The Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship (RIC) Program at the Johns Hopkins University provides a forum for students and faculty to explore how racial hierarchies interact with migration flows to shape understandings of citizenship, debates on national identity, and practices of democratic inclusion and social exclusion. Through annual workshops, speaker series, and conferences, the RIC program brings together scholars whose research traverses disciplinary and regional boundaries.
The RIC program has been developed at a critical period in both academic and world history, when the reconfiguration of the international political economy, migration flows, and political conflicts defy national and even regional solutions. The global dimensions of migratory flows in the last century have created common dilemmas for countries in every region of the world, at various stages of development. In places as distinct as Japan, India, Britain, France, the United States, Brazil, and South Africa, governmental officials struggle to classify and incorporate new populations into existing, often outdated, structures while dominant, minority, and migrant groups negotiate the political, economic, and social challenges of increasing diversity amidst rapid change. The RIC program thus emphasizes cross-regional comparisons, especially among societies and polities that are often overlooked in existing scholarship on race and ethnicity.
Some of the common questions that our affiliated faculty and students address across regions include: What impact does migration have on both sending and receiving countries? How do state and non-state actors negotiate the movement of labor, culture, languages, skills, and norms that are carried by migrants from their home countries to their new lands of settlement? How have migration flows affected both citizenship and the presence or absence of racial hierarchy in receiving societies? How salient are somatic differences within racial classification and codification across societies?
Graduate student training is a significant part of the teaching mission of RIC affiliated faculty. Pre-dissertation, dissertation, and job market workshops offered by affiliated faculty provide our graduate students guidance and training to supplement existing resources available through their home departments as well as a structured environment for students in different disciplines to build a strong peer community based on overlapping intellectual interests and mutual accountability. These workshops, along with our annual graduate student conferences, afford our graduate students opportunities to present drafts of their seminar papers and dissertation chapters to the wider academic community.