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Stieglitz lecturer to contrast white nationalist, anti-racist groups

Sally Kershner
Features Editor

On Feb. 12, the annual Stieglitz Memorial Lecture will return to The College of Wooster with speaker Dr. Matthew Hughey, an American sociologist known for his work on race and racism. Hughey, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, will be presenting his lecture “White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race,” based off the book he authored of the same title.

The presentation will discuss Hughey’s interaction and investigation of two white organizations — one white nationalist group and one white antiracist group. Hughey examines how both groups make meaning of race and whiteness.

“My research examines the relationship between racial inequality and collective understandings of race through (1) white racial identity, (2) racialized organizations, (3) mass media, (4) political engagements with race, (5) science and technology and (6) public advocacy with racism and discrimination,” states Hughey’s personal website.

“In light of the political events on campus during the past few weeks, Dr. Hughey’s lecture promises to be a timely and empirically grounded discussion of the varied and shared meanings of whiteness in contemporary American society,” said David McConnell, professor of anthropology and chair of the sociology and anthropology department.

Hughey’s work and research is particularly relevant to the College in consideration of the multiple discussions of race and race relations on campus that have taken place this semester.

“I want to hear what he learned and collected from the white nationalist groups he visited with, as well as the antiracist groups,” said Lalah Lewis ’19, a sociology major. “I’ve always been intrigued by white nationalist groups, not in the ‘Omg, this is super cool’ kinda way, but rather intrigued because I’ve never understood their ideologies and the way many of these types of groups rationalize their behavior and beliefs. So, I think attending this lecture can give me more insight and knowledge.”

These lectures are thanks to the College every year because of the Stieglitz Memorial Fund, founded by Dr. and Mrs. Lewis N. Stieglitz of Concord, N.H. as a tribute to their son, Martin, a Wooster student who was majoring in sociology when he lost his life in an off-campus house fire on Feb. 11, 1989. Every year, well-known sociologists and anthropologists visit the College to share their new research and ideas in these fields.

“Race doesn’t just apply to sociology students. It’s a conversation that involves everyone because it relates to everyone in some way, shape or form, so I think it’s a good opportunity for everyone to expand their knowledge and understanding with topics regarding race,” said Lewis.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be presented in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12.

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