Theme for 21-22

Annual Theme – 2021-2022

Intersections

A piece of art titled "The Comedian" by Nathanial Mary Quinn, 2017, Olin Gallery Permanent Collection

The Comedian, Nathanial Mary Quinn, 2017, Olin Gallery Permanent Collection

Where do we intersect with structures of race and forms of structural racism?  How does race intersect with other categories of analysis?  How might an intersectional approach expand our understandings of structural racism?

The 2021-2022 annual theme Intersections draws on both the spatial presence of structures of race at Roanoke College and the concept of ‘intersectionality’ which forms an essential role in academic debates about structural racism.  Many of the structures of race at Roanoke College that the Center for Studying Structures of Race evaluates sit at prominent intersections: the Confederate Monument (where campus intersects with the City of Salem), the Administration Building (which sits at the central intersection of our academic buildings), and the Slave Quarters (which in renovated form now intersects directly with campus life).  The theme of Intersections will further ask the campus community to consider the implications of these historic structures, and will advance the broader institutional commitment to projects that debate complicated structural legacies. 

The theme of Intersections will further immerse the Center’s work in a set of interdisciplinary debates related to the analysis of structural racism.  Intersectional analysis, which first emerged in the 1980s as a component of Critical Race Theory, contends that the critical appraisal of a particular category (such as structural racism) is best achieved by examining how multiple factors including, but not limited to, race, class, gender, sexuality, and national origin intersect to form broader systems of power and inequity.  The ongoing research projects, reading groups, and public exhibitions sponsored by the Center for Studying Structures of Race will all draw on intersectional analysis to inspire faculty, staff, and students from across campus to find ways to intersect their teaching, research, learning, and advising with the overall work of the center.