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  • Fifth Biennial

    Interdisciplinary Conference on Race

    THEME: Exploring Race, Gender, and Leadership in History and Global Societies: Goals, Strategies, and Reconciliation

    DATE: Thursday, November 9 to Saturday, November 11, 2017

    VENUE: Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ

    Register Online

    Pre-Conference events

    The 2016 United States (U.S.) presidential election cycle has led to a broad debate concerning leadership. The concept of leadership and the roles of leaders are important to the development of any society. Those who lead are called upon to project moral authority not just formal authority. In modern times, there are political leaders who have promoted good governance, there are entrepreneurs who have grown their companies through ethical business practices, and there are global icons who have made significant contributions to peace and reconciliation such as Nelson Mandela.

    The purpose of this conference is to explore the different categories of leadership, the strategies of leaders, and the roles and achievements of leaders in various areas of human civilization including (but not limited to) politics, religion, education, culture, law, military, and medicine while contemplating issues related to race and gender. We are particularly interested in papers related to women in leadership, "race leadership" in the African American tradition, race, ethnicity and reconciliation in African nations and papers that explore leadership in history and global societies more generally. We welcome individual papers or panel proposals that address these topics or other aspects of race, gender, and leadership from historical, anthropological, sociological, legal, cultural, and political, perspectives. Papers related to the topic of race more generally are also welcome. This conference is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in scope and we invite scholars from various disciplines as well as those with expertise in interdisciplinary fields of knowledge such as gender studies and race studies. The conference webpage will be updated periodically.

    The Monmouth University race conference was founded in 2008 by Dr. Julius Adekunle and Hettie V. Williams. This conference has brought together scholars from more than fifteen U.S. states, four continents, and twelve nations. Robin D.G. Kelley, Tera Hunter, and David Roediger have all previously served as keynote speakers for this event. Dr. Jonathan Holloway will deliver the keynote address at the 2017 conference. Dr. Jennifer Scanlon among several other distinguished guests will also speak at the conference.

    Keynote Speaker:

    Dr. Jonathan Holloway, Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies; Dean of Yale College


    Jonathan Holloway (GRD, 1995), is Dean of Yale College and Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies. He specializes in post-emancipation United States history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He is the author of Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002) and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), both with the University of North Carolina Press. He edited Ralph Bunche's A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (NYU Press, 2005) and co-edited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the 20th Century (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). He has written an introduction for a new edition of W.E.B. Du Bois's Souls of Black Folk, published by Yale University Press in 2015.

    Holloway won the William Clyde DeVane Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Teaching in Yale College in 2009 and the Before Columbia Foundation's American Book Award in 2014. He served as the master of Calhoun College from 2005 - 2014, and was Chair of the Council of Masters from 2009-2013. He began a three-year term as Chair of the Department of African American Studies in 2013. That term was abbreviated when he was named Dean of Yale College beginning in July 2014.

    He has held fellowships from the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Ford Foundation. He was an Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellow in 2011-2012. Currently, he is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.


    TEDxYale talk by Dr. Holloway: Memory in the Diaspora: Jonathan Holloway at TEDxYale

    Plenary Speakers

    Dr. Jennifer R. Scanlon, Bowdoin College


    Dr. Scanlon is Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, and Interim Dean for Academic Affairs at Bowdoin. Her research and teaching interests include U.S. women's history, consumer culture, popular culture, feminist biography, and feminist pedagogy.

    See Dr. Scanlon's biography at:


    Opening Plenary To Be Delivered By:

    Dr. Elizabeth Higginbotham, Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of Delaware


    Elizabeth Higginbotham (B.A., City College of the City University of New York; M.A., Ph.D., Brandeis University) is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Delaware where she also held appointments in Black American Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She is currently a Research Associate at the Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware. She spent much of her career at the Center for Research on Women and on the Sociology faculty at the University of Memphis where she conducted research and organized curriculum transformation workshops in the 1980s and 1990s. She is the author of Too Much to Ask: Black Women in the Era of Integration (University of North Carolina Press, 2001), co-author with Margaret L. Andersen of Race and Ethnicity in Society: The Changing Landscape (Cengage Learning, fourth edition 2016) and co-editor of Women and Work: Exploring Race, Ethnicity, and Class (Sage Publications, 1997; with Mary Romero). Higginbotham has authored many articles in journals and anthologies on the work experiences of African American women, women in higher education, and curriculum transformation. She is widely recognized as a major scholar of intersection of race, class and gender.

    Along with colleagues Bonnie Thornton Dill and Lynn Weber, Higginbotham is a recipient of the American Sociological Association Jessie Bernard Award and Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award for the work of the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis. She received the Robin M. Williams Jr. Award from the Eastern Sociological Society, given annually to one distinguished sociologist. Higginbotham served a term as vice president of the Eastern Sociological Society, and has held many elected and appointed leadership positions in the American Sociological Association.

    Presentation by Dr. Higginbotham at the Black Women in the Ivory Towers Conference

    Additional Information

    Pre-Conference Events


    Professor Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America, Harvard Divinity School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Anthropology)

    "Bringing Up the Bodies:The Erasure of Mexicans and the Days of the Dead in the US"

    Thursday, October 26, 2:45-4:30 P.M - Pozycki Hall Auditorium

    If there are any problems with this website, please contact Heidi Bludau.