Working Groups

The Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM) hosts a number of faculty-led working groups that focus on topics related to race, indigeneity, and transnational migration and a Faculty Fellows program that supports teaching and research by early-career scholars at Yale.

Meeting regularly throughout the academic year, RITM faculty and graduate student working groups advance interdisciplinary scholarship in areas such as Asian American Studies, Carceral Studies, Ethnography and Oral History, French North American Studies, Latinx Studies, Race and Slavery in the Atlantic World, Whiteness in the Americas, the Study of Native America, and Black Feminist Theory. Many of these groups have also organized lecture series and small conferences.

Asian American Studies

Faculty Organizer: Mary Lui, Professor, American Studies and History

Graduate Coordinators: Randa Tawil (American Studies) and Jacinda Tran (American Studies)

This working group is a space for faculty and graduate students who are working in the area of Asian American Studies.

Ethnography and Oral History

Faculty Organizer: Kathryn Dudley, Professor Anthropology and American Studies; Chair American Studies

The Ethnography and Oral History Working Group is a supportive space for exploring “processes of planning, conducting, analyzing, and publishing interview-based research and for thinking through intellectual and ethical questions raised by interdisciplinary” “work in which ethnographic encounters are the primary source material.”

French North American Studies

Faculty Organizers:

  • Ryan André Brasseaux, Lecturer in American Studies; Dean, Davenport College
  • Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts, History of Art
  • Jay Gitlin, Lecturer, History & Associate Director Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers & Borders

Graduate Coordinator: Philippe Halbert (History of Art)

The French American Studies working group, launched in Fall 2016, supports academic work and intellectual inquiry about Francophone North America. If you are interested in joining their mailing list, please email Philippe Halbert. You can also follow them on Facebook!

Latina/o Studies

Faculty Organizers: 

  • Stephen Pitti, Professor of History and American Studies, Director, Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration
  • Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race & Migration

This working group is a continuous workshop for graduate students in American Studies, History, African American Studies, and related fields. This group devotes the fall term to intensive reading and discussion of important interdisciplinary texts in Latina/o studies. Students interested in participating should contact

Race and Slavery in the Atlantic World

Faculty Organizer: Edward Rugemer, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies

This working group, housed within the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (GLC), is supported by the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration. It is open to Yale affiliates interested in slavery and related subjects in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Africa before 1900.

Social Text

Faculty organizers:

Tavia Nyong’o, Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, and Theater Studies; Co-editor of Social Text

Michael Denning, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American Studies and English

The Social Text working group is associated with the journal Social Text, a quarterly scholarly journal forging creative connections between critical theory and political practice.

Whiteness in the Americas

Faculty Organizers:

  • Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas, Professor of American Studies, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Hunter College-CUNY)

The goal of this workshop is to bring together scholars, from a variety of disciplines and institutions, who are interested in generating knowledge about the multiple manifestations and transmutations of white privilege in the Americas. We hope that participating scholars examine whiteness at multiple intersections, including along class, gender, sexuality, nationality, color lines. In particular, we want to encourage the participation of scholars whose areas of historical, sociological, political, literary, or ethnographic interest is “the Americas,” the term we use not only to de-stabilize the dominant correspondence between the U.S. and “America,” but also a term that is particularly effective in recognizing the historically, cultural, and sociological interconnectedness among Latina/o populations in the U.S. and populations in South and Central American and Caribbean countries. Thus, we encourage submissions by scholars interested on how white identity formation, whiteness, and privilege operate in Central and South America and the Caribbean as well as among populations of Latin American origin and descent in the United States.

Yale Group for the Study of Native America (YGSNA)

Faculty Organizer: Ned Blackhawk, Professor of History and American Studies

The Yale Group for the Study of Native America (YGSNA) began in 2003 as an interdisciplinary working group interested in topics relating to Native America. It has become Yale’s overarching graduate student as well as scholarly working group dedicated to study of Native American and Indigenous peoples. Generally meeting twice a month during the academic year and usually on Tuesdays, YGSNA showcases works in progress and is composed of graduate students, faculty, and staff from across Yale. National speakers in the humanities, the fields of law and journalism, and other scholarly disciplines have also presented at YGSNA.

Black Feminist Theory Working Group

This working group is a space for faculty and graduate students working on Black Feminist Theory. The group gathers two times a month to discuss texts in Black Feminist Theory, and provide a space for its members to present their work as the year progresses. It is open to Yale faculty and graduate students who are interested in the black feminist movement and related subjects.