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Seeing Through Race: A Conversation with Barbara Ransby

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For W.J.T. Mitchell, a "color-blind" post-racial world is neither achievable nor desirable. Against popular claims that race is an outmoded construct that distracts from more important issues, in his new book, Seeing Through Race, Mitchell contends that race remains essential to our understand of social reality. Mitchell uses visual culture, iconology, and media studies to powerfully reframe our understanding of race and racism.

Due to unforseen circumstances, Mitchell was unable to participate in this conversation. In his place, Barbara Ransby, professor of African American studies, history, gender, and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, speaks about Mitchell's work and issues of race, "post-race," and racism. WBEZ's Natalie Moore moderates the discussion.

The Public Square and WBEZ  present this special Cafe Society conversation as part of “Race: Out Loud,” a summer-long series produced by WBEZ and, aiming to hear what people have to say about race in 2012.

Café Society is a program of The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, a WBEZ station partner. This series of conversations—where families, friends, neighbors, and citizens come together to discuss current events and other important political and social issues—aims to foster engagement in the meaningful exchange of ideas and perspectives, enliven the core of democracy and empower the public. "Cafe Society with WBEZ" was started in 2009 as an annual collaboration whereby one of the monthly Roving Cafe Society discussions is hosted at each of WBEZ's facilities throughout the year.

Recorded on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at WBEZ.

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