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Political Studies Program and Dean of the College present

Dilemmas of Political Representation: Race and Antipoverty Activism in the Post-Civil Rights Era

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Candidate for the Tenure-Track Position in American Politics
M. David Forrest
PhD Candidate,
University of Minnesota
will give a talk entitled
"Dilemmas of Political Representation: Race and Antipoverty Activism in the Post-Civil Rights Era."

"Against the backdrop of the recent financial crisis, I address a significant and recurring problem in American democracy: faced with poverty debates marked by race-coded stigmas—about, for example, “welfare queens” and “irresponsible borrowers”—how do advocacy organizations represent the poor, a racially stratified constituency? To unpack this problem, I draw on an ethnographic study of antipoverty activists, an organized group that grapples with the representation of the poor in especially outspoken and revealing ways. I specify the rationales underlying their representative efforts and explain how, in deploying these rationales, they evoke and negotiate four broadly relevant dilemmas vis-à-vis race, including dilemmas of respectability, otherness, radicalism, and moderation. And I describe the challenge that these dilemmas pose to the political representation of the poor in the post-civil rights era of American democracy."

Time: 4:45 pm

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium