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U of I Professor to Speak on Race, Whiteness at JALC

Dr. David Roediger, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Illinois, will give a presentation called “Emancipation from Whiteness” on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at John A. Logan College.  The event will be held at 10 a.m. in the Batteau Room and is free and open to the public. (Photo provided)

Dr. David Roediger, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Illinois, will give a presentation called “Emancipation from Whiteness” on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at John A. Logan College. The event will be held at 10 a.m. in the Batteau Room and is free and open to the public. (Photo provided)

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Dr. David Roediger, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Illinois, will be the featured speaker at a diversity and multicultural event held Wednesday, Sept. 18, at John A. Logan College. Roediger will give a presentation called “Emancipation from Whiteness” at 10 a.m. in the Batteau Room. The event is free and open to the public.

“Dr. Roediger came to the college in 2009 and spoke when we commemorated the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln, and we are pleased to have him back,” said Toyin Fox, director of educational planning at Logan and chair of the diversity advisory committee. “His topic, ‘Emancipation from Whiteness,’ is timely in light of the ongoing debate about whether or not America is now a post-racial society.”

Roediger has written extensively on race in the U.S., and his book, “The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class,” received the Merle Curti Award, which is given to the best book in social history by the Organization of American Historians.

Dr. David Cochran, professor of history at JALC, studied under Roediger at the University of Missouri.

“Dr. Roediger was one of my main professors at Missouri and is one of the country’s leading scholars on Whiteness Studies,” Cochran said. “He has helped develop many theories on race and how it developed. Race doesn’t exist in a biological sense or anthropological sense. It hadn’t even existed historically until about 350 years ago. The idea of a ‘white’ race or a ‘black’ race developed out of the concept of slavery.”

Cochran is hoping for a big turnout.

“Dr. Roediger is a great speaker,” Cochran said. “He delivers his knowledge and insights with a generosity of spirit and a sense of humor that you don’t always find among academics. His commitment to education goes beyond just talking to fellow scholars. He’s coming to the college because he wants to get his ideas out before an educated public.”

The event is sponsored by JALC’s diversity advisory committee. For more information, contact Fox at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-7676, Ext. 8586.