More than seventy Yale faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, and postdoctoral fellows gathered on Friday, September 23, for the first Summer Research Symposium organized by the University’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM). Participants shared papers on interdisciplinary topics that explored the Americas, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe, and the event’s closing reception included a performance by the Yale Jazz Collective.
The RITM Symposium showcased students supported by Center grants and fellowships in Summer 2016. Undergraduates and doctoral candidates representing eleven Yale departments and programs presented archival, ethnographic, and other research on topics such as indigenous women’s health in Guatemala, African American opera singers, the history of anti-LGBT regulations in Singapore, immigrant labor in the garment industry, the architecture of African refugee camps, and race relations in late-20th century Los Angeles and New York City. Many of these projects are now being developed as senior theses or doctoral dissertations.
The Symposium also featured a presentation by RITM Postdoctoral Associate María Quintana on Mexican migrant workers, and the involvement of faculty members in the American Studies Program; the Department of African American Studies; the Department of English; the Program in the History of Science and Medicine; and the Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS).
RITM Director Stephen Pitti called the event a “great success,” promising that the Center “will continue to bring together researchers across the university to advance scholarship on critical, international topics, and to push forward new interdisciplinary conversations at Yale.”
Pitti noted that these discussions will continue in upcoming RITM events, including a semester-long lecture series on “Food and Racial Justice,” and an Ethnic Studies conference in honor of Don Nakanishi ’71 featuring students, faculty members, and alumni at Yale on November 3-4, 2016.