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A painting by Yashua Klos called Diagram of How She Hold it All Together.


Caught Caring: (Un)freedom and the Costs of Service Labor in the University

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

12:30 – 2:30 pm, PST

Osher Theater, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, UC Berkeley (2155 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94720

Black people’s care for one another in universities can be life-giving, yet the conditions in which Black people perform this labor can be coercive and detrimental to those who care. This talk interrogates the costs that Black people face for caring in the university and imagines freedom from these costly conditions.


Caleb Dawson, Abolition Democracy Dissertation Fellow, Black Studies Collaboratory and PhD Candidate in Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender in the Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley 

Caleb E. Dawson by Keegan Houser

Caleb E. Dawson is a community organizer, dancer, and Black feminist ethnographer from Federal Way, Washington. Caleb indulges in reimagining and redistributing state-sanctioned resources to build life-affirming institutions that sustain state-forsaken peoples. 

A Ph.D. candidate in Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender, Caleb engages in humanistic social science research about antiblackness in higher education and the myriad ways Black folk survive and create life amidst antiblack social structures. His dissertation ethnographically investigates what it takes for Black campus leaders to contest antiblackness at the University of California, Berkeley, from 2014 to 2022. In doing so, he analyzes the challenges and supports Black leaders encounter, as well as how gender and organizational status position shape experiences of possibility and, in some cases, more problems. Beyond his dissertation, Caleb’s research agenda addresses the racialized and gendered political economies of for-profit colleges and student loan debt.

Adia Harvey Wingfield, Professor of Arts and Sciences and Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity, Washington University in St. Louis

Adia Harvey Wingfield

Adia Harvey Wingfield is the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences and Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research examines how and why racial and gender inequality persists in professional occupations. Professor Wingfield has lectured internationally on her research in this area, and her work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Annual Review of Sociology, Gender & Society, and American Sociological Review. She has served as President of both Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) and the Southern Sociological Society (SSS), and is an elected member of the Sociological Research Association. In addition to her academic scholarship, Professor Wingfield writes regularly for mainstream outlets including Slate, The Atlantic, Vox, and Harvard Business Review. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the 2013 Richard A. Lester Award from Princeton University for her book No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work; the 2018 Public Understanding of Sociology award from the American Sociological Association; and the 2019 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) for her most recent book, Flatlining: Race, Work, and Health Care in the New Economy.

Bianca C. Williams, Associate Professor, Anthropology, Women and Gender Studies, and Critical Psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY

Bianca C. Williams

Bianca C. Williams (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Lead of the PublicsLab at CUNY Graduate Center. She is an ethnographer of race, gender, and emotion in higher education and organizing communities, with a focus on Black women’s affective lives. The investigative thread that binds Williams’ organizing, teaching, and research is the question “How do Black people develop strategies for enduring and resisting the effects of racism and sexism, while attempting to maintain emotional wellness?” She has written about Black women, travel, and happiness; “radical honesty” as feminist pedagogy; white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and campus activism within the Movement for Black Lives; and writing while anxious. Williams is the author of the award-winning book The Pursuit of Happiness: Black Women, Diasporic Dreams, and the Politics of Emotional Transnationalism (Duke U 2018), and co-editor of the volume Plantation Politics and Campus Rebellions: Power, Diversity, and the Emancipatory Struggle in Higher Education (SUNY 2021). She received the 2016 AAA & Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology, and the Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowship Award in 2021. More information about Williams’ work can be found at


This event is free and open to the public. The venue is wheelchair accessible. ASL interpretation will be provided. If you need accommodations to fully participate, please contact Barbara Montano at or 510-664-4324 with as much advance notice as possible. Please refrain from wearing any scented products, including essential oils.