Bonnie Urciuoli, a professor of anthropology at Hamilton College and a specialist in linguistics, has published extensively on how colleges and universities use diversity to market themselves. The images that they convey of their campuses through increasingly elaborate, well-heeled marketing arms often distort as much as they reveal. These projections also raise complex questions about the ownership of property rights in one’s person and in his or her creative endeavors.

At 7 pm on Thursday evening, 19 February, at the AHI’s headquarters, Professor Urciuoli will present on “Skills and Selves in the New Workplace.” She describes her talk as an exploration into how ” ‘diversity’ has become conceptualized as an institutional skill.” In most colleges and universities as well as in the corporate world, she points out, “diversity is conceptualized as something that an individual can bring to an institution for that institution’s benefit. To the extent that it is so conceptualized,diversity is routinely talked and written about as something an individual possesses, something like a skill set, e.g. communication skillstime management skillssocial skills, and so on. At the same time, diversity is routinely a way for institutions to talk about racial categories.”

Professor Urciuoli has derived much of her data  from interviews with Hamilton College students, faculty, and administrators.

Her presentation is open to the public. A reception will follow.