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Academic Year 2004-2005



The theme of the 2004-05 EOTU Working Group is Race and the University. EOTU student research related to this theme figures prominently in the Ford Foundation-funded "Documenting the Difference Diversity Makes" initiative now underway at UIUC's Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society. In Fall 2004, the grant funded a graduate ethnographer who studied an EOTU-affiliated course that foregrounded issues of race and diversity at the university. (Other funding allowed the study of race and diversity issues in three additional EOTU-affiliated fall courses.) In Spring 2005, the grant is supporting continued research by a number of undergraduate students whose fall semester projects were exemplary. (Much of this exemplary work was presented at EOTU's Fall 2004 Undergraduate Research Conference.)

Other activities related to this year's theme include (1) commissioning student artists to re-present EOTU student researchers' fieldnotes and reports on race and the university and (2) preparing an EOTU course to be taught in the new Intersections Living and Learning Community next year.


Because of early accomplishments by its undergraduate researchers, EOTU had the unique opportunity to welcome a partner project, the Ethnography of the Brown v. Board of Education Jubilee Commemoration (EBC). The commemoration was intended by then-Chancellor Nancy Cantor to be a sustained effort throughout the 2003-04 academic year to foster campus dialogues on race and diversity. EBC operated as a ten-person interdisciplinary research team, including four paid undergraduate ethnographers (two with prior EOTU experience), two graduate student research assistants, and four faculty members. Team members hailed from Anthropology, English, Political Science, and Psychology. This project was an instance in which the commitments of EOTU were put to official, compensated use by the university: namely, student-generated and web-archived research and writing on the university was commissioned by the university itself for a reflective purpose. The EBC research team, which includes the co-applicants here, presented a 170-page report to campus administrators last November and has nearly completed a book manuscript, A Hard Year Downstate: A Student Ethnography of Race and the University, soon to be submitted to a university press for editorial review.

Once the Brown Commemoration co-chairs and the EBC Advisory Committee have reviewed the draft report, It will be made public on this site.


An early Fall 2004 press release marked the debut of EOTU Live, a web-art installation by Anna Callahan.

Academic Year 2003-2004


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