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Virtual Talk: The History of the Concept of Race

Wednesday, November 3, 2021


2 images side-by-side. The left image is a blurred photo of a waterfall by Catherine Opie. The 2nd is a closeup of a woman with long dark blonde hair smiling and looking directly at the camera with greenery in the background.

The first European to divide the peoples of the world into distinct races, in the seventeenth century, claimed that the Sami people of northern Scandinavia were one of four races on earth; Native Americans, Europeans, South Asians, and North Africans together were considered a second race while sub-Saharan Africans were the third, and East Asians were the fourth.

How did such a bizarre distinction among groups of people develop into one of the most historically significant ideas of the modern world? In this virtual talk, Professor William Edelglass will trace the intellectual history of the concept of race in the West, from its prehistory to today.

This talk will be conducted via Zoom. 

Register here

Supported in part by Vermont Humanities.

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Image courtesy of RACE: Are We So Different?, a project of the American Anthropological Association.

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