On Wednesday, February 24, from 6:00 to 7:15 pm EST, EDS at Union will host a virtual panel discussion that focuses on Isabel Wilkerson’s New York Times-bestseller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Our panelists will discuss the history and themes explored by the book, and what Ms. Wilkerson describes as America’s hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings that goes beyond race, class, or other factors.
Joining Dean Kelly Brown Douglas on the panel will be Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Ph.D., the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology and director of the African American Studies Program at Colby College, and The Rev. Dr. Joshua Samuel, Visiting Lecturer for Theology, Global Christianity, and Mission at Union Theological Seminary and the author of Untouchable Bodies, Resistance, and Liberation on a theology of liberation among Hindu and Christian Dalits.
The conversation will be moderated by Hope Wabuke, a poet, writer and assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Wabuke was asked by NPR Books to review Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.
By linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wilkerson —who also authored The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration— explores how the cruel logic of caste requires a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against. She also writes about caste’s health costs, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics.
For additional information on Caste, please visit isabelwilkerson.com or Amazon.com.