Zeltzerman Lecture: "Science and the Racisms of our Time" with Dr. Ian Haney-Lopez

Ian Haney Lopez - Dog Whistle Politics

In March, the Honors College welcomes U.C.-Berkeley Law Professor Ian Haney-Lopez for the 2015 Zeltzerman Lecture. Professor Haney-Lopez is a leading scholar of race, equality, and constitutional law, and has earned a very wide readership by tackling interesting and important problems and writing about them with great insight.

Haney-Lopez first rose to prominence with the 1990 book White By Law, which examined fifty-two U.S. court cases from the early twentieth century in which judges had to decide what the words "white person" meant in American citizenship law. There are many vantages on the question of what "whiteness" consists of and means, and in White By Law, Haney-Lopez zeroed in on cases involving living, breathing humans who disagreed with the government over their racial classification. The book remains both a terrific read and a classic in the field.

Haney-Lopez has produced a stack of great books and articles about contemporary racial and political change in the United States. His book, Racism on Trial examines Chicano identity in Los Angeles, seen through the lenses of criminal trials arising partly from student walkouts protesting poor school quality, and he's written a great deal on the recent rise of "colorblind" thinking in American law. His most recent book, Dog Whistle Politics, is a sharply-argued critique of the ways implicit racial appeals play out in American politics today.

Science has always been part of American racial discourse - from the skull-measuring phrenologists of the early twentieth century to those claiming to spot evolutionary and genetic racial differences today. We're very happy to have Ian Haney-Lopez as our critical guide to this landscape. His Zeltzerman Lecture, "Science and the Racisms of our Times" will take place Thursday, March 26, 2015, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., in Billings Lecture Hall.

The Zeltzerman Lecture series was established in 1966 by Dr. and Mrs. Morris Zeltzerman in the memory of their son, Michael Zeltzerman, who was a UVM graduate student in Anatomy at the time of his death in 1966. The Zeltzerman Lectureship is one of the most distinguished lecture series at UVM, and is devoted to topics addressing the relationship between "science and other areas of knowledge concerning people as individuals or as societies."