Fall 2020 Book Clubs

The Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning invites you to join a Faculty Book Club and Learning Community to support your success and connection to our community of teacher-scholars:

Critical Conversations Series

Caste: The Origins of our Discontents

September 18

10:00-11:30 am

w/ Dr. Mary Roaf


Please read the book and come prepared for discussion


Welcome to our Critical Conversations Series. This is a space in which to discuss the systematic structures of racism and the work we can do individually and community wide to dismantle them.

Poetically written and brilliantly researched, Caste invites us to discover the inner workings of an American hierarchy that goes far beyond the confines of race, class, or gender. Caste explores, through layered analysis and stories of real people, the structure of an unspoken system of human ranking and reveals how our lives are still restricted by what divided us centuries ago. “Modern-day caste protocols,” Wilkerson writes, “are often less about overt attacks or conscious hostility. They are like the wind, powerful enough to knock you down but invisible as they go about their work.”

Wilkerson rigorously defines eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, heredity, and dehumanization. She documents the parallels with two other hierarchies in history, those of India and of Nazi Germany, and no reader will be left without a greater understanding of the price we all pay in a society torn by artificial divisions.

Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, is an interpreter of the human condition, and an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country, and our current era of upheaval. Through her writing, Wilkerson brings the invisible and the marginalized into the light and into our hearts.

Dr. Roaf is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at CSU Stanislaus with an emphasis in Black Studies. She completed her Ph.D. from Temple University in (applied) Anthropology and is a critical scholar whose teaching and research examine social inequities in education--specifically the school to prison pipeline-in relation to race, class, and gender. Dr. Roaf also engages in an emerging Black Lives Matter movement in California’s Central Valley that spans equity in K-12 and higher education, local electoral politics and community-based policy change.



Please contact facultycenter@csustan.edu or Emy Barsley at x3216 to request books and to join the discussions.