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The Racialized Body

The Racialized Body lies at the cutting edge of scholarship on race. This emerging field of research is grounded in the analysis of race as not merely a social category, but an embodied experience. This cluster brings together scholars who examine the ways that contemporary and historical notions of race, racial ideology and racial politics are manifested in how the “body” is represented, inhabited and regulated. One focus of the cluster is the study of mechanisms by which racialized bodies are defined, policed and regulated. Through legal classifications, medical experiments, surveillance, incarceration, and even torture, states and other governmental agencies exercise power through control over racialized bodies. Yet the racialized body is not stable, as the ideological and governmental practices that attempt to regulate its meanings must contend with the ways that people inhabit, redefine and reject the inscription of racialized meanings onto their bodies. Another focus of the cluster, therefore, is on the ways that people respond to racialized efforts to define and control their bodies through everyday practices and collective forms of resistance.  

Principal Investigator:

Cynthia Blair
Associate Professor, History and Black Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Director, African American Cultural Center