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Ethnic Studies Annual Conference

April 11, 2013

'We Are All Ethnic Studies: Building Communities, Challenging Racism, Sexism & Heteronormativities in the 21st Century' is the theme of the 2013 annual conference of the National Association for Ethnic Studies.

April 12-13
9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Lory Student Center
University Club, Laporte and
Grey Rock Rooms

The faces of bias

You may not be aquainted with all the terms used in the emerging discipline of ethnic studies, but it's almost certain that the issues they refer to have touched your life in some way.

For example, the word, "heteronormativities," appears in the title of the upcoming National Association for Ethnic Studies Conference at Colorado State: "We are all ethnic studies: Building communities, challenging racism, sexism, and heteronormativities in the 21st Century."

"Heteronormativities refer to norms that heterosexuality creates," says Kyle Pape, the office manager of NAES and Colorado State ethnic studies instructor.  

"The dominant, straight, culture promotes heterosexuality as the preferred sexual orientation, and out of that comes a myriad of role and identity boundaries. If you violate these, you're punished and marginalized." 

Sexism in the 21st Century

The word "sexism" (which also appears in the title of the conference) has been around for decades, but this issue is of course dynamic -- it continues to evolve and manifest in new ways.

"The topic of sexism is timely," says Irene Vernon, NAES conference chair and chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at CSU. 

"The book, Lean-in, by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, has prompted new debate about what it takes for women to break through ceilings in the workplace.

"Sandberg says that women need to 'lean in' for what they need and want, and that this is only possible if they choose partners who do half of the work in the home."

Purpose, scope of conference

"This conference will focus on pushing ethnic studies issues out to people who are engaging with the internet and other media," says Pape, who worked with regional partners to organize the conference and identify speakers.

"The conference represents an amazing breadth of topics and offers an indepth dialogue about each."

The conference will focus on scholarly and community activities in the field of Ethnic Studies regionally, nationally and internationally with an emphasis on race, gender, and sexuality.

This conference will provide a strong mentoring opportunity by creating a professional and social opportunity for Ethnic Studies scholars and activists to discuss contemporary issues in the field and engage in collaborations. 

Presenters are providing a wide variety of work that includes issues of:

  • education - retention, recruitment and curriculum development;
  • public policy – locally and globally;
  • activism in the arts – performance, music and literature; and
  • social justice – activism, history and identity.

Admission/program information

Admission for CSU students is free. Students do not need to register and may drop in to any session that they like. All others should visit the NAES website to pay and register for the conference.

The conference program is available on the NAES website.

Contact: Kyle Pape
Phone: (970) 491-3927