Rutgers logo
Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

“Race, In Theory” Fellows Humanities Seminar

Understanding Race Series

Led by Michelle Stephens, the Understanding Race Series brings postdoctoral and early career fellows together with peers and an accomplished senior scholar from the Rutgers community, in a monthly discussion of a central, theoretical reading on race from a distinctly Humanities perspective. The seminar aims to model antiracist modes of scholarly engagement while mapping and understanding the most contemporary scholarly humanistic approaches to race and racial formation.

The Writing Worktable

"You aren’t told what to do or think. The workshop model is one of observation, consideration, and discussion. The author helps us to help them. There is no silence." —Dee Matthews

Pioneered by poets and writers Airea Dee Matthews and Gregory Pardlo, the concept of “The Writing Worktable” brings to the ISGRJ community a practice Matthews has developed in her own pedagogy and collaborated with Pardlo to introduce as part of the design of the ISGRJ’s Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat of July 2021. This radical experiment in reimagining the traditional writing workshop invites writers of all disciplines, genres, and backgrounds, who are committed to anti-racist writing practices, to create together an open forum of mutual accountability. Fellows are also encouraged to participate in a distinctive writing worktable experience designed to encourage freedom of thought and expression in a safe and stimulating setting. The worktable is guided by three central principles: discussions are author-centered and author-guided; observe the group’s process rather than product; and consider with intentionality the work of building “an intellectual community that can be entrusted with human and written work." The institute seeks to create spaces for scholars and creative writers to be in conversation as both an aspect of their work and for the mutual exchange of knowledge within and throughout the university and its surrounding communities. The Writing Worktable seeks to actualize that goal in the work of supporting scholarly writing.

Desk with paper, pen, and lightbulb