Comparative Race and Diaspora

Program Type: Cluster

The Comparative Race and Diaspora Cluster carves out a common ground of exchange and study on racial formations (the organization of human interactions, including structural inequality, on the basis of race) and diaspora (the geographical dispersion of a people accompanied by the emergence of long-distance networks that maintain and create bonds of peoplehood).

The cluster supports graduate training among students interested in the study of racial formations and diasporic communities, seeking to bring such students together so that they may better see how their projects together reveal linkages and continuities as well as disruptions among various diasporic groups.

The cluster engages in the history, practice, and criticism of race, extending scholarship beyond national, cultural and racial boundaries through juxtaposition with critical examination of diaspora. It seeks to delineate post-modernity and post-coloniality in racialized and diasporic conditions. Comparison, as a scholarly and analytical task, is central to this cluster, which highlights histories and connections among different peoples, communities, and nations.

See Comparative Race and Diaspora Cluster Requirements for specific courses and procedures needed to complete this program.

Programs and Events

There are many different ways for faculty and students to participate in the intellectual life of the cluster. Many events, such as our speaker series and workshops, are open to all members of the community. Graduate-level cluster seminars are open to graduate students across the University. We encourage all students, faculty, and staff of Northwestern to learn more about our research and activities by participating in our public events.

Who Should Apply?

Doctoral candidates from any field are eligible to apply to join this intellectual “home” outside their department. Past participants have come from the following programs:

  • History
  • African American Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Performance Studies
  • Anthropology

How to Apply

Prospective PhD students interested in participating in this cluster should indicate their interest when they apply to their respective graduate programs.

Current graduate should contact Professor John Marquez at 

Who to Contact

Please contact the program director, listed below, with questions about this program. Or, explore the Comparative Race and Diaspora website for more information.

John D. Marquez
African American Studies Department

5-135 Crowe

1860 S. Campus Dr.

Evanston, IL 60208-2209