Tuesday Workshop on Understanding White Culture

Edited to add: Here’s a PDF document about the workshop we’ll be going to on Tuesday that makes me think YAY! This is a good fit for our course. The focus of the document is “strategic questioning” and while the purpose is to develop ways to deal with difficult social problems and create change, it also applies in many ways to the conversation we just had about how finding the right question is an important step in research – and how those questions will change as we learn more.

Also worth exploring in advance of the workshop – Racial Equity Tools, a website that provides practical tools for change-agents.

So see you in Alumni Hall next Tuesday!


Here’s some information about that workshop scheduled at exactly the same time as our class.

Dr. Shakti Butler, facilitator, lecturer, trainer, and activist around race and social justice.  Dr. Butler is the founder and president of World Trust.

All Gustavus faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend her workshop “Understanding White Culture as a 21st Century Leadership Skill” scheduled On February 16th from 2:30-5 pm in Alumni Hall.

This interactive session will help us to understand racial inequity as a precursor to building strategies that address racial and socio-economic barriers and will cover

  • history, identity, and culture;

  • internal components of bias, privilege and internalized racism; and

  • external components consisting of relationships that are interpersonal, institutional and structural.

More about World Trust (from its website)

Through education rooted in love and justice, World Trust is a catalyst for racial equity. World Trust produces equity, inclusion, and diversity filmscurriculum and workshopsthat deepen the conversation about race.

We need to talk. Devastating racial inequity persists in the U.S. Race, more than any other demographic factor, determines levels of health, wealth and achievement in the United States. Recent events in the news demonstrate the need for real change.

The conversation about race is shallow and remains focused on individuals. It stops us from talking. It freezes our capacity to connect, to analyze, and to act across crucial racial divides. Without intervention, the system of inequity is self-perpetuating.

… World Trust Educational Services is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1987, and supported by donations from individuals, families and foundations, and through income from seminars and the sales of our films.

Okay, so it’s a non-profit organization. How can you find out more about it? ProPublica (a non-profit news organization) makes financial information from non-profits available online using the 990 tax forms required by the IRS. Sweet, huh? This outfit looks pretty straightforward. Nobody is getting paid huge bucks. Nothing funny going on. These public forms are actually really interesting when it comes to understanding non-profits and how they get and spend money. You can even see 990 tax forms for Gustavus.



Posted in stuff

Why would academics blog?

Edited to add: two additional blogs that may be of interest.

  • FiveThirtyEight – Nate Silver, a statistician, got a following writing about sports, then politics. After becoming part of the New York Times for a while, he moved to ESPN. I’ve linked to the economics section of the blog site because we have an economist in the class, but there are four other subject streams to check out.
  • Lawyers, Guns, and Money – a blog about culture and politics written by academics which has developed a sizable following.

The primary ways that academics and scientists communicate their findings is through journal articles, books, conference papers, and so forth – formal reports intended for other scholars that (ideally) extend what we know about the world. But sometimes academics talk more informally to each other and sometimes they communicate to people who aren’t specialists through articles in the popular press, opinion pieces, or using social media. Here are a few examples of these less formal kinds of writing.

  • Crooked Timber – a group blog about economics, philosophy, politics and other stuff
  • Food Politics – a blog by Marion Nestle who follows public policy and law related to food.
  • LSE Impact Blog – from the London School of Economics and Political Science
  • The Message – this is a little hard to describe. Mostly about the intersection of technology and society
  • Savage Minds – a group blog by anthropologists

In addition to blogs, here are a couple of publications that aim to make academic research accessible to the public.

The Conversation is a publication started in Australia that seeks to provide the public with information from academics who can speak to current events. It’s basically a news outlet that uses university faculty as its journalists.

Pacific Standard is a magazine that is run by a non-profit organization that seeks to bring behavioral and social science research to a general audience.

Posted in the course

Welcome to the Course

I’m still tinkering with this site as I write this post, getting links to work and working out the schedule. We’ll be using this space both to keep track of things we’re doing in class and as a place to share ideas. You will be blogging. Don’t panic. It can be fun, really! As soon as you get used to the platform and get your account sorted, it won’t be like this . . .

4434362439_a659281598_zimage courtesy of f1ustter


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Posted in the course

This course will give students interested in going to graduate or professional school—or who simply want to know more about research—an immersion in the structure of the literature of their chosen field and exposure to research tools and collections. Students will conduct a literature review on a topic of their choice and will analyze aspects of their discipline’s traditions, compare them to traditions in other fields, and explore the social and ethical dimensions of research.

The collage used in the header is by mypixbox, who has made it available under a Creative Commons license.

This is an open course. Feel free to use the material here.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.