Community Conversations

The work of The Commons is informed by diverse disciplinary expertise and a broad range of human experience. It is a place to discuss current events in context and with potential for new ways of understanding and addressing challenges. Community Conversations highlight society-level topics that affect people on and off campus, with intention to broaden discussion, deepen understanding, and elevate new possibilities.
Community Conversation: Unpacking Whiteness | February 27, 2018
Community Conversation: Unpacking Whiteness | February 27, 2018

October 12, 2018 - Understanding the Testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

The events surrounding the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford inspire more questions. This discussion will provide context and develop frameworks for further unpacking.
Join us for a discussion.

Alesha Doan, Public Affairs & Administration/Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Ayesha Hardison, English/Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Ashley Muddiman, Communication Studies
Maryemma Graham, English/Project on the History of Black Writing

Community Conversation: Christine Blasey Ford

March 29, 2018 - Whiteness & the NCAA

Shawn Alexander, African and African-American Studies/Langston Hughes Center Etienne Thomas, Kansas Athletics Mauricio Gómez Montoya, Jayhawk Student One Stop 12:00pm Thursday, March 29, 2018 | The Commons Supported by the University Honors Program, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Achievement and Assessment Institute, and The Commons

How does whiteness appear in the realm of college sports, and specifically, within the NCAA? How do these issues present themselves nationally? How do we see them play out locally? Join us for this conversation with scholars. For additional reading, see “The NCAA as Modern Jim Crow? A Sports Historian Explains Why She Drew the Parallel” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, 01/12/2018.

Whiteness & the NCAA

February 27, 2018 - Unpacking Whiteness

A conversation about the meaning and history of ‘whiteness,’ and how it functions in the U.S. today, led by: David Roediger, American Studies Cécile Accilien, African & African-American Studies/Institute of Haitian Studies Dave Tell, Communication Studies Ami Nanavaty, American Studies & Microbiology, Honors Student

White people in the U.S. have so long dominated, in terms of numbers and power, that their racial identity does not get named or discussed. Too often, studying race means only studying people of color, despite powerful traditions of naming whiteness as a problem by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian-American thinkers. This event will explore the meaning, history, and functions of ‘whiteness.’ For background, see “The First White President,” an essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates in the October 2017 issue of The Atlantic.

Unpacking Whiteness