Teresa RAMOS

Thesis: Managing racial risk in the U.S. university of the twenty-first century: Racial theme parties, administrative management, and strategic resistance (2012)


My dissertation investigated how incidents of racism were managed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the affect on students and administrators. I examined four ethnographic episodes on campus: 1) the racial theme party, Tacos and Tequila, 2) the retirement of Chief Illiniwek, 3) the “Next Dance,” an annual mock-Chief Illiniwek performance held on University Property by a registered student organization and 4) the vandalism of public art work by Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap Of Birds (Cheyenne-Arapaho). I found that university administrators managed racism as racial-risk–that is the legal and financial liability that emerges from university governance dictated by the logics of corporate neoliberalism that influence U.S. law and culture. These observable racial-risk management strategies serve to control populations of student dissenters on campus by institutionalizing dissent in order to commodify it for profit.