• 76.Measuring College Learning Project

    The quality of undergraduate education has become a central question in academic and policy circles in recent decades. But how do we define quality? And how can we measure it? While many actors in the higher education arena are grappling with these issues, we believe it is crucial for faculty to be a leading voice in the quality conversation. The SSRC’s Measuring College Learning project, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Teagle Foundation, brings faculty into the quality conversation by engaging them in consensus-driven discussions about learning outcomes and assessment in higher education. MCL builds on decades of prior work by the higher education community, including efforts to develop guidelines for general learning outcomes. These efforts have led to the creation of a range of tools that faculty can use to measure students’ general skills, such as critical thinking, complex reasoning, and problem solving. However, as beneficial as these resources are, they do not cover the full scope of learning in higher education. The next step in this process, and the main focus of MCL, is to concentrate on developing 21st Century tools to measure field-specific learning. Since December 2013, MCL has been bringing panels of faculty together from six fields of study (biology, business, communication, economics, history, and sociology) to identify the essential 21st Century competencies, conceptual knowledge, and practices that students in their fields should develop in college, in the introductory course as well as the major. Rather than striving to produce exhaustive or comprehensive lists of learning outcomes for these fields, the project aims to help faculty develop consensus around a limited set of empirically measurable “essential competencies and concepts” that reflect their top priorities for student learning. The faculty are also discussing the current status and future direction of assessment in their field. Pairs of faculty from each field are authoring a white paper synthesizing and expanding upon the work of these panels, which will be made publicly available in early 2016. It is our hope that this project, through its white papers on learning outcomes and assessment as well as a range of outreach efforts, will spark fruitful department and field-level discussions in each of the six MCL fields. In addition, we are in the early stages of conceptualizing a demonstration project that would focus on one of the fields. In this endeavor, we would partner with one or more assessment firms to develop a new faculty-informed field-specific instrument and field test it alongside existing instruments of generic collegiate skills and measures of instructional practices. The goal of the demonstration project would be to pilot test the new instrument as well as to examine the relationship between subject-specific skills, general collegiate skills, and instructional practices. Improving our understanding of these relationships is crucial in order to craft a sound agenda for using assessment to improve the quality of higher education. Improving the landscape of assessment in higher education is a significant undertaking, and one that must be approached thoughtfully and deliberately. To this end, MCL is dedicated to the following core principles: Faculty should be at the center of defining and developing transparent learning outcome standards for undergraduates. Students from all backgrounds and institutions should be given a fair opportunity to demonstrate their skills when transferring from one institution to another and when transitioning into the workforce. Measures of student learning should be rigorous and high-quality and should yield data that allow for comparisons over time and between institutions. Assessment tools should be used by institutions on a voluntary basis. Any single measure of student learning should be part of a larger holistic assessment plan. For more information and updates about the Measuring College Learning project, visit highered.ssrc.org.

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  • 77.Media & Democracy

    The Media & Democracy program seeks to understand the evolving relationship between media, technology, and politics. Through research development workshops, public events, and a variety of publications, Media & Democracy incubates and catalyzes new research and situates the present moment of technological and political change in broader historical, cultural, and political contexts. Follow us on Twitter: @SSRC_mtp For occasional updates about opportunities from Media, Technology, and Politics programs at the SSRC, please sign up for our mailing list here. Research Development Workshops encourage and accelerate scholarship about understudied phenomena at the intersection of media, technology, and politics. These two-day workshops are composed of small, interdisciplinary and cross-sector groups that afford scholars the rare opportunity to give and receive intensive feedback on work in-progress, and seed a variety of outputs from peer-reviewed manuscripts to public events. Conferences and Public Events organized by the Media & Democracy program bring together academics, journalists, and technologists in conversation with each other and with the broader public to enrich shared understanding about the role of media and technology in public life. Publications that emerge from Media & Democracy workshops inform diverse audiences about the nature of politics in an increasingly digital world. Through our workshops, we support rigorous research, working to accelerate academic publishing timelines and to facilitate a variety of forms of public scholarship. The Media & Democracy program is generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Democracy Fund; the Ford Foundation; the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; the Rita Allen Foundation; and Reid Hoffman. The program is honored to host Mike Miller, an ACLS Public Fellow.

    Programs & Projects
  • 78.Mediawell

    Disinformation, misinformation, and “fake news” are long-standing phenomena that, in the wake of the digital revolution, have become newly politicized and consequential. Citizens around the world have instant access to a vast variety of information – some of which is purposely misleading or manufactured for political ends. The known uses of misinformation include coordinated campaigns aimed at influencing elections and undermining democratic processes. In response to these developments, new research on mis- and disinformation is rapidly emerging from a range of academic disciplines. The Social Science Research Council’s Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative seeks to track and curate that research. As a respected, nonpartisan, and cross-disciplinary organization, the SSRC is uniquely placed to help consolidate an expanding scholarly literature that originates in multiple, partially overlapping fields. As part of this initiative, we will summarize research findings, identify gaps in scholarship, contribute to policy decisions, and translate academic knowledge for a broad audience of scholars, journalists, and interested citizens. We hope these efforts will prove useful to regulatory, industry, and institutional efforts to strengthen political discourse, reclaim the democratic potential of social media, reduce the spread of hatred and incivility, and strengthen our democracies. To further these goals, we are building a web platform to host the following features: Living Literature Reviews describing recent research on digital mis- and disinformation. The literature reviews will be regularly updated to reflect recent scholarship. In-depth Reflections from a diverse array of experts, who will reflect on the state of the research field, identify remaining gaps in knowledge, and make policy recommendations. An Aggregation Service linking to relevant news, analysis, and commentary on the web. A Library of Citations on disinformation research, organized by topic and policy area. A directory featuring Profiles of Scholars working in this space. A Calendar of Events related to online mis- and disinformation. All of these products will be freely available to the public. Ultimately, the Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative will offer critical support for scholars, journalists, policymakers, and others who care about the relationships between media and democracy. We hope that the resources we provide will help researchers produce scholarship more efficiently, communicate their findings to the public more easily, and develop scholarly consensus more quickly. Finally, we hope that the organizations that fund scholarly research can use these resources to rapidly assess emerging needs.  To keep up with developments, follow us on Twitter: @SSRC_mtp The Disinformation Research Mapping initiative is generously supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Democracy Fund; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the Ford Foundation; the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; the Rita Allen Foundation; and Reid Hoffman.   Project Advisory Board Yochai Benkler  Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies & Faculty Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University  Joan Donovan Director of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School  Tim Hwang  Director of the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and the MIT Media Lab, Harvard University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Sarah Jackson  Presidential Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania  David Karpf Associate Director and Associate Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University  Safiya Noble  Associate Professor of Information Studies and African American Studies, University of California-Los Angeles  Sarah Sobieraj  Associate Professor of Sociology, Tufts University  Siva Vaid…

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  • 79.Mellon Mays Dissertation Writing Retreat

    The Dissertation Writing Retreat brings together 12 to 15 advanced graduate student fellows for five days of independent work on the dissertation project. It makes a support network available to each fellow and creates a structure for accountability to colleagues that directly reflects best practices learned from fellows who successfully completed the dissertation in varying circumstances. Open to fellows in the sixth year of graduate school and beyond who are within 12 months of completing their dissertations Not open to fellows that have already participated in the Preparing for the Professoriate seminar Consists of five days of intensive writing Largely self-directed, but facilitated by a Mellon Ph.D. Focuses on honing time management skills, developing a calendar for writing, and creating a structure for accountability Does not include discipline-based feedback or peer review Participants create an individual 12-month work plan and communicate regularly with each other after the Retreat The 2019 Dissertation Writing Retreat was held May 29 to June 2 in Chaska, MN. Watch the video below to find out more about the Dissertation Writing Retreat!.

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  • 80.Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program

    Addressing underrepresentation among college and university faculties.

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  • 81.Mellon Mays Graduate Student Summer Conference

    The Summer Conference is the flagship component of the SSRC-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program. Targeted towards graduate students in years one through three, it provides a forum for skills exchange, cohort-building, and the development of professional proficiencies such as maximizing research resources. Open to graduating seniors accepted into a doctoral program and graduate students in years one through three Fellows may now attend as many times as they want during their period of eligibility Provides the tools and skills for managing the early years of graduate school Includes panel presentations of fellows’ research, thematic workshops, presentations by senior scholars, and other activities that expose early-stage graduate students to a broad range of institutional and intellectual issues Advanced graduate student fellows and Mellon Ph.D.s serve as workshop leaders, panel discussants, and moderators The 2019 Annual Graduate Student Summer Conference was held from June 17 to 19 at Columbia University in New York, NY.

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  • 82.Mellon Mays Ph.D. Professional Development Conference

    The Ph.D. Professional Development Conference brings together Mellon Ph.D.s for two days. Fellows exchange ideas, update networks, and engage the key issues and challenges they face as junior faculty—teaching, research, publication and the tenure process—as well as making the transition from the professoriate to administration and other roles within institutions. Open to fellows who have completed the doctorate Provides an opportunity to revive and solidify relationships with colleagues and mentors, reflect upon their journey towards the Ph.D., expand professional networks, and recommit to the Mellon Mays mission Focuses on teaching, research, publication and funding The 2019 Ph.D. Professional Development Conference was held from February 16 to 17 in New York, NY.

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  • 83.Mellon Mays Preparing for the Professoriate Seminar

    The Preparing for the Professoriate seminar is for fellows entering the academic job market. The seminar gives fellows the skills they need to secure and negotiate their first faculty appointments successfully. Open to fellows who have completed, or are close to completing the dissertation* Provides the tools and skills that fellows need to navigate the academic job market Simulates the job search process Includes sessions with Mellon Ph.D.s who discuss a variety of issues, including the CV, job application, job talk, postdoctoral fellowships, defining one’s academic identity, and finding the proper fit Allows fellows to receive a level of attention far beyond what is offered by institutional workshops * This seminar is targeted at fellows that have completed or are close to completing their dissertations. For this reason, fellows that participate in the Preparing for the Professoriate seminar are not eligible to attend PWDDS or DWR, or apply to the Dissertation Completion Grant, after they have completed this seminar. The 2019 Preparing for the Professoriate seminar will be held from September 19 to 21 in Charlotte, NC.

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  • 84.Mellon Mays Proposal Writing and Dissertation Development Seminar

    The Proposal Writing and Dissertation Development Seminar (PWDDS) addresses common concerns arising in the process of preparing the dissertation proposal, and in writing the dissertation itself. Has two tracks running in parallel: Proposal Writing track: For pre-dissertation fellows working on the research proposal Dissertation Development track: For advanced fellows focusing on the body of the dissertation, with the majority of data collection complete Fellows may attend both tracks (once each) in the third through sixth year of graduate school, attending the proposal writing and then the dissertation development track Includes a considerable amount of time for individual writing, small group sessions, peer reviews, and one-on-one consultations with Mellon faculty mentors Provides an ideal setting in which to receive collegial critique and feedback The 2019 PWDDS was held March 19 to March 23  in Atlanta, GA. Watch the videos below to find out more about the Proposal Writing and Dissertation Development tracks!.

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  • 85.Mellon Mays Regional Lecture Series

    In addition to supporting our fellows through various stages of the doctorate, the Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program aspires to foster and strengthen relationships among all members of the Mellon Mays community. To that end, the Regional Lecture Series brings together undergraduates, graduate students, coordinators, and faculty in each region for intellectual engagement and community-building. Each lecture allows a Mellon Ph.D. the opportunity to speak on their research or a current topic, and fellows and coordinators gather afterwards for a reception. To date, lectures have taken place in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Atlanta. Recent Lectures:  The San Francisco Bay Area Lecture featured Dr. Chris Loperena, Associate Professor in the International Studies Department at the University of San Francisco. His talk was titled: "Extractive Paradise: Anti-Blackness and Emergent Frontiers of Progress in Honduras." Dr. Zine Magubane, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston College, delivered the 2016 Boston Regional Lecture. She is shown here with the Wellesley MMUF fellows. Upcoming: Dr. Monica Muñoz Martinez (MMUF Brown University ‘06), Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University, will give the upcoming 2019 Regional Lecture in New York City. The lecture will take place at the Social Science Research Council on October 10th. .

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  • 86.Migration and Development Within and Across Borders: Research and Policy Perspectives on Internal and International Migration

    In order to improve understandings of the similarities, differences, and connections between internal and international migration and their impacts on development, scholars and practitioners expert on these issues within Asia, Latin America, Africa, and North America convened in November 2005 in New York City.  This path breaking collection of selected and revised essays was first published by the International Organization on Migration, which has generously agreed to our making them available here as well as at the IOM website (http://www.iom.int). This project was supported by the International Organization on Migration, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Center on Migration and Policy and Society. To download the individual chapters or the book in its entirety, go to: Across Borders Online Forum.

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  • 87.Migration and Education

    Migrants and their children now constitute more than half of the student body in many urban schools and post-secondary educational institutions in Canada, Europe, and the United States--a situation that challenges traditional approaches to preparing young people for employment and citizenship. The SSRC's Migration Program has initiated and collaborated in several major studies of the educational needs of immigrant and second generation students, along with institutional responses to those needs. Our activities have included convening working groups of experts from various backgrounds to review existing research and make recommendations; giving out fellowships to support further study; and producing edited volumes, journal articles, and other scholarly publications.

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  • 88.Migration and Religion

    Because the study of migration and the study of religion have developed separately, we know very little about their interrelationships. The SSRC Migration Program brings together scholars from both fields to explore how religion and settlement in new societies have affected the lives of migrants, both historically and in the present, both in the United States and in other parts of the world.

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  • 89.Migration and Security

    In the wake of September 11, 2001, the SSRC Migration Program convened a consultative committee on rethinking the challenges of migration and security. The committee organized a series of dialogues between representatives of U.S. government law enforcement agencies and of Muslim religious and community leaders to identify best practices for collaboration in insuring national security and civil rights. A June 2008 conference in London compared American practices with those in Great Britain, France, and Germany. Each meeting produced a report aimed at improving law enforcement-community relations.

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  • 90.NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security

    The NGO Working Group’s mission is to collaborate with the United Nations, its Member States and civil society towards full implementation of SCR 1325 and all other Security Council resolutions that address women, peace and security, including ensuring the equal and full participation of women in issues relating to peace and security. Using SCR 1325 as our guiding instrument, the NGO Working Group promotes a gender perspective and respect for human rights in all peace and security, conflict prevention and management and peacebuilding initiatives of the United Nations. The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, via its strategic positioning in New York at United Nations headquarters, plays an important global role in monitoring policy and practice on women, peace and security. Together with its growing network of gender and security experts, the coalition has built a constituency of women, peace and security advocates among UN Member States, high-level UN decision makers, and civil society working on peacebuilding initiatives at the national and local levels. For more information, visit: www.womenpeacesecurity.org.

    Programs & Projects
  • 91.News Coverage of US Elections

    This call for proposals has ended.   OVERVIEW In recent decades, the news industry has undergone fundamental changes, reshaping where and how citizens get information about candidates for public office in our democracy. Historically, the choices voters made about candidates were informed primarily by the news media, shaping the conventional and scholarly wisdom about the kinds of candidates and appeals likely to succeed. How have the rise of social and digital media and the decline—or evolution— of traditional news media reshaped coverage of US elections? Do these changes force us to rethink traditional models of media and politics? To encourage new research on the evolving nature of US election coverage, the Media & Democracy program at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is proud to announce an open call for papers for an interdisciplinary research development workshop to be held in Brooklyn, NY, on April 23–24, 2020. This workshop will be co-chaired by Professor Julia Azari (Marquette University) and Professor Michael Wagner (University of Wisconsin–Madison). ABOUT THE WORKSHOP This research development workshop will give participants the opportunity to receive in-depth feedback from their peers on in-progress research, to give feedback to other workshop participants, and to meet fellow scholars who work on similar topics. The workshop will be geared toward scholars who have previously completed research on this or related topics. Early-career scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. We encourage applications from all relevant social science and humanities fields, including political science, history, sociology, communication, journalism, and others. Applications are due November 4, 2019. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the organizers. All accepted participants will be expected to circulate a working paper (10–15 pages) by March 29, 2020, and to read and prepare feedback on the manuscripts submitted by other participants prior to the workshop on April 23. A selection of participants will be invited to submit full manuscripts to be considered for inclusion in a symposium on election coverage in an outlet for public scholarship. WORKSHOP THEMES We welcome proposals for research that will address how changes in media, technology, and politics are shaping the way that elections are covered. Substantive research themes may include, but are not limited to, the following topics: Political Economy of News Coverage: What effect does increasing media consolidation and/or changes to local media have on election coverage? Has the decline of local media changed the role of national media organizations in the coverage of US elections? What kinds of information outlets have emerged to compensate for the voids left by declining local media coverage of politics and the increasing tendency of national media to frame politics as a strategic game? Sociology of Journalism: Do new professional pressures, such as the perceived necessity of having an active presence on social media, detract time/attention from other journalistic functions? Do these cross pressures affect how journalists (local or national) cover elections in the age of social media? Do media notions about “electability” reinforce existing hierarchies by giving certain candidates advantages over others? How do journalists’ ideological, racial, and gender identities shape how they cover candidates who are in one or more of their in-groups or out-groups? Do journalists conceive of themselves as simply reporting on what happens in the campaign, or do they understand (and acknowledge) their agency in affecting what happens? How does journalists’ use of contemporary tools like social media, poll aggregation, and analytics affect their perceptions of and reporting about public opinion? Campaign Communications: Do candidates alter messages when communicating to voters through non-traditional media? How do differences in how candidates allocate their advertising spending across traditional and social me…

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  • 92.News Quality in the Platform Era

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  • 93.Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa

    Supporting the next generation of African researchers working on peace, security and development.

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  • 94.Next Generation Social Sciences: How and Where We Work

    The Next Generation Social Sciences program model responds to an emerging dilemma within higher education in the global South caused by the extraordinary emphasis on increasing undergraduate enrollment without proportionate investment in faculty development—a situation that erodes the ability of universities to produce the next generation of researchers, leaders, and practitioners. The program operates to strengthen tertiary education by creating a pipeline for the development of faculty members and research communities. For more information about the Next Generation Social Sciences model and an introduction to our Africa fellows and their work, please visit http://nextgen.ssrc.org/.

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  • 95.Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project

    Contributing to conflict resolution in Northeast Asia.

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  • 96.Parameters

    Parameters is an online forum from the Council’s Digital Culture program, meant to address a complex, persistent question at the heart of social science research: how does (and, ultimately, should) the production and distribution of knowledge change under digital conditions? Parameters is intended to showcase wide-ranging, even conflicting perspectives on this issue, amplifying voices of scholars and researchers, teachers and publishers, librarians and archivists, as they reflect on how their work changes—and doesn’t change—even as the modes through which knowledge is collected, shared, analyzed, and interpreted continue to be informed and influenced by computational methods, platforms, and tools. The forum consists of writing coming out of our working groups, as well as solicited pieces and responses from a wide range of important voices in the social sciences. Visit Parameters at parameters.ssrc.org.

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  • 97.Policy Outreach

    The UVC will seek to inform the broader policy community through a network of direct relationships with leading policymakers at the UN, EU, AU, within the government of the United Kingdom, and local civil society actors. Longer research outputs will translated into more digestible policy notes for policy audiences and the UVC will also brief policymakers on findings and conclusions. It will also capitalize on existing platforms convened by Director Carayannis, such as the Central African Policy Forum (CAPF), the DRC Affinity Group, and the Civil Society - UN Prevention Platform to develop stronger partnerships with key global policymakers and civil society actors and contribute to improving the cooperation and coordination among key stakeholders across the system. The CAPF is a regular gathering of NGOs, diplomatic missions, UN agencies and departments, and academics in New York to explore policy options for building sustainable peace in the Great Lakes and neighboring states in Central Africa, while the DRC Affinity Group is a network of leading Congo scholars tasked to study the failures of two decades of international interventions aimed to end the conflict in DRC, and provide policy advice to EU, US, UN, and AU policymakers. The UN Prevention Platform is a collaborative exchange of best practices and lessons learned on conflict prevention and peace-building architecture, peace operations, and work on women. At a broader level, the UVC seeks to impact policy locally and use research to empower local partners to seek out change in their communities, and identify the networks that must be engaged to improve their day-to-day experiences.

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  • 98.Politics of Return (PoR)

    The Politics of Return research project, is a three-year LSE project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council from 2017-2019 on the dynamics of ‘return and reintegration’ in the central and eastern African countries of Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan through an ethnography of return and social repair in order to provide practical and policy support to international and national projects and programs aimed at facilitating the return of refugees and the displaced to their ‘homes’. UVC Director Tatiana Carayannis is one of the co-investigators of the consortium and will manage the research activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

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  • 99.Producing Knowledge on World Regions

    Despite broad consensus among higher education leaders that US universities are undergoing a process of globalization, there is little agreement about just what globalization means, what propels it, or what intellectual, political, and ethical consequences it entails. This project develops an intellectual framework and a social science agenda for specifying and explaining this phenomenon. The project is based on a large-scale comparative study of federally funded National Resource Centers (NRCs) supporting the study of world regions. Research design, data collection, and preliminary analyses were funded by serial grants from the Department of Education (2004–2010), with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Project publications engage with pressing questions for academic leaders: What academic roles can regional studies programs best fulfill going forward? How should universities support the study of a world in which regional distinctions are increasingly fluid? What are the obligations of public service for US universities that are increasingly sustained by students and patronage from beyond US national borders?.

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  • 100.Race and Capitalism

    The Race and Capitalism project is a multi-institution collaboration that seeks to reinvigorate, strengthen and deepen scholarship on how processes of racialization within the U.S. shaped capitalist society and economy and how capitalism has simultaneously shaped processes of racialization. Central questions include: 1) What is the relationship between racial and economic inequality; 2) How has the relationship between various racial and ethnic groups, the economy and civil society changed over time; and 3) What theoretical approaches to the studies of capitalism and race best explain the empirical reality of 21st century capitalism.  This project was initiated and conceived at the CSRPC and the Washington Institute for the Study of Inequality and Race (WISIR) at the University of Washington. With the support of the Scholarly Borderlands initiative, the group aims to further develop this project to:  bring together the existing and evolving theoretical analyses of the project with empirical research or rich case studies broaden its existing networks of scholars to continue to build capacity in new scholars who wish to take up these issues secure its longevity by building connections to pedagogy and expanding its impact by sharing research with publications for a broader public, including the SSRC’s Items channel, and with more events such as the project’s existing podcast series The first Items series, entitled “Reading Racial Conflict,” is available online. The series was curated by Michael Dawson and Megan Ming Francis, and invited scholars to draw on a “classic” or touchstone work in social science, the humanities, or African American studies to use as a lense for understanding current economic, political, and racial injustices. Further information about the project can be found at the Race and Capitalism website. Project Chairs Michael Dawson John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science and the College, The University of Chicago Megan Ming Francis Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Washington      .

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