Research Groups and Projects
Projects and initiatives housed administratively at or affiliated with ISGRJ contribute to the Institute’s overall direction and vision regarding the need for a humanistic, interdisciplinary, systems approach to examining racialization and racism, across such areas of inquiry as the literary, visual, and performative arts, K–12 education, public health, criminal justice, social justice, public policy, research and professional mentorship and pedagogy.
ISGRJ and Sponsored Research Projects: Scholarship Promoting Racial Justice in the Arts, Humanities, and Humanistic Sciences
Humanists often face the challenge of isolation within the academy, counter-productive for scholars who aim to produce research disruptive of current racial inequities and discriminatory social hierarchies. ISGRJ can provide opportunities for scholars to imagine and build collaborative, collective, humanistic research endeavors, producing knowledge together in ways that offer alternatives to the individual monograph.
Such projects can allow scholars to lend our field expertise to research projects farther afield but with direct bearing on questions of racial and social justice, and to engage in alternative forms of writing and intellectual production.
Supported by Rutgers’ Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs (EVPAA), Prabhas Moghe, ISGRJ Executive Director Michelle Stephens and Director of Sponsored Research Robin Yarborough work together with primary investigators to support, encourage, advise on, and help generate collaborative, interdisciplinary, research projects designed by ISGRJ’s Campus Directors and other Rutgers faculty.
ISGRJ-Mellon Funded Research Projects and Groups
We aim to examine how language serves and is shaped by social constructions of race. To this end, we are engaging scholars at Rutgers and beyond to present the results of their research activity in this sphere in the hopes of initiating conversations, more scholarship and curricula on these themes. Additionally, we are organizing a K-12 Teacher Workshop in line with the NJ Department of Education’s initiative to integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into systems and guidance around content areas (in particular, world languages). Our workshop focuses on sharing the power of centering teachers’ knowledge of their students, classroom, school, and community contexts and focusing on asset-based pedagogies and teacher inquiry as tools for learning and teaching in K-12 world language and mainstream classrooms.
Led by Charles Haberl, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers–New Brunswick
This cross-campus working group will address discourses of blackness and anti-blackness within the study of Islam and Muslims across various scholarly disciplines, such as (but not limited to) anthropology, American studies, Black studies, ethnic studies, history, political science, religious studies, Islamic studies, and women’s and gender studies.
Led by Sylvia Chan-Malik, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers–New Brunswick
There is a long literature on the structural gendered racism which has resulted in the overrepresentation of Black women and children in the child welfare system. This research group uses intersectionality as a guiding framework to examine how race, gender, and class oppression influenced the passing of federal child welfare legislation that precipitated the overrepresentation of Black women, children, and families within the child welfare system. (Roberts, 2002; Roberts, 2012, Roberts, 2014). Their study takes this literature one step further by identifying the mechanisms of how coded language played a role in the passing of federal child welfare policies
Led by Abigail Williams-Butler, Early Career Faculty Fellow, School of Social Work, Rutgers–New Brunswick
Racial inequities are rooted in structural racism that give rise to and perpetuate individual-level implicit and explicit racial biases. One way to advance racial justice is to educate white individuals about the racial inequities created and perpetuated by their high-status group. However, such an approach can backfire—white individuals who learn about the transgressions of their high-status group may wish to inhibit the experience of collective guilt, which is a source of motivation for addressing racial inequities. Two experiments (to be completed by June 2022) will investigate if white individuals express implicit and explicit biases
to down-regulate collective guilt and protect their group’s image, privilege, and power. Findings from this project will have implications for how to improve racial justice education and, in turn, reduce implicit and explicit biases.
Led by Luis Rivera, Senior Faculty Fellow, School of Arts and Sciences–Newark, Rutgers–Newark