UW News

May 6, 2010

Patricia A. Banks to speak on May 14 at UW Club

The UW Center for Multicultural Education will present Patricia A. Banks, assistant professor of sociology at Mount Holyhoke College, for the 13th installment of the Book Talk Series from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 14, at the UW Club.

Banks, who is also a W.E.B. DuBois Institute fellow at Harvard, will discuss the topic of her recent book, Represent: Art and Identity Among the Black Upper-Middle Class. The event is free and the campus community is invited.

Banks “traverses the New York and Atlanta art worlds to uncover how Black identities are cultivated through Black art patronage,” state press notes for her book. “Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews, observations at arts events, and photographs of art displayed in homes, Banks elaborates a racial identity theory of consumption that highlights how upper-middle class blacks forge black identities for themselves and their children through the consumption of black visual art.

“She not only challenges common assumptions about elite cultural participation, but also contributes to the heated debate about the significance of race for elite blacks, and illuminates recent art world developments. In doing so, Banks documents how the salience of race extends into the cultural life of even the most socioeconomically successful blacks.”

The Center for Multicultural Education focuses on research projects and activities designed to improve practice related to equity issues, intergroup relations, and the achievement of all students. The Center also engages in services and teaching related to its research mission. To learn more, call 206-543-3386, e-mail centerme@uw.edu or visit online here.