Kwame Anthony Appiah
NYU Professor and NYUAD-visiting Professor of Philosophy and Law, Anthony Appiah, discusses the social construction of race as a biological entity and political identity, as part of a Foreign Affairs series.
May Al Dabbagh
Relationships Among Women: Bridging Racial, Generational, and Global Divides
NYU Abu Dhabi professor May Al Dabbagh, speaking at Harvard Business School’s Gender and Work Conference, discusses how global encounters can produce positive collaborations, shows how these collaborations require authentic engagements with people’s realities, and demonstrates how they are a form of power based on the subjective positionality of those involved.
The Stall in Gender Equality
NYU-affiliated and NYU Abu Dhabi-visiting professor Paula England discusses her research on the progress towards gender equality, examining the nuances of changing disparity between men and women in educational attainment and majors, employment, and wages over time.
Alta Mauro (previous NYUAD faculty)
The Slippery Slope of Everyday Horror
As part of TEDxNYUAD, Alta Mauro, founding director of Spiritual Life and InterCultural Education (SLICE), reflects on Jordan Peele’s Get Out and the everyday horrors we encounter in the inhumane ways that some people are disregarded, misrepresented, or manipulated based on racism and other forms of discrimination, which precedes and makes way for brutality.
The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach About Being Different
Ann Morning, Director of 19 Washington Square North, speaks at the Baker Institute about her book in which she explores different conceptions of race across the disciplines. Examining different underlying conceptions about race, she demonstrates that how one conceptualizes race is linked to attitudes and behaviors.
Behind the Veil
Saba Najeeb, Assistant Instructor in the Social Science Department, shares the social norms that she has had to fight against in order to achieve her success. As part of TEDxNYUAD, Najeeb discusses gendered stigma and how she overcame structural gender barriers.
Why “Boys Will Be Boys” is a Myth
Niobe Way, NYU Professor of Applied Psychology and visiting professor at both NYUAD and NYUSH, discusses the harmful stereotype that the phrase “boys will be boys” perpetuates. Her research on adolescent boys demonstrates that boys, like all humans, are empathetic and yearn for close friendships, yet our cultural fixation labels men as strong, autonomous, and emotionless.
Survival of the Best Fit
Created by four NYU Abu Dhabi alumni – Gabor Csapo (Class of 2018), Jihyun Kim (Class of 2018), Miha Klasinc (Class of 2018), and Alia ElKattan (Class of 2020) – when they were undergraduate students, this award winning educational game highlights hiring bias in AI, by demonstrating how machines inherit human biases and further inequality.
Co-founded by three alumnae – Dora Palfi (Class of 2016), Beatrice Ionascu (Class of 2016), and Paula Dozsa (Class of 2018) – Imagilabs aims to address the gender gap in the tech industry by teaching young girls how to code. The alums have long been champions of gender equality: Dora and Beatrice founded the student group WeSTEM (women empowered in STEM), and Paula was the first member.
Developed by alumni Mateusz Mach (Class of 2020), this app allows people who are deaf and hearing to communicate through international sign language; available on iOS and Android.
Awam Amkpa, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Professor of Drama, Social and Cultural Analysis, examines how Theatre for Development (TFD) and Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), seen through the prism of postcolonial theory and the neocolonial historical context of Nigeria, enhances citizenship and activism.
Amkpa, A. (2006). Reenvisioning theatre, activism, and citizenship in neocolonial contexts. In M. Schutzman and J. Chen-Cruz (Eds.) A Boal Companion: Dialogues on Theatre and Cultural Politics. London: Taylor & Francis.
In his book, NYUAD visiting Professor of Philosophy and Law Anthony Appiah, describes the contradictions in the collective identities, such as gender, religion, race, and class, that shape our world and sense of self. Appiah argues that such identities are created by conflict, which fuel atrocities such as genocide and slavery, but that we can’t simply do away with them. Instead, he suggests, social identities can usher in moral progress and bring significance to our lives by connecting the small scale of our daily existence with larger movements, causes, and concerns.
NYU Abu Dhabi Lecturer of Music, Warren Churchill, draws upon Deaf cultural discourses to bring a more nuanced understanding of deafness in the field of music education, a body of work that has thus far largely reflected hearing world perspectives. Churchill uses a poststructural narrative approach using Foucault’s theories of power to examine the public music-making of a deaf Finnish musician.
Dale Hudson, Associate Teaching Professor of Film and New Media and Curator of Film and New Media, uses the supernatural figure of the vampire and the Hollywood appropriation of visual styles from across the world – including Germany, Mexico, Hong Kong, and the Philippines – to demonstrate how it can allow for more nuanced understandings of the place of race within assumptions about territory and fantasies of nation. As the vampire's popularity has grown, Hudson demonstrates how vampire film and television have engaged with changing discourses around race and identity.
Deborah Kapchan, Professor of Performance Studies at NYU and a visiting professor at NYUAD, studies how Moroccan women's expressive culture both determines and responds to current transformations in gender roles. Beginning with women's emergence into what has been defined as the most paradigmatic of Moroccan male institutions—the marketplace—the book elucidates how gender and commodity relations are experienced and interpreted in women's aesthetic practices. In doing so, Kapchan compellingly demonstrates that Moroccan women challenge some of the most basic cultural assumptions of their society—especially ones concerning power and authority.
Beginning as a project – which was awarded the prestigious Julius E. Williams Distinguished Community Service Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 2009 – the first time the award was given to academics, this book by Martin Kilimke, examines the intertwinement of the black freedom struggle with Germany from World War I to the mid-1970s. In doing so, it draws attention to the vital role African American soldiers played in the war; an oft-overlooked contribution. The book has since been made into a documentary, narrated by Academy Award-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and featuring a US congressman and a former US Secretary of State.
Sheetal Majithia, Assistant Professor of Literature, pushes back against previous readings of the novel The Death of Vishnu as Orientalist spiritualism, instead re-framing Vishnu’s cinephilia as a cultural politics of critique which reveals blind spots regarding subaltern postcolonial urban citizenship and secular modernity, while suggesting popular cinema as a site of subalternity.
These reports from 2015 and 2018, during the Vice Chancellor's time as Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, examine the demographics of staff from more than 800 art museums in the United States. The first, a baseline survey, demonstrates the oft-unacknowledged homogeneity of art museum staff, whereby non-Hispanic White staff continue to dominate the job categories most closely associated with the intellectual and educational mission of museums; while the second demonstrates the progress made in three years following sustained initiatives aimed at fostering greater diversity within art museum staffs. The survey finds that museum staff have become more racially and ethnically diverse since 2015. In doing so, Westermann demonstrates the importance of tangibly measuring progress.
Schonfield, R., Westermann, M., & Sweeney, L. (2015). The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation art museum staff demographic survey. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. https://mellon.org/media/filer_public/ba/99/ba99e53a-48d5-4038-80e1-66f9ba1c020e/awmf_museum_diversity_report_aamd_7-28-15.pdf
Westermann, M., Schonfield, R., & Sweeney, L. (2018). The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation art museum staff demographic survey 2018. https://mellon.org/media/filer_public/b1/21/b1211ce7-5478-4a06-92df-3c88fa472446/sr-mellon-report-art-museum-staff-demographic-survey-01282019.pdf
Erin Pettigrew, Assistant Professor of History and Arab Crossroads Studies, examines four books to discuss the histories of slavery and emancipation in the Middle East and its effects on race and social relations. Pettigrew advocates for the use of locally produced texts and pushes back against a reliance on documents by European travelers and colonial administrators, or imposition of understandings of slavery in a U.S American context.
In his 2016 article in the New York Times, Miguel Syjuco, Assistant Professor of Practice, Literature and Creative Writing, discusses gender equality in the Philippines and examines how president Rodrigo Duterte uses machismo, chauvinism and gender bias as a political tool.
Syjuco, M. (2016, November 3). What ‘locker-room talk’ sounds like in the Philippines. The New York Times, Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/opinion/what-locker-room-talk-sounds-like-in-the-philippines.html
Deepak Unnikrishnan, Senior Lecturer of Writing and Literature and Creative Writing, delves into the histories, myths, struggles, and triumphs of the so-called “guest workers” of the gulf. In doing so, he gives personhood to arguably the least privileged class in the UAE; people who are fundamental to the country but aren’t required or expected to belong.
Robert H Vorlicky, Associate Professor of Drama at NYU and affiliate faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi, offers a new theory that links cultural codes governing gender and the conventions determining dramatic form. Act Like a Man looks at a range of plays, including those by O'Neill, Albee, Mamet, Baraka, and Rabe as well as new works by Philip Kan Gotanda, Alonzo Lamont, and Robin Swados, to examine how dialogue within these works reflects the social codes of male behavior and inhibits individualization among men.
Deborah Lindsay Williams, NYU Abu Dhabi affiliated faculty member and former Program Head of Literature and Creative Writing, and Cyrus Patell, NYU Abu Dhabi Professor of Literature, use their experiences of teaching at the university and the evolution of the Literature and Creative Writing Program to offer insights on how teachers and scholars of literature and language can find ways to engage with the forces of globalization. In doing so, they describe how engaging with globalization through literature fosters critical conversations on, among other topics, gender, linguistic hegemony, and translation.
PJ Henry, Associate Professor and Head of the Psychology program, together with Angela Maitner of the American University of Sharjah, examines whether the increasing prioritization of gender equality through equality initiatives by the United Arab Emirates is reflected in residents’ attitudes towards women.
Maitner, A. & Henry, P.J. (2018). Ambivalent sexism in the United Arab Emirates: Quantifying gender attitudes in a rapidly modernizing society. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 21(5), 831-843. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430217740433
Jaime Napier and Hulda Thorisdottir (previous NYU faculty), Assistant and Associate Professors of Psychology respectively, along with NYU Professor John T. Jost, examine the relationship between hostile and benevolent justifications of gender inequality and life satisfaction. In relatively egalitarian nations, individuals who endorse “complementary” justifications are higher on life satisfaction compared to those who endorse an exclusively hostile justification. In nations with high gender inequality, there is no difference in life satisfaction for those who endorse exclusively hostile vs. complementary justifications.
Napier, J. L., Thorisdottir, H., & Jost, J. T. (2010). The joy of sexism? A multinational investigation of hostile and benevolent justifications for gender inequality and their relations to subjective well-being. Sex Roles, 62, 405-419. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-009-9712-7
In this article written by our newly appointed Provost, Arlie Petters discusses the importance of belonging and, using his own experiences in the field of mathematics, examines what needs to be done to increase the representation of women and minorities across academia.
Petters, A. O. (2018). Belonging. Notices of the AMS, 65(2), 120-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1090/noti163
May Al Dabbagh, Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy, with her co-author from Zayed University, examines the politics of translation of the term “gender” from English, showing the specific and distinct ways that the term has been used in Arabic in both academic and policy discourses.
Goksu Aslan, an instructor in the Economics department, uses analysis carried out in dynamic panel data frameworks over a period from 1960–2010 for 137 countries to demonstrate that, in democracies, redistribution has a growth-enhancing effect on economic growth, an effect that is absolutely larger than the negative effect of income inequality. The paper also suggests that the results could be interpreted as net inequality having a negative significant impact on the economic growth of the countries.
Hannah Brückner, Professor and Head of the Social Research and Public Policy program, together with Julia Adams and Cambria Naslund of Yale and Princeton respectively, document and estimate the underrepresentation of women and people of color on the Wikipedia pages devoted to American contemporary sociologists.
Adams, J., Brückner, H., & Nasland, C. (2019). Who counts as a notable sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, race, and the “professor test”. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, 5, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1177/2378023118823946
Kanchan Chandra, Professor of Politics at NYU and NYUAD visiting professor, proposes a definition of ethnicity that captures the conventional classification of ethnic identities in comparative political science to a greater degree than the alternatives. According to this definition, ethnic identities are a subset of identity categories in which membership is determined by attributes associated with, or believed to be associated with, descent (described here simply as descent-based attributes). She argues, on the basis of this definition, that ethnicity either does not matter or has not been shown to matter in explaining most outcomes to which it has been causally linked by comparative political scientists. These outcomes include violence, democratic stability, and patronage.
Aurelie Daniel (previous NYU), Research Associate in the Social Sciences, and Nikos Nikiforakis, Professor of Economics, together with Jan Stoop of Erasmus University, address the possibility of selection bias using a classroom experiment. Experimental evidence suggests there is a substantial difference in the willingness of men and women to compete that could help explain the gender gap in labor market outcomes. The use of volunteer samples, however, raises a question about whether self-selection into experiments biases the estimated difference in competitiveness. They find that selection causes an overestimation of the gender gap in competitiveness by 16 percentage points in absolute terms and, in relative terms, by a factor of 2 to 3 depending on the econometric model. They also show that selection causes us to significantly overestimate the gender gap in risk attitudes and the tendency of low performing men to select into competition.
Dariel, A., Nikos Nikiforakis, N., & Stoop, J. (2020). Does selection bias cause us to overestimate differences in competitiveness? (NYUAD Working Paper No. 0046). Retrieved from NYU Abu Dhabi, Social Sciences website: https://nyuad.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyuad/academics/divisions/social-science/working-papers/2020/0046.pdf
Paula England, Silver Professor of Sociology and affiliated faculty member at NYUAD, pushes back against the tendency among sociologists to avoid highlighting personal characteristics (e.g., skills, habits, identities, world views, preferences, or values) affect individuals’ outcomes out of the fear of “victim blaming”. England argues that it is important to consider the role of personal characteristics as an indirect constraint on outcomes, in addition to direct social constraints, illustrating why with the two empirical cases in which gender and class structure sexualities. In doing so, she demonstrates why considering personal characteristics, shaped by social constraints, is not to blame the victim.
Co-edited by Nancy Gleason, inaugural director of the Hillary Ballon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, this book highlights the importance of understanding student diversity in our increasingly connected world, offering pioneering insights and tangible methods for promoting diversity and inclusion in classrooms and curricula.
Morgan Hardy, Assistant Professor of Economics, with her colleague Gisella Kardy of Vasser, explores the potential causes for the well-documented profit gap between male- and female-owned microenterprises in low-income countries. Using data from an ongoing field project in Ghana’s garment making sector, they show that male-owned firms earn nearly twice as much as female-owned firms but that this can’t be explained by firm- and owner-level characteristics. The authors conclude that factors outside of firm or firm-owner characteristics are likely to be at play.
In this book, Associate Professor of Social Research and Public Policy Onoso Imoagene examines the multifaceted identities of second-generation Nigerian adults in the United States and Britain. She argues that they conceive of an alternative notion of Black identity that differs radically from African American and Black Caribbean notions of Black in the United States and Britain. Based on over 150 interviews, Beyond Expectations seeks to understand how race, ethnicity, and class shape identity and how globalization, transnationalism, and national context informs sense of self.
NYUAD affiliated faculty and NYU professor, Ann Morning, with NYUAD’s Hannah Brückner and Alondra Nelson of the Social Science Research Institute, create an unobtrusive measure of support for a biologistic understanding of racial inequality to show that one in five non-Black Americans attribute income inequality between Black and White people to unspecified genetic differences between the two groups. They also find that this number is substantially underestimated when using a direct question. The magnitude of social desirability effects varies, and is most pronounced among women, older people, and the highly-educated.
Zeynep Ozgen, Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy, explores how ethnic boundaries survive in contexts of legal racial equality and institutionalized ethnic mixing. Despite constructivist theories of ethnicity that have long emphasized the fluidity, rather than the durability, of ethnic boundaries, ethnic boundaries often endure—and even thrive—in putatively non-ethnic political contexts. Based on an ethnographic study of ethnic boundaries in the Turkish case, Ozgen argues that the regulation of the domain of sexuality and marriage can play a critical role in reproducing boundaries when political institutions neither acknowledge nor aid in the survival of ethnic diversity. Ultimately, the data provide substantial evidence that the transmission and internalization of informal rules of inter-ethnic sexual conduct are central to boundary maintenance.
Ozgen, Z. (2014). Maintaining ethnic boundaries in “non-ethnic” contexts: constructivist theory and the sexual reproduction of diversity. Theory and Society. 44, 33-64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11186-014-9239-y
Malte Reichelt, Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy, and colleagues use the European Social Survey (ESS) 2012 and 2014 from 24 countries to demonstrate that school tracking – the sorting of children according to ability and interest at different ages – is strongly associated with higher degrees of reproduction of social inequalities. Breaking down the effects of social reproduction into three mechanisms, they find that school tracking reinforces social reproduction through educational inheritance, and social origin, but that education returns does not have an effect.
Reichelt, M. (2019). School tracking and its role in social reproduction: reinforcing educational inheritance and the direct effects of social origin. The British Journal of Sociology, 70(4), 1323-1348. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12655.
Alta Mauro (previous NYUAD faculty), founding director of Spiritual Life and InterCultural Education (SLICE), examines African American women’s experiences of upward mobility. Centering the psychological and physiological impact of upward mobility of the women in the study, Mauro suggests potential implications for upwardly mobile women across the African diaspora. Mauro notes the use of a strategic essentialist approach in conceptualizing the group.
Mauro, A. (2020). Well then, I’m Joan Henry: Coping, and the subsequent threats to upwardly mobile black women’s well-being. Issues in Race and Society: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal, Retrieved from https://ucincinnatipress.manifoldapp.org/read/issues-in-race-and-society-an-interdisciplinary-global-journal-spring-2020-edition/section/d96eaedf-200e-4733-95bb-44025ff55434
Melanie Meng Xue, Assistant Professor of Economics, studies a unique historical experiment: the cotton revolution and its impact on the emergence of gender-equitable beliefs. The cotton revolution led to a prolonged phase (1300-1840 AD) of high productivity for women. Xue hypothesizes that a substantial, long-standing increase in relative female income eroded a highly resilient cultural belief: women are less capable than men. Using variation across 1,489 counties in cotton spinning and weaving, she finds that the cotton revolution reduces sex selection, supported by survey evidence on gender-equitable beliefs. She documents an initial impact of the cotton revolution on widow suicides, and isolates the cultural channel, by examining the effects of the cotton revolution under post-1949 state socialism, where both genders had similar economic opportunities, political and legal rights to show that pre-1840 cotton weaving predicts a higher probability for the wife to head the household. The paper also demonstrates the distinctive role of high-value work in the perception of women – low-value work performed by women, such as cotton cultivation, does not correct prenatal sex selection.
Xue, M. M. (2018) High-value work and the rise of Women: The cotton revolution and gender equality in China. (MPRA Working Paper No. 91100), Retrieved from University Library of Munich website: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/91100/