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Race and Indigeneity
in the Americas


Brown University received a $225,000 award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures, organized by CLACS. The initiative, titled “Race and Indigeneity in the Americas,” took place over the 2018-2019 academic year.

The goal of the initiative was to radically shift how we think about racialization—the ascribing of ethnic or racial identities—in North and South America by examining it through an interdisciplinary, comparative lens.

To accomplish this, three day-long workshops were held over the course of the year, each one framed as a set of questions that scholars from across the social sciences and humanities asked to better understand how we view race and indigeneity in the Americas. With these workshops, we challenged the assumptions and frameworks from which the existing scholarship was written. 

Eight monthly seminars, each held at a different Brown center or institute, complemented the more theoretical work accomplished during the workshops. Arts and cultural events were also planned to expand the impact of the ongoing findings and engage the community beyond Brown. Examples included musical performances, art showcases, and more. 

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