Beyond Borders

The ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts

‘Beyond Borders’, the ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts, was established through a Visioning Grant from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. In hosting artists, writers, and intellectuals both from the USA and elsewhere, our purpose is to think through and across borders of various kinds: between peoples, cultures, nations, religions—but also across borders of discipline, or the creative and the scholarly, or the academy and the world. Much of the world as we know it is shaped by social policy, yet policy often reinforces fragmentation. Our suggestion is that it may be time to change the frame of how we envision the world, and that artists and thinkers have a role in doing so. Today artists and intellectuals are not less necessary but more so, and we need to hear from them and encourage them. We are looking for powerful artistic and intellectual statements, to reshape our vision, our ways of seeing, hearing, thinking, and understanding.

Barbara Fields, "Was Emancipation a War Crime?"

February 18 - 20, 2014

Barbara Fields visited the UMass campus and the ISI community from February 18 - 20 as the 2014 ISI Resident. Her visit was active, wide-ranging and successful. She presented a public lecture entitled "Was Emancipation a War Crime?" to an engaged audience of faculty, students, and community members. In addition, she visited classes in the departments of History, Anthropology, and Afro-American Studies, as well as taking part in several graduate seminars, and conversing with this year's ISI fellows, who have been discussing the theme of "Emancipation" in this year's seminar. Special thanks to Professor Fields and the many others in the ISI community who made the 2014 Residency such an exciting, engaging experience for all.

A leading scholar in American history, Professor Fields specializes in southern history and 19th-century social history. Her many books include Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland during the Nineteenth Century (1985) as well as the co-authored volumes The Destruction of Slavery (1985), Slaves No More: Three Essays on Emancipation and the Civil War (1992), and Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War (1992). Her most recent book, co-authored with Karen Fields, is Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life (2012). Called urgent, compelling, demanding and impressive, Racecraft locates the failure of achieving a post-racial America in the limited and inadequate vocabulary, language, and concepts presently used to discuss race and inequality.

Professor Fields is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a 1992 MacArthur Fellowship, the John H. Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association, the Founders Prize of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, and the Thomas Jefferson Prize for the Society of the History of the Federal Government. Professor Fields is Professor of History at Columbia University. 








Public Lecture

"Was Emancipation a War Crime?"
Wednesday, Feb 19
5 p.m.
Campus Center, rooms 165-69

Conceptualizing Racecraft 

Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar
Tuesday, Feb 18
Facilitated by Professor Barbara Krauthamer
Location TBD
Email by Feb. 7 to register

Additional Visits

Professor Fields made several other visits to graduate and undergraduate classes alike, including a graduate seminar on slavery, a civil war history class, an undergraduate honors class in STPEC, and a graduate seminar on critical race theory. Professor Fields also met with the 2013-14 ISI fellows who have spent this year discussing "Emancipation."