Race and gender in 2012 campaign is focus of panels

Strategically important issues have been little discussed by the candidates

Just one direct question about a gender-related issue – the underpayment of women compared to men doing the same work – was asked in the second debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. No question about race was asked at all.

Yet race and gender have intersected repeatedly during the course of the 2012 election season. How they have shaped the campaign strategies of the presidential candidates and informed their public policies is the subject of two forums organized by the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

The first will be held next Tuesday at the Harriet Tubman House in Boston’s South End, in partnership with United South End Settlement Houses. It will feature public radio host Callie Crossley and Harvard Law School professors Lani Guinier and Kenneth W. Mack. Brandeis Professor Anita Hill will moderate. Free bus service for students who wish to attend this community event is being provided by the Legacy Fund for Social Justice, another sponsor.

[The bus will depart from in front of the Spingold Theater at 7 p.m. and return to campus following the event. Advance reservations are required. Contact Legacy Fund Director David E. Nathan at (781) 736-4103 or dnathan1@brandeis.edu]

The second panel will be held on campus at 5 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Inter-Cultural Center. Panelists for that session are Associate Professor of Politics Jill Greenlee, Associate Professor of Politics Daniel Kryder and History Professor Ibrahim Sundiata.

African and Afro-American Studies Department Chairman Chad Williams, who came to the faculty this summer from Hamilton College, said the programs “are a part of a larger effort by the department to raise awareness of important issues and to forge connections between Brandeis and the Boston community.”

Williams, who will moderate the on-campus discussion, said programming for the broader community raises awareness of major issues and showcases the importance of the department and the university to the intellectual community of greater Boston.

He said there will be more collaborative programming in the future because “we want to increase our connections with other colleges and universities in the area and explore ways we can work together.”

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences

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