Exhibition explores many perspectives of race

January 31, 2013
Frank Provenzano,
Maryanne George, (734) 615-6514, mageorge@umich.edu or Frank Provenzano, (734) 647-4411, fproven@umich.edu

Join the conversation: #UnderstandRace#UMTheme

ANN ARBOR—Throughout history, racial and ethnic differences have been a source of community strength and personal identity. Yet those differences also have been the basis for discrimination and oppression.

The many perspectives of race is at the heart of “Race: Are We So Different?” developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. The first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural and historical points of view will be on display Feb. 9-May 27 at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, 1109 Geddes Ave.

The exhibit explores ways historically used to describe racial differences and the distorted rationalizations to justify mistreatment of people, and even genocide. In a compelling presentation, the exhibit offers a contemporary scientific understanding of human variation that challenges notions of racial differences, and even the very concept of race.

Prior to the opening, anthropologist Yolanda Moses of the University of California-Riverside will publicly discuss the exhibit and her new book—for which the exhibit is named—with Lester Monts, U-M senior vice provost for academic affairs and senior counselor to the U-M president for the arts, diversity and undergraduate affairs.

The conversation, the 2013 William R. Farrand Annual Endowed Lecture, will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at Kahn Auditorium in the Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building, 109 Zina Pitcher Place. The talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Author’s Forum, a collaboration between the University Library, Institute for the Humanities, Great Lakes Literary Arts Center and Ann Arbor Book Festival.

“Race: Are We So Different?” is a central part of U-M’s Understanding Race Project, an audience engagement initiative including the campuswide Understanding Race Theme Semester, centered in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The winter theme semester includes participation by all 10 public school districts in Washtenaw County and extensive involvement by community members, nonprofits, government agencies and other groups.

The Ann Arbor display of “Race: Are We So Different?” is made possible by support from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Ann Arbor Public Schools, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, David and Andrea Scott, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Institute for the Humanities, LSA Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, National Center for Institutional Diversity, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Washtenaw Intermediate School District.


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