Faculty Research Spotlight: Dr. Walter DeKeseredy
1. What is your title at WVU, what do you research, and what led you to the field?
George Floyd, Systemic Racism, and Anti-racism: A Faculty Statement from WVU’s Department of Sociology & Anthropology
As faculty who study and teach on the subjects related to inequality and crime, community, and social justice, we join all of those who are sickened, angered, and heartbroken by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. It has long been our mission to explain how incidents like these--including the racism-fueled deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor--are not outliers but are part of the way our society operates. This form of bigoted, state-sponsored violence is deeply rooted in our country’s history and continues to manifest in our institutions. Those of us in privileged positions cannot be silent about the dangerous realities of life for black and brown Americans. All of us must take a stand and act in ways that disrupt and dismantle these systems of oppression. This is why we support the protests and all of those who are bravely marching in cities and towns throughout the country.
Mobilizing race: Borders, transitions, movements
Professors Daniel Renfrew and Genesis M. Snyder are featured in the December 2016 edition of City & Society. They co-edited a special journal section representing critical anthropological examinations of the ways race(d) subjects, categorizations and ideologies are mobilized and translated across borders.
Department of Sociology and Anthropology response to the events of last week
As many in our
university community know, our colleague, Daniel Brewster, was publicly
assaulted with a vicious and defamatory verbal attack by a visitor to campus
last week. The faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology
strongly repudiates these actions and we stand united in support of our dear and
valued colleague. What Daniel Brewster was cruelly subjected to was
nothing short of hate speech. Having specialists in the area of
criminology generally and hate crimes specifically, we understand the ways hate
speech not only wounds morally and emotionally, but often begets hate crimes
writ large. Hate speech on campus has a chilling effect on free speech
and academic freedom. It creates a hostile campus environment where any
one of us who may be considered different or “other,” or who hold opinions and
teach principles that question the status quo, will feel threatened and
fearful. This is unacceptable. The sort of ad hominem personal
attack by last week’s visitor does not
constitute a rational presentation or the free and open exchange of ideas, and
as such has no place in an academic environment. It undermines academic
discourse, which is rooted in valid and reliable research, not personal
defamatory assertions. College campuses are rooted in free speech and
critical thinking – we are not arguing that voices should be silenced, but we
demand that they be civil. Always.