Roosbelinda Cardenas

Co-Dean of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies
Roosbelinda Cárdenas
Contact Roosbelinda

Mail Code CSI
Roosbelinda Cardenas
Franklin Patterson Hall
413.549.4600

Roosbelinda Cárdenas holds a B.A. in economics and anthropology/sociology from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in Latin American studies from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Her teaching and research focuses on identity and rights for Afro-descendants in Latin America and social theory of race and racism, social movements, place and displacement, and human rights. She takes an engaged ethnographic approach to teaching and is particularly interested in the intersections of knowledge production and activism.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • In this course, we will explore the histories of organizing to dismantle the racist underpinnings of colleges and universities in the U.S. Drawing on a range of resources, students will explore the challenges of documenting institutional racism in Higher Education by exploring social contestation on several selected campuses, including Hampshire College. We will pay particular attention to the range of demands, agreements, and anti-racist plans developed as a result of campus activism. Key components of our examination include: utilizing an intersectional lens, exploring how race intersects with gender and sexual identities, as well as strategies for building multi-racial solidarities. Students will learn to utilize a range of historical and social science methodologies. The aim is to produce a group project that accesses Hampshire Colleges current Anti-Racist Inventory/Plan and makes suggestions for future institutional actions. Keywords: history, ethnography, race, ethnicity, diversity

  • No description available

  • The idea of whiteness structures our societies in myriad ways that go from the aesthetic, to the economic and political, defining standards of beauty, mechanisms for the transfer of wealth, and criteria for national belonging, to name a few examples. While it is well-known that whiteness is a social construct (rather than a scientific "truth), it continues to rest on and reproduce biologized notions of human difference that resonate with historical forms of racism and perpetuate it in new forms today. As the structuring pillar of racial difference around which racial Others are defined and judged, whiteness continues to be conspicuously invisible. In this course, we will analyze the historical and contemporary construction of whiteness and its consequences in various areas of social and political life. Importantly, we will not restrict our exploration to the United States, but rather will consider whiteness (in its different iterations) as a global phenomenon with a particular focus on the Americas. (keywords: sociology, anthropology, literature, film & media studies, critical race theory)