Published March 15, 2022
What are the most effective strategies for researching race as a doctoral student? What practices should faculty and advisors employ to best support the students doing this work?
The University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education will explore and answer these questions in the first session of the new Researching Race Professional Development Series on March 15.
Hosted by UB’s Center for K–12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education, the virtual presentation, “The Reality of Researching Race in Your Dissertation: Strategies for Success and Keeping Your Sanity,” will offer tools for individuals studying and writing about race-related topics.
LaGarrett King, director of the center and associate professor of social studies education at GSE, believes it is essential to create learning opportunities to ensure that race-related research is conducted intentionally. “There’s an understanding that so much research needs to be done around race, racism and historically excluded populations, but sometimes we get people who pick up this research program just because there’s a gap—and there’s no connection to why race research is important,” he said.
By creating the Researching Race Series, King hopes to foster meaningful and informed research by providing the necessary tools and training for students and faculty seeking publication.
“We’re all in this constant state of learning. As scholars, we should be willing to learn more, not only for ourselves but for the next generation of graduate students that we’re educating,” said King.
The series will also shine a light on well-known scholars excelling in this area of scholarship. Ramon Goings, assistant professor of language, literacy and culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will lead the first session.
“Students should feel comfortable doing research about race even if their advisor does not—because the work is needed,” said Goings. “I want to give folks some tools and strategies that they can use to work with their advisor in how to navigate this process, particularly when they’re writing about controversial topics, given everything that’s happening in our country around critical race theory and similar topics as well.”
Throughout his career, Goings has focused on effectively advising doctoral students as they think and write about race throughout the dissertation process. In 2021, he published his book, “14 Secrets to a Done Dissertation: A Guide to Navigating the Dissertation Process and Finishing in Record Time.”
While the session was designed primarily for doctoral students, Goings encourages faculty and advisors to attend the session to better understand and support the students they serve: “How do you support your doc students who are doing this work, particularly if you might not be from a space where you understand how race impacts research?”
Similarly, King asserts that the series will allow faculty and researchers to improve and advance race-related publication efforts of all kinds. “A dissertation is just a large piece of work, and as scholars, sometimes we want to do those larger pieces of work,” said King. “I’m writing a single-author book, and that’s a large piece of work. Those who are willing to learn more might pick up some ideas that they hadn’t considered.”
The Researching Race Series will continue in the fall 2022 term and is one of several new programs offered by the Center for K–12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education.
The Researching Race Series is free and open to the public. For more information about programs hosted by the Center for K–12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education, visit ed.buffalo.edu/black-history-ed.