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border collage by E.L. MartinsenRacing Across Borders:
National and Transnational Narratives
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Centennial House, UC Santa Barbara

Click here to download the conference program.


Keynote Speaker: Shelley Streeby, Associate Professor of American Literature, UC San Diego, and winner of the 2003 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize for American Sensations: Class, Empire and the Production of Popular Culture (UC Press, 2002).

The 2006 American Cultures and Global Contexts Graduate Conference, an interdisciplinary forum at UCSB, will explore issues revolving around race and racial formation and how these processes function differently as they move across a variety of borders such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, discipline and nation. We are interested in how multiple racial formations arise and are represented within particular cultural contexts as well as what happens to these formations and representations when they come into contact with racial structures from other cultural contexts. Our conference invites scholars to investigate what happens to the concepts and constructions of race as they move across various contact zones, borders, and intersections, and how the increasing speed of this mobility challenges national and global assumptions about race.

This one-day conference will focus on national and transnational narratives of race and racial formation. We hope to provoke discussions of both contemporary and historical narratives that emerge from the broadest definition of culture, encompassing literature, the visual arts, religion, politics, the media, class, music, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, law, commerce, and so on. In particular, one of the bigger questions we seek to open up, is what happens to race when we bring together Global studies and American studies? Is race elided or does it undergo a transformation? How do we discuss ethnic/race studies when they are globalized?