The College of Wooster Art Museum will present “RACE: Are We So Different?” as its opening exhibition of the upcoming academic year. Organized by the Science Museum of Minnesota, “RACE” is a project of the American Anthropological Association. The exhibition, which runs from Aug. 27 through Nov. 24, encourages museum visitors to explore the science, history, and everyday experience of race in order to determine what race is and what it is not. The exhibition is presented in association with the College’s 2013 Wooster Forum, titled “Facing Race.”
“We are pleased to once again partner with The Wooster Forum, whose speaker series this year focuses on issues surrounding race,” says Kitty McManus Zurko, director and curator of The College of Wooster Art Museum. “The themes in the exhibition are also those of the Forum speakers.”
“RACE: Are We So Different?” explores three primary topics: (1) the history of the idea of race; (2) the science of human variation; and (3) the contemporary experience of race and racism in the United States. Although the social and cultural differences of race are a source of community and personal identity, they are also a point of discrimination and inequality. Additionally, a scientific understanding of human variation may challenge the ways in which people think about race and racism.
Ultimately, these three interwoven themes present a more holistic story by exploring the same topic through different perspectives. The science section investigates what current science and scholarship tell us about human variation, human migration, gene flow, and the distribution of human traits across the globe. In the history section, race as a 17th and 18th century creation and the 19th and 20th century “race science” theories that sought to legitimize racial and ethnic inequalities are explored. In the third section, housing, land, wealth, health, and education in contemporary life provide a contemporary lens through which to view this important subject.
“RACE’ is an exhibition more commonly found at science and natural history museums that may charge admission,” says McManus Zurko. “The College is pleased to offer this unique educational opportunity more frequently found in a larger, urban area, to our community free of charge.”
Funded by the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, “RACE” includes a website and online teaching resources that can be found at: http://www.understandingrace.org/home.html.
The College of Wooster Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. Group and class tours are also available. For more information, or to arrange a tour, call 330-263-2388 or visitWooster.edu/CWAM