Multiculturalism, Political Correctness, and the Left: A Search for Common Ground
Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History, Salem State University in Massachusetts
Date: Thursday, February 9th, 2017
Location: Great Hall, University Club
Abstract: This presentation will look at how ideas about cultural politics and class politics have clashed in recent years. From the corporate world to politics to the university, debates about social justice have asked whether and how identity politics and challenges to capitalism intertwine. Corporations, universities, and politicians like Hillary Clinton have embraced “diversity” while trying to separate it from a critique of how the economic system functions. Bernie Sanders’ class-based political project was accused of paying insufficient attention to race, gender, and other forms of diversity. What’s going on, and what can we do about it?
Biographical Note: Aviva Chomsky is Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Her books include Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (Beacon Press, 2014; Mexican edition, 2014), A History of the Cuban Revolution (2011, 2nd ed. 2015), Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class (2008), They Take Our Jobs! And Twenty Other Myths about Immigration (2007; U.S. Spanish edition 2011, Cuban edition 2013), and West Indian Workers and the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica, 1870-1940 (1996). She has also co-edited several anthologies including The People behind Colombian Coal: Mining, Multinationals and Human Rights/Bajo el manto del carbón: Pueblos y multinacionales en las minas del Cerrejón, Colombia (2007), The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics (2003) and Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring Peoples of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean (1998). She has been active in Latin America solidarity and immigrants’ rights movements for several decades.