Feb 9 event: A conversation with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

On February 9, 2023 at 3:00pm in Room 242 at the School of Information Sciences building, Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva will discuss his recent work on systemic racism, racialized spaces, and historically white colleges and universities. Following a presentation from Prof Bonilla-Silva, there will be a moderated discussion about research and writing that centers race, gender and class.

Suggested readings:

Bonilla-Silva, E. (2021), What Makes Systemic Racism Systemic?. Sociol Inq, 91: 513-533. https://doi.org/10.1111/soin.12420

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo, and Crystal E. Peoples. “Historically white colleges and universities: the unbearable whiteness of (Most) colleges and universities in America.” American Behavioral Scientist 66.11 (2022): 1490-1504.

The Writing from the Intersections Research Cluster

Since the historical encounter of hemispheres, the onset of transatlantic enslavement, establishment, and reproduction of varied regimes of domination, inequality, and difference, race has held a role within the United States (Omi &Winant 1986). Race is a fundamental concept that has profoundly shaped, and continues to shape the history, polity, economic, technological structures, and culture of the United States. As observed by legal scholar and black feminist KimberlĂ© Crenshaw, race as a category does not stand apart from class or gender.  Crenshaw therefore introduced intersectionality as an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege (Crenshaw, 1989).

Intersectionality has been a hugely influential concept that has been taken up broadly since its introduction thirty years ago. The role of intersectionality in scholarship has gone beyond providing a framework for analyzing structural power relations and identity. For example, scholars have argued for intersectionality as a reading strategy in literary criticism and as a research paradigm in political science. The goal of the proposed research cluster is to provide space for faculty and students to explore the potentials of intersectionality as an intellectual tool in reading and writing.

By reading, we refer to reading of texts and systems as an interpretive research method that closely examines and contextualizes the use of structures (e.g. textual structures like words or system structures like data encodings) to build arguments about the influences and impacts of those artifacts. Scholars in the humanities read and write as an interrogative practice, and we aim to provide a venue for graduate students across the campus to engage with scholars who have substantially used intersectionality as an analytic lens in their writing.

We are scholars from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Our research interests are in how information is used sociologically, technologically, and systemically. We ask questions about how the design of information technology and the development of information resources influence our perception of race, class and gender; and how inequity has manifested historically, academically and scholarly in the context of information studies. We see intersectionality as fundamental to effectively approaching those questions. This research cluster, sponsored by the Humanities Research Institute, is opportunity to open a conversation about writing practices that foreground intersectionality across campus.


Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989, 139-168. Available online through the UIUC library.

Omi, Michael., and Howard. Winant. Racial Formation in the United States : from the 1960s to the 1980s. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986. Print.