Speaker to Reflect on Historic Student Strike

By Dave Maley, September 6, 2019
Walkout in 1968–69 resulted in founding of first official ethnic studies program.

The Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College will kick off its 2019 Discussion Series with a presentation by Nick Mitchell, author of the forthcoming book “Disciplinary Matters: Black Studies, Women’s Studies, and the Neoliberal University.”

Free and open to the public, Mitchell’s talk on “Ethnic Studies at 50: Reflections on Knowledge and Power” will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center.

In 1969, a collective composed primarily of activist students of color at San Francisco State University agreed to end what remains to this day the longest continuous student strike in the history of the United States. The strike led to the official establishment of the first ethnic studies program in higher education.

In his presentation, Mitchell will return to the scene of the strike.

“I want to not only consider its historical significance and the lessons it might offer us today, but also argue that honoring this legacy involves appreciating our distance from it,” said Mitchell. “Our present moment of racial terror, mainstream neofascism and liberation dreaming needs a different understanding of the relationship between knowledge and power and a new strategy for using higher education for emancipatory purposes.”

Mitchell teaches in the Department of Feminist Studies and the Program in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Santa Cruz. His research involves investigating the social arrangements of knowledge and the work of knowledge in shaping social worlds.

The Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (CSCRE) delivers a curriculum focused primarily on African-, Latino/a-, Asian-, and Native-American (ALANA) people in the United States, who are usually marginalized, under-represented and/or misrepresented in the normative curriculum. CSCRE also fosters critical dialogues on race through its Discussion Series, which brings speakers, artists and performers to campus each year.

For more information visit Ithaca.edu/cscre.