Tulane to host virtual discussion on ‘Anti-Racism and Sociology’

The Dean’s Speaker Series on Anti-Racism and the Disciplines, an initiative of the Tulane University School of Liberal Arts, will continue March 2 with a talk by Mary Pattillo, the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University.

Pattillo, the second speaker in the series, will speak virtually on the topic of “Anti-Racism and Sociology” beginning at 6 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public via Zoom. It will be moderated by Andrea Boyles, an associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at Tulane.

Pattillo is the author of two award-winning books — Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class and Black on Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City.  Her work has been published in numerous journals, including American Sociological Review, Social Forces and Du Bois Review.

“Dr. Mary Pattillo’s pathbreaking research into the intersections of race, class and inequality in urban neighborhoods has established her as one of our leading sociologists and the ideal scholar to excavate the complex legacies of structural racism in the discipline itself,” said Brian Edwards, dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

Boyles said Pattillo’s scholarship has had a direct impact on her own research on race and social justice.

“Her work is trailblazing and stirs intellectual aspiration. She sets precedence for contemporary interdisciplinary thought and substantive engagement at the intersection of race, community and spatial politics,” Boyles said.

Pattillo is the winner of the 2018 Weinberg College Community Building Award, as well as several grants and fellowships, including the Fulbright, MacArthur and Ford Foundations, among others.

She is a founding board member and active participant in Urban Prep Charter Academies, a network of all-boys public charter high schools in Chicago. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2020.

Her current research is on the prevalence and impact of monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system, the role of the Black middle class in Latin America and a new research paradigm on “Black Advantage Vision.”

Pattillo’s talk is the second installment of a yearlong series of lectures on Anti-Racism and the Disciplines. Launched in 2020, the Dean’s Speaker Series brings prominent scholars, writers and practitioners to Tulane to foster an ongoing conversation about the vitality of the liberal arts in addressing topics that matter to society.

Other speakers this semester will engage the disciplines of anthropology and communication studies, and feature eminent scholars from Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania. Each speaker will deliver a virtual presentation, open to the public, and host a workshop for faculty and students dedicated to fostering anti-racist scholarship and research.