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History of the Black Studies Project at UC San Diego

In the Fall of 2013, a cross-divisional group of over a dozen faculty members from three divisions and nearly ten schools/departments, along with a select number of interested graduate students and staff, came together to organize a yearlong series of speakers, symposia, and workshops entitled “Thinking Race, Gender and Place: A Black Studies Project.” This included three major talks with invited nationally-known speakers: Rethinking Black Studies: Thought and Politics in Black Queer Time; Reading Rosa Parks; Black History’s Lessons for Today; and Race, Politics, and Neoliberalism After 9/11. We have been growing since then.

Today, BSP at UC San Diego focuses on three areas that are not only vital to contemporary African American and African Diaspora Studies, but are central to the study of life, history, politics, cultural production, and social movements in the US and globally:

1.       Intersectional Analysis of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality;
2.       Transnational and Diasporic Studies
3.       Social Justice Movements

These areas of research are not only areas of nationally-recognized strength among our faculty, but have been recognized as vital areas of inquiry both within the field and more broadly, and are vital areas within which BSP participants can produce new modes of thought, new institutional formations and opportunities for collaboration, and new possibilities for increased equity and social justice.

Another central component of the BSP activities has been building a system-wide network of collaboration, intellectual exchange and professional support among faculty in Black Studies from every UC campus. This group of leading Black Studies faculty reflected the interdisciplinary strength and intellectual creativity of Black Studies in the UC system and served as the organizing collective for 2015’s BSP symposium, a two-day series of plenaries and workshop with over 120 attendees, including faculty, staff and students from UCSD and nearly every other UC campus.