Due to safety concerns, this event is now only open to New School community members with valid @newschool.edu address.
The Department of Sociology welcomes Crystal Fleming (Stony Brook) with her lecture, "White Supremacy as Legal Torture: Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois and the Founding of Critical Race Sociology" as part of our Spring semester speaker series.
This talk explores the historical roots of what I call "Critical Race Sociology", drawing upon the theoretical interventions and innovations of Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. Du Bois. While the Du Boisian tradition is currently experiencing a powerful resurgence as a result of the work of contemporary scholars like Earl Wright II and Aldon Morris, less attention has been paid to the theoretical contributions of another early African American founder of sociology--Ida B. Wells. Building on (black) feminist critiques of the theoretical cannon, I draw connections between Du Bois and Wells' efforts to theorize white supremacy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In particular, I focus on similarities and differences in their conceptualization of white domination as legally sanctioned violence and racial torture. In so doing, I compare the incisive contributions of the Wellsian and Du Boisian traditions with the ways in which white racism and white supremacist terrorism have been under-theorized and largely ignored in mainstream sociology. Finally, I argue that Critical Race Sociology offers a more cogent and robust theorization of white supremacy than the dominant mode of analysis displayed in what we may term the "Cultural Sociology of Race" and mainstream sociology more broadly.
An author, cultural critic and social scientist, Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming is committed to empowering people with the conceptual tools needed to understand, confront and challenge white supremacy. She is Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at SUNY Stony Brook . Dr. Fleming’s passion for speaking truth to power, addressing injustice and promoting equality infuses her scholarship, writing and teaching.