Mellon Faculty Seminar

Questioning Modern Identity:
Empire, Diaspora and Alternative Genealogies

Net Migration Worldwide
“Questioning Modern Identity: Empire, Diaspora and Alternative Genealogies” seeks new models for understanding race and ethnicity. The seminar challenges participants both to rethink US Ethnic Studies within a transnational frame and to take into account what are often called “intersectional” relations. Examining empire and diaspora in conjunction will enable participants to study not only how modern coordinates produce identities in the world, but equally how this process yields social and epistemological effects. How is modern identity made normative, and what forms of hegemony are involved? How do we understand “social identity” and “difference” beyond the inherited borders and accepted divisions of an imperial world-system? We seek alternative trans-regional, transcontinental histories which can be pursued as alternative genealogies of the present.

Participating Faculty

Seminar Coordinators

Fall 2010
Kim F. Hall, Lucyle Hook Professor of English and Director of Africana Studies

Spring 2011
Elizabeth Esch, Assistant Professor of History and American Studies
Neferti X. M. Tadiar, Professor and Chair of Women's Studies

Fall 2011
Jennie A. Kassanoff, Associate Professor of English and Director of American Studies
Monica Miller, Associate Professor of English, Director of the Mellon Mays Program, and Coordinator of the CCIS (2011-12)

Spring 2012
Dorothy Y. Ko, Professor of History and Interim Chair of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Seminar Staff

Dana Johnson
Manager, Selected Academic Programs, Office of the Provost

Keondra Prier
Seminar Research Assistant