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Department of Anthropology
Mulloy Lecture
University of Wyoming, April 20, 2018

 Bonnie Urciuoli picture.

Dr. Bonnie Urciuoli

Hamilton College

What Diversity Talk Really Entails

For most people and most institutions, discourses on diversity – race or gender – are evaluated for accuracy and good intentions: are the terms descriptively sufficient, and do their users mean well?   Less attention is paid to the general frame of assumptions into which such discourses fit.  Yet that frame plays a powerful role in reinforcing the effect of long-standing ideologies.  If we shift the focus from terminology and speaker intention to the social positioning of that larger frame, we can better examine those underlying assumptions.  In what ways are individuals imagined to ‘bring’ diversity to an institution?  Why should diversity be measured as numbers of individuals assigned a label? How ‘accurate’ can labels really be?  What neoliberal logic underlies such assumptions and how does that logic affect students and faculty assigned the work of ‘diversifying’ their institution?












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