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Cultural Anthropologist is UW Mulloy Lecture Speaker April 20

April 13, 2018
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Bonnie Urciuoli

A professor whose areas of interest include linguistic and cultural anthropology, and who specializes in public discourses of race, class and language, is the University of Wyoming Department of Anthropology’s 22nd annual Mulloy Lecture speaker Friday, April 20.

Bonnie Urciuoli, a Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., will discuss “What Diversity Talk Really Entails” in the College of Business auditorium at 4:10 p.m. A reception will follow in the Anthropology Building from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Urciuoli is particularly interested in diversity in U.S. higher education.

Urciuoli is concerned with how individuals can “bring” diversity to an institution. She wonders why diversity should be measured as numbers of individuals assigned to a label -- and how accurate these labels can really be.

“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?” Urciuoli asks. “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.”

Urciuoli’s book, “Exposing Prejudice: Puerto Rican Experiences of Language, Race and Class,” received the 1977 Gustavus Myers Center Award for the study of human rights in North America. Additionally, she has published in multiple journals, including American Ethnologist, Language and Communication, and the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, according to Hamilton College’s website.

The annual Mulloy Lecture is sponsored by the UW Department of Anthropology in memory of the university's first professional anthropologist, William Mulloy. Starting in 1948, he fostered, at UW, what is usually called the "four-field approach," integrating archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology into a unified program.

For more information about the Mulloy Lecture, call the UW Department of Anthropology office at (307) 766-5136.

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