White Women and the Politics of Racial Inequality
This fall, our Hutchins Conversation featured the work of Dr. Elizabeth McRae of Western Carolina University. In her book, Mothers of Massive Resistance, she shows that the somewhat mundane, everyday efforts of white women in the 1920s to 1970s allowed and continues to allow white supremacist politics to have such a strong hold on our policies, educational systems, social welfare systems, and more. This conversation was moderated by Dr. Katherine Charron of NC State, and they discussed how white women edited textbooks, protested school integration, protested busing, facilitated essay contests to justify a separated state, reported children being of mixed race, and took part in other efforts to keep a segregated state and further white supremacist politics. The full video is available here, otherwise take a moment to watch some highlights from our conversation below.
“What they believe will happen if they aren’t a good white mother is their daughters will marry someone else’s black sons.”
In this clip of our talk, White Women and the Politics of Racial Inequality, Dr. Elizabeth McRae talks how “being a good mother” became a racialized call to action for segregationist white women.
“We have to recognize that these women weren’t segregationists and political active because they were deluded about their interests, they believed that this was in their best interest.”
During this conversation, Dr. Elizabeth McRae also addressed the common notion that white women, through voting for conservative candidates that would otherwise seem to enforce policies that do not support their well-being, are in fact voting in what they have decided in their best interest. Furthermore, she addresses that women’s political consciousness is not monolithic and that someone women care about what is best for their children.
Watch the full video of our conversation with Dr. McRae here.
“Anti-Chinese Racism and the Making of the Mexican Mestizo”
Jason Oliver Chang is Assistant Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. At UConn he is an affiliated faculty member with the Maritime Studies Institute as well as the Institute of Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies and the Associate Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. In 2010 Jason earned his PhD in Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940 (University of Illinois Press, 2017) and co-author of Asian America: A Primary Source Reader (Yale University Press, 2017). He has published articles in the Journal for Asian American Studies, the Pacific Historical Review, and the Journal of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures in the Americas. Jason’s current work rewrites Asian American history from the perspective of Chinese, South Asian, and Filipino sailors to think how racial formations work at sea.
This event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the University Room at Hyde Hall. Special thanks to our co-sponsors: the Department of American Studies, the Institute for the Study of the Americas, the Department of Asian Studies, the Carolina Asia Center, the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association, the Carolina Hispanic Association, the Latina/o Studies Program, the Center for Global Initiatives, and the Institute for Arts and Humanities.
Health and the Humanities in Practice: Using a Liberal Arts Approach to Rural Health Challenges in North Carolina
Lisa McKeithan (far right) and the CommWell Health team accept an award for their work
Lisa McKeithan, MS, CRC, is Director and HIV/AIDS Researcher at CommWell Health Clinics in Dunn, North Carolina, an award-winning not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center. McKeithan is Director of CommWell Health’s NC-REACH program, which serves patients who are both HIV-positive and homeless. The National Rural Health Association named it Outstanding Program of the Year, and McKeithan the Outstanding Educator of the Year. In conversation with Dr. Martha King, Teaching Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill, McKeithan will discuss the ways in which the humanities and social sciences shape her approach to healthcare in the rural South.
This event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in 039 Graham Memorial Hall.
“Storytellers and Sociopaths: Thoughts on How We Define Reality from Post-Obama Appalachia”
This lecture will explore connections between the rich storytelling tradition, grinding economic challenges, hard political choices, despair, and hope experienced by people in the southeast Kentucky coalfields. Gipe will read from his previously published fiction, and he will address the creation of the Higher Ground community performances, a series of oral history-based theater events in Harlan County, Kentucky which have been running from 2003 to the present.
Robert Gipe is the author of the award-winning illustrated novel Trampoline (Ohio University Press, 2015). His short story “Dreadful Crash” appeared in the 21C Fiction Issue of Southern Cultures (Fall 2016). Gipe teaches at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, where he directs the Appalachian Studies program. He has worked previously as a pickle packer, a forklift driver, and a DJ.
This lecture, to be held in 039 Graham Memorial Hall, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
“What is the real basis of a public enterprise?” The Cherokee Nation and the Social Safety Net
In this lecture, Reed will discuss why nineteenth-century Cherokee people chose to surrender aspects of their holistic system of care for others rooted within a matrilineal clan system and governed by local community obligations and clan responsibilities that stretched across towns in favor of nationally administered social services by the Cherokee Nation to individual citizens. This shift ultimately resulted in the creation of an orphanage, a prison, and a facility for the (dis)abled and mentally ill in the period after the Civil War. Reed will share how Cherokee people evaluated the quality of their institutions and the conditions that led them to study and critique the social policies of states and the larger United States.
Julie Reed is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Her book Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800-1907 was published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2016. This lecture will be held in the Pleasants Family Room at Wilson Library. The lecture is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.