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New racism and the myth of universalism in higher ed

Syracuse University hosts nationally renowned author Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Mar 27, 2013 — Article by: Judy Holmes

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Duke University

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Duke University, will present “New Racism, Color Blindness, and the Sweet (but Wrong) Myth of Universalism in HWCUs,” at 4 p.m. Monday, April 15 in Syracuse University’s Maxwell Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU’s paid lots.

The lecture is presented by the Department of African American Studies in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Co-sponsors include the departments of Women’s and Gender Studies; Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; and the Latino-Latin American Studies Program, all in The College of Arts and Sciences; the Program on Latin America and the Caribbean and the Department of Sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; and SU’s Democratizing Knowledge Project.

The fourth edition of Bonilla-Silva’s landmark book, Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States is due to be published in July 2013.  The book, first published in 2004, continues to challenge contemporary views of race in America. According to the publisher, the book “documents how beneath our contemporary conversation about race lie a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. This provocative book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society.

The fourth edition adds a chapter on what Bonilla-Silva calls ‘the new racism’ and updates the author’s assessment of race in America after President Barack Obama’s re-election. Obama’s presidency, Bonilla-Silva argues, does not represent a sea change in race relations, but rather embodies disturbing racial trends of the past.”

Bonilla-Silva’s work gained national recognition with the publication in 1997 of “Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation” (American Sociological Review), in which he challenged sociologists to analyze racial matters from a structural perspective rather than from the sterile perspective of prejudice. He has appeared as a guest commentator on PBS, including the PBS series “Race—The Power of an Illusion” and the PBS election special, “Race 2012,” a look at race, politics, and changes in the United States.

Bonilla-Silva’s other books include White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era (2001), White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism, with Ashley Doane (2003), White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Social Science, with Tukufu Zuberi (2008); and State of White Supremacy: Racism, Governance, and the United States, with Moon Kie Jung and João H. Costa Vargas (2011). 

Bonilla-Silva holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His awards include the 2007 Lewis Coser Award from the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association, and the 2011 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award presented by the American Sociological Association.

Contact Information

Judy Holmes
315-443-8085
jlholmes@syr.edu