic

Dr. Masaya Llavaneras-Blanco
(Huron University College, Canada)
Return migration to Venezuela

moderated by Soledad Álvarez Velasco (CCS)

Panel Three (5:00 - 6:00 p.m.)


The final panel queries the parameters and possibilities of leftist politics and transnational solidarity in the contemporary global moment as refracted by a consideration of the “Venezuelan” case, which we see as providing a provocative mirror when seen through the looking glass.  How is Venezuela an allegory for the larger geopolitical moment?  What needs to be said out loud and clearly about Maduro and Chávismo?  And how can we pursue this necessary critique while also avoiding being captured or coopted by critical discourse from the right?  What are the possibilities and parameters of sovereignty within the current global dispensation?  Our dialogue calls for a renewed leftist agenda in the face of steep social, economic, and political challenges that Venezuelan (im)mobilities are posing to the hemisphere across increasingly hostile terrains that must be contested and countered with practices of international solidarity within and across borders.

Dr. Sujatha Fernandes (University of Sydney, Australia)

Dr. Miguel Tinker Salas (Pomona College, USA)

moderated by Dr. Nicholas De Genova (CCS) 

February 26th, (3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Zoom Livestream)

“The Cultures of U.S. Empire”  


Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
(Ethnic Studies, California State, Hayward [emerita]; author of Not "a Nation of Immigrants": Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion AND A n Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, among others)

Dr. Nikhil Pal Singh
(Social and Cultural Analysis and History, NYU; author of Race and America’s Long War AND Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy)

Dr. David Vine
(Anthropology, American University; author of The United States of War: A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State [among others])

Discussant: Nicholas De Genova (Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston)

February 5, (12:00 - 2:00 p.m., Zoom Livestream)

“The Politics of Migration and Border Control across the Americas during the Pandemic”


Dr. Soledad Álvarez Velasco 
(Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston)

Dr. Wendy Vogt 
(Anthropology, Indiana University; author of Lives in Transit: Violence and Intimacy on the Migrant Journey)

Dr. Alison Mountz 
(Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, Geography, Wilfrid Laurier University; author of The Death of Asylum: Hidden Geographies of the Enforcement Archipelago AND Boats, Borders, and Bases: Race, the Cold War, and the Rise of Migration Detention in the United States [among others])

Dr. Rodrigo Charafeddine Bulamah 
(Social Sciences, Federal University of São PauloSocial Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo)

Moderator: Dr. Rachel Afi Quinn (Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston)



Download The Politics of Difference Seminar Series Spring 2020 Flyer

January 22 (11:30 – 1:00 pm, McElhinney 111)


Andrea Ballestero
(Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Ethnography Studio, Rice University)

“A future history of water, or, how to wonder with techno-legal devices?”

Download Flyer


February 25  (6:00 - 7:30 pm, Farrish Hall, Kiva Room)


Subini Annamma
(Associate Professor of Education, Stanford University)

“Transformative Praxis: Using Dis/abilities Critical Race Theory to Disrupt the School-Prison Nexus”
co-sponsoring with WGSS and College of Education

Download Flyer





Devin Flaherty
(Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas - San Antonio)

 “Disregard and Disaster:
Reflections on Aging in St. Croix (US Virgin Islands), Pre- and Post-Hurricane Maria”

PLUS documentary film screening and discussion (6-8 pm, Honors College Commons)
“The Unbreakable Virgin Islanders”
with Peter Bailey (filmmaker/ journalist from Virgin Islands)
co-sponsored by African American Studies, the Center for Public History, the Honors College, and the Media and the Moving Image Initiative




Steph Grohmann
(Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Centre for Homelessness and Inclusion Health, University of Edinburgh [Scotland], & Research Affiliate, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford)

“The Ethics of Space: Homelessness and Squatting in Urban England”
(book presentation)




Vanessa Díaz
(Assistant Professor of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, Loyola Marymount University)

The Latino Paparazzi of Los Angeles:
Life, Death, and Labor in the Hollywood Industrial Complex”
co-sponsored by WGSS and School of Communications




Khiara Bridges
(Professor of Law, University of California-Berkeley)

Imagining an Ethnography of Pregnant Class-Privileged Women of Color”
co-sponsored by African American Studies and WGSS




Gina Ulysse
(Professor of Anthropology & Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University)

Performance event:
“An Equitable Human Assertion Rasanblaj”
co-sponsored by African American Studies, the Blaffer Art Museum, and WGSS




Sue Ferguson
(Associate Professor Emerita, Digital Media and Journalism -and- Youth and Children’s Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University)

“ Play, Labor and Resistance: A Social Reproduction Discussion of the Youth Climate Justice Strike”
co-sponsored by WGSS


November 6, 2019 (11:30 – 1:00 pm, McElhinney 111)

Sonny Nordmarken 
(Gender & Health Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology and the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, University of Houston)

“Radiant Selves: Transgender Resistance and Implications for Health” 


October 23, 2019 (11:30 – 1:00 pm, McElhinney 111)

Charles A. McDonald
(Samuel W. and Goldye Marian Spain Postdoctoral Fellow, Program in Jewish Studies, Rice University)

"Blood and Sentiment: Anthropology, Race, and Spain’s Sephardic Citizenship Law"
co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program, the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Arab History, and the Middle Eastern Studies Program


October 2, 2019 (12:00 - 1:30 pm, McElhinney Hall 232)

Joshua Price
(Professor and Chair of Sociology, State University of New York - Binghamton)

“Paradoxes of Punishment: Racialized Violence in the US Carceral Regime ”


April 15, 2019 (4:00 - 5.20 pm, in the Honors Commons, 212 M.D. Anderson Library)

Roberto E. Barrios
(Associate Professor of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)

“The Cacophony of Disaster: Interpreting Houston’s Many Voices in Harvey’s Aftermath”
co-sponsored by the Center for Public History and the Honors College


March 27, 2019 (11:30-1:00, McElhinney 111)

Maria Kromidas
(Associate Professor of Anthropology, William Paterson University)

“Mothering and the Racialized Production of (Child, School & Property) Value in New York City”
co-sponsored by the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program


March 6, 2019 (11:30-1:00, McElhinney 111)

Rosalynn A. Vega
(Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)

“‘Pushing’ Through the Politics of Difference: How Race, Class, and Gender Hierarchies Shape How We are Born”


February 4, 2019 (12:00-1:00, McElhinney 116)

Rosemary Joyce
(Professor, Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley)

“Gender in Prehispanic Mesoamerica”
co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America - Houston Society


Click to view larger - Covenant Conference Photo Click image to view larger or View another photo of the conference

The Religious Studies Program at the University of Houston and the Program in Jewish Studies at Rice University organized an international, interdisciplinary, and interdenominational conference in cooperation with the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken (Germany) and the Universität Rostock (Germany) and in collaboration with the Lanier Theological Library in Houston. The theme of the conference was “ Berit, Diatheke, Foedus, Covenant, Bund ” (the word “covenant” in five different languages, including Biblical Hebrew and Greek). The conference took place on November 19-22, 2019, and convened 20 national and international scholars who explored the origins, development, and later reception of a central theological theme that permeates most parts of the Bible. This academic event was for scholars, clergy, students of religion, and all who wanted to learn more about the Bible. The conference was not on the UH campus, but at the Lanier Theological Library .

Title: “Conference in Houston November 19-22, 2019: Berit, Diatheke, Foedus, Covenant, Bund”

Dr. Roberto Barrios, in addition to his CCS seminar, also graciously conducted a Student Research Workshop in Applied Anthropology on Friday, April 12, concerning his research collaboration with three undergraduate students — two of whom are our former CCS students who worked with him as paid research assistants in Houston during the summer of 2018. The workshop re-staged a panel that they recently presented at the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Title: "The Emerald City’s Hidden Facets: Exploring resilience and trauma across lines of race, class, and gender in post-Harvey Houston"

April 10, 2019 (4-6pm, Heyne 135)

Melanie J. Johnson, Ed.D. (President and CEO, Collaborative for Children) delivered a public lecture as a guest speaker for the Liberal Studies Senior Seminar on “Evil and Injustice”, taught by Luca Oliva .

Title: “Broken Babies, Broken Futures: The Early Determinants of School Failure”

Alessandro Carrera (Professor of Modern and Classical Languages, Director of the Italian Studies program, and Graduate Director of World Cultures and Literatures, University of Houston) delivered a public lecture on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, when he visited as a guest speaker for the Liberal Studies Senior Seminar on “Evil and Injustice”, taught by Luca Oliva .

Title: “Cinematic Portraits of Evil”

Stephen Klineberg (Founding Director of the Kinder Institute, Rice University) delivered a public lecture on Monday, April 1, when he visited as a guest speaker in “Harvey’s Houston,” the interdisciplinary anthropology/history course co-taught by Dr. Keith McNeal (CCS) and Dr. Kristin Wintersteen (History). Based on several decades of demographic survey research in Houston, the lecture was co-sponsored by the Center for Public History and the Honors College.

Title: “Prophetic City: Tracking Responses to Mounting Inequalities, Ethnic Transformations, and Severe Storms”