F&M Research
on Race

Franklin & Marshall faculty and professional staff members across many academic disciplines have conducted research that incorporates the study of race into their areas of expertise. Here are some recent examples:

Salina Almanzar, Art and Art History
  • Research on public art, urban design, the just city, and dealing with problematic monuments.
Matthew Butterfield, Music
  • The Swing Phenomenon is an ongoing project on jazz rhythm. It traces the meaning of the term "swing" from the 1870s through the 1930s, when it came to be understood in racial terms as a black rhythmic essence.
Dennis Deslippe, American Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Economic and social citizenship
  • Living wage 
  • Feminization of poverty 
  • Women of color and citizens power organizations
Rachel Feldman, Religious Studies
  • My research examines race, gender, and religion in Israel/Palestine. I also study race in the context of my current research on Judaizing communities in the Spanish post-colonies (Latin America and Philippines).
George Fourlas, Philosophy and Government
  • Critical Philosophy of Race and Decolonial/Anti-Colonial Theory are central to my research projects. I am currently working on a book (under contract) that deals with the racialization of Middle Eastern Americans, and MENA people more generally, as well as anti-racist responses to racial oppression. I have several articles on these topics as well. See my website (gnfourlas.com) or reach our for more info.
Shari Goldberg, English
  • Frederick Douglass's evolving sense of racial identity
  • Slave narratives, illness, and care of the self
Van Gosse, History
  • Black politics in the U.S., between the Revolution and the Civil War [two books about to come out]
Jerome Hodos, Sociology
  • Ethnic, racial, and immigrant incorporation in large cities
  • Racial and ethnic conflicts in urban and neighborhood politics
  • Particular focus on Philadelphia, Seattle, Manchester (UK), Barcelona (Spain), but interested in other places as well
Greg Kaliss, American Studies
  • Book project on athlete activism from 1964-1976.
  • Article on Muhmammad Ali and feminist television in the 1970s.
Alison Kibler, American Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Black feminists on public affairs television in the 1970s
  • The history of the integration of swimming pools in the region (Lancaster, York, etc)
Cynthia Krom, Business, Organizations and Society
  • The Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project: Bringing Women from Welfare to Work: This project was designed for extremely unskilled women (their initial training was how to use scissors) who were serving as heads of households. For most of these women, it provided the first steady paycheck they ever received. The director of the program defied guidelines in order to create it as one of the few racially-integrated WPA projects, with women of various ethnicities working side by side. I am pursuing my hypothesis that several of the African-American participants went on to become catalysts for the unionization of black workers in Wisconsin in the 1940s.
Tate LeFevre, Anthropology
  • Race and indigeneity in French Republican spaces (specifically New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the South Pacific). Broadly: Critical indigeneity, settler colonial studies, métissage.
Giovanna Faleschini Lerner, Italian Studies and Hebrew
  • My research for the last few years has focused on questions of migration, mobility, and identity in Italian society, seen through the lens of film studies. Aspects of my work deal with the legacy of Italian colonialism in Lybia, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea (as well as the Balkans), with colonial and post-colonial representations and constructions of racial identities, and  racial tensions within contemporary Italian society.
Mary Ann Levine, Anthropology
  • My research focuses on Otstonwakin, an 18th century multinational Native American village whose principal resident was Madame Montour, a woman of French and Native American ancestry who served as a frontier diplomat and interpreter on the eve of the French and Indian War.
Katherine McClelland, Sociology
  • Ongoing longitudinal case study of race relations at F&M, 1990-2020.  
John Modern, Religious Studies
  • Next book project on the history of Akron, OH, with a focus on religion and technology--moves from the emergence of colonization societies on early c19, the consolidation of the American colonization society and the creation of Liberia through the establishment of the Firestone rubber empires in Liberia through labor disputes and deindustrialization, the Akron race "riots'" of 1968, and the making of white working class resentment in the 1970s.
Ted Pearson, History
  • Book forthcoming from University of Pennsylvania Press,  The Making of a Slave Society in South Carolina, 1670-1865.  I'm currently preparing the manuscript to go into copy editing  and then production at some point in late fall.
Michael L. Penn, Psychology
  • Every historical epoch, noted the Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire,  "is characterized by a series of aspirations, concerns, and values in search of fulfillment. The epochs are fulfilled to the degree that their themes are grasped and their tasks solved."  This book: Our Common Humanity: Reflections on the Reclamation of the Human Spirit, suggests that the themes and challenges of the present age flow out of the profound implications of the oneness and interdependence of humankind. The oneness of humanity is a biological fact, affirmed by more than a century of study in the natural and social sciences; it is an existential truth upon which all claims to human rights ultimately rest; and it is a feature of social reality that the integrative forces of history will no longer permit us to avoid.  As an ontological truth, the oneness of humanity is embodied in those universal moral and intellectual capacities that define the nature and needs of the human spirit. Here we provide a rational account of what might be meant by the human spirit, explore its relevance for the effort to address the complex problems that encompass the globe, and link the development and refinement of the human spirit to the realization of that which is most noble in each of us.
Cristina Pérez, American Studies
  • The racialized, gendered, and sexualized violence of the U.S. border industrial complex.
Jeff Podoshen, Business, Organizations and Society
  • Podoshen, J.S., Ekpo, A., & Abiru, O. (2021) Diversity, tokenism and comic books:  Crafting better strategies. Business Horizons (in press).
Amelia Rauser, Art, Art History, and Film
  • Neoclassical fashion of the 1790s: its representation of the wearer's racialized whiteness; the appropriation of elements of Creole and plantation dress; its embeddedness in colonialist exploitation of India and the West Indies
Leanne Roncolato, Economics
  •  New York City subway dancers and the criminalization of black informal employment.
  • The economics of transracial adoption
Ashley Rondini, Sociology
  • White supremacist "danger narratives" (i.e.; rhetorical tropes implying that people of color pose ever-present threats to white people in general, and white women in particular) as a justification for racist violence framed as "pre-emptive self defense" 
  • Clinical guidelines in medical practice as meso-level mechanisms for the reproduction of structural racism in medicine
  • Intergenerational disjunctures in racialization experiences between low-income first generation college students of color and their parents
  • Racial discourses of college and university campus Title IX coordinators
  • The rhetoric of medical nativism as a rationale for vigilante violence against Asians/Americans
  • Civil rights education in Mississippi
David Schuyler, American Studies
  • A City Transformed: Redevelopment, Race and Suburbanization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1940-1980 (Penn State Press).
  • Sequel, as yet untitled, on Lancaster since 1980
Kathrin Theumer, Spanish
  • Centering Blackness in early 20th century Cuban poetry as a means of resisting hegemonic discourses of national culture
Eric Usner, American Studies
  • Understanding “race” and difference has been a central concern of my work. Critical race and whiteness studies as part of a broader intersectional understanding of social justice anchors my research, teaching, workshops, and teach-ins, community and faith-based service. Research exploring "race"/whiteness/nostalgia/multiculturalism in American youth culture (jazz/swing music and dance revival); in Starbucks’ branding; in Western Art Music (Viennese Jewish assimilation, contemporary Vienna, comparative constructions of dominant racial identities in Europe and US); racialized dimensions of epistemologies of musicologies; in critical pedagogies…More recently I’ve been fascinated by how institutions (in particular the academy) negotiate the legacies of white supremacy and structural racism that are still expressed in their everyday lives and operations, which might be captured by a notion of an “intersectional wages of whiteness” renegotiated through logics of neoliberalism.
Mark R. Villegas, American Studies
  • Hip hop, empire, and visionary culture among Filipino Americans.
  • Geek culture (comic books, martial arts, anime, and science fiction) as core yet less-celebrated elements of hip hop culture, offering a fuller vantage of African American cultural productions and sensibilities.
Caitlyn Yantis, Psychology
  • White identity content and expression; The dynamics of interracial interactions from both White and racial minority group member perspectives