Knowledge, Power and Diversity. Michèle Lamont, Philomena Essed and Jan Willem Duyvendak in conversation

In cooperation with Stichting Praemium Erasmianum

23nov2017 20:00 - 21:30


To celebrate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University Michèle Lamont receiving the Erasmus Prize, ‘Knowledge, Power and Diversity’ will be the theme of a public programme with Michèle Lamont, Philomena Essed and Jan Willem Duyvendak.

Michèle Lamont has devoted her academic career to investigating how cultural conditions shape inequality and social exclusion, and how stigmatized groups find ways to preserve their dignity and self-worth. How do class and ethnicity determine the way people view reality? And how does the wellbeing of minorities influence the wellbeing of the wider society?

Through ground-breaking international comparative research, Lamont has shown that disadvantaged groups can achieve new forms of self-esteem and respect. What structures can create more resilient societies? And in what ways do we benefit from diversity - both in society and in academia? These questions will be at the forefront of the conversation during this public programme, between Lamont herself, Philomena Essed and Jan Willem Duyvendak.

During the paneldebate, Maurice Crul will speak about the integration of people of Dutch origin forming a new minority in big cities in the Netherlands. Anouk Kootstra will present a shortened version of her essay about Lamont for the Dutch Review of Books (De Nederlandse Boekengids).

About the speakers

Michèle Lamont (1957) is Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, Professor of African and African American Studies and Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies. She will receive the prize Erasmus Prize in November, for her devoted contribution to social science research into the relationship between knowledge, power and diversity. Michèle Lamont was born in Toronto and grew up in Québec. After studying in Ottawa and Paris, she began her academic career at the universities of Stanford and Princeton in the United States, before moving to Harvard University in 2003. Lamont has written dozens of books and articles on such subjects as: culture, social inequality and exclusion; racism and ethnicity; institutions and science. In her most recent book, ‘Getting Respect’ (2016, Lamont et al.), she describes how various stigmatized groups respond to the daily experience of discrimination. Her previous book, ‘How Professors Think’ (2009) examines how the academic world determines what valuable knowledge is.

Philomena Essed is professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership studies at Antioch University (USA). Her research transcends national, cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Essed is best known for introducing the concepts of everyday racism. Her monographs include ‘Everyday Racism’, ‘Understanding Everyday Racism’ and ‘Diversity: Gender, Color and Culture’.

Maurice Crul is Professor of Diversity and Education at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is the international chair of IMISCOE, a network of research institutes in the fields of migration and diversity.

Anouk Kootstra is currently working on a PhD research in Politics at the University of Manchester, and teaches social sciences at the University of Amsterdam. Her PhD deals with the distinction between 'the deserving and the undeserving poor' and the way this separation is related to ideas about immigrants and ethnic minorities.

Jan Willem Duyvendak (moderator) is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He received his master’s degrees in both sociology and philosophy at the University of Groningen. His main fields of research currently are belonging, urban sociology, 'feeling at home' and nativism. Since July 2017 he is Executive Committee Chair at Council for European Studies.

The programme will be entirely in English. Location: Aula Lutherse Kerk


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Location: Aula Lutherse Kerk