New center to explore issues of race, indigeneity, and transnational migration

Yale has established a new center dedicated to the study of race, indigeneity, and transnational migration, announced President Peter Salovey and Provost Benjamin Polak in a Feb. 16 email to the campus community.

“This interdisciplinary center — as described in an announcement sent to the university community in November — will advance intellectual work related to ethnic studies fields; intersectional race, gender, and sexuality research; and Native and diasporic communities, both in the United States and in other countries,” wrote the President and Provost. “By supporting such scholarship, the center in part responds to our call for a more integrated, more open, and more inclusive university, one in which students, faculty, researchers, and others connect across academic units.” 

It is anticipated that the center will serve as the new home of the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program, said the email. In the short term, the center will sponsor summer research fellowship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at Yale, as well as a postdoctoral associate who will research and teach at Yale next year. Information about these programs will be available in the coming weeks. In the longer term, the center will advance teaching and research and bolster Yale’s leadership in key academic fields by sponsoring conferences, colloquia, working groups, and other programming. Beyond Yale, the center will support faculty and students building connections with people and organizations across the country and around the world.

Stephen Pitti, professor of American studies and history and master of Ezra Stiles College, will serve as inaugural director of the center and chair its implementation committee, which includes Elijah Anderson, the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Sociology; Ned Blackhawk, professor of American studies and history; David Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale; Hazel Carby, the Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies, professor of American studies, and director of the Initiative on Race Gender and Globalization; Inderpal Grewal, professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, of American studies, and of anthropology; Mary Lui, professor of American studies, history, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and master of Timothy Dwight College; and Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery. Deputy provost Lloyd Suttle will serve as staff liaison to the committee.

“We eagerly anticipate the work that will take place in this vital new interdisciplinary center, and we expect that its major programming will begin in fall 2016,” wrote Salovey and Polak. “The implementation committee will reach out to students, colleagues at Yale, and others to solicit input and share news, but please feel free to contact its members directly in the meantime.”