RACELAND investigates how white-supremacist social systems affect people and the environment on a worldwide scale. Taking an innovative interdisciplinary approach, its aim is to examine how race and class discrimination globally interlocks with economic development, ecological issues, medical research, and the advancement of science more generally. The focus of this project is on a modern and quintessential white-supremacist society: the segregationist South of the U.S. during the Cold War era. Often considered a regional backwater that was out of step with modernity, I apply a radically different perspective that places the South at the center of U.S. policymaking and racialized innovation in the post-World War II period. RACELAND emphasizes the ingenious strategies southern segregationists employed to keep their racist worldview intact and export its main tenets across the globe, with profound consequences for ecosystems around the world and for the populations inhabiting them. The legacy of such strategies continues until today. The project addresses pressing current questions regarding social and environmental justice, which cannot be answered unless we know more about their historical context, about when and why these problems arose in the first place. Considering the recent rise of reactionary populism and the alt-right movement, my proposal is incredibly timely, because it exposes the complex and entangled roots of this right-wing upswing. The training objectives of the Fellowship are aimed at research, management, and public outreach. The Fellowship will enable me to learn advanced intellectual and management skills as part of an outstanding interdisciplinary team of scholars at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Moreover, it will enhance my abilities to raise public awareness through cooperation with expert journalists, online platforms that publish about themes connected to my research, and institutes engaged in community outreach.
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