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Presented By: Department of Political Science

The Interdisciplinary Workshop in Race, Ethnicity and Politics (I-REP)

Racial and ethnic identities play a key role in shaping behaviors, attitudes, institutions, and social structures. As such, scholars across disciplines have been devoted to investigating how race and ethnicity feature in every aspect of social and political life. The purpose of I-REP (Interdisciplinary Workshop in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics) is to provide a space for scholars whose research centers race, ethnicity, and politics across a number of fields to receive critical feedback on the early stages of their work (especially graduate students), build community with other researchers who share similar interests and offer an opportunity for participants to collaborate on a joint research project within the working group

Racial conflict is a fixture of American politics and society. Issues of race and racial identity have shaped our criminal justice system, generated social movements like Black Lives Matter, and have been integral to the development of policies from immigration to housing and education. Outside of formal institutions and organizations, race also animates our interpersonal relationships and social interactions. While the summer of 2021 marked the most recent “racial reckoning” in America, it was not the first instance of social unrest in America generated by racial conflict, and it certainly will not be the last. As America continues to wrestle with race, I-REP seeks to support interdisciplinary research that analyzes racial inequality and racial conflict in political and social institutions as well as in interpersonal behavior. Such research has been instrumental to multiple disciplines across the social sciences, including Political Science, Social Psychology, Sociology, Psychology, and Public Policy, for decades. And while race, racial identity, and racial conflict can (and often are) studied in their own right, research on almost any topic will benefit from an analysis that accounts for the impact of race across disciplinary boundaries.

At a time when politicians and political pundits are calling for the erasure of race from educational curricula, it is imperative that academia continue to create spaces for research on race to be discussed, evaluated, critiqued and improved. Therefore, I-REP strives to encourage scholarly conversations and collaborations among researchers who seek to better understand the consequential role of race and ethnicity in social and political life.

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