The Cosmopolitan Canopy and Trayvon Martin: Racial Faultlines in American Society

The Cosmopolitan Canopy and Trayvon Martin: Racial Faultlines in American Society

Professor Elijah Anderson, the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University, will deliver a lecture on his recent ethnographic work, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life.

May 4, 2012 6:30 p.m.

The racial incorporation process that began with the civil rights movement of the 1960s affected American institutions and the urban environment. Although cities remain segregated by race, African-Americans and other people of color are increasingly present in settings once viewed as off limits to them. Under the “cosmopolitan canopy”—a sheltered place of civil integration in an otherwise segregated society—urban dwellers restrain keep their ethnocentric impulses. Nonetheless, incidents involving race, class, sexual preference, and gender sometimes threaten to destroy civil harmony. Perhaps the most troubling ones arise when Black people act out social roles that others do not expect or accept. These acts draw “color lines” that represent a fundamental fault line in present-day American culture, especially for Black people who experience upward mobility. When such events take place, the effects can be fatal, as was the case for Trayvon Martin. These situations get managed in ways meant to preserve the canopy and thus maintain a veneer of racial civility—at least until the next incident arises. (more…)

Teaching for Change’s Busboys and Poets Bookstore welcomes Elijah Anderson

Teaching for Change’s Busboys and Poets Bookstore welcomes Elijah Anderson

Author Elijah Anderson, “The Cosmopolitan Canopy”
14th & V | Langston Room | April 26,2012 | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Teaching for Change’s Busboys and Poets Bookstore welcomes Elijah Anderson to discuss and sign his new book, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life. Co-sponsored by: Virginia Tech (Urban Affairs and Planning Department), Teaching for Change, Busboys and Poets and A.C.T.O.R (Event is free and open to all)

Event Page

IJURR Lecture: THE COSMOPOLITAN CANOPY: Civility Amid the Faultlines of American Race Relations

IJURR Lecture: THE COSMOPOLITAN CANOPY: Civility Amid the Faultlines of American Race Relations

IJURR LecturerProfessor Elijah Anderson will be the 2012 IJURR Lecturer at the Association of American Geographers, Saturday 25 February 2012 at the Gramercy Suite B, Second Floor, Hilton New York.
Followed by a post-lecture drinks reception. All welcome!

2012 IJURR Lecture at the AAG

We hope to see you there! Download the e-invite.

Yale’s Elijah Anderson to deliver lecture as SPPA marks 50th

Yale’s Elijah Anderson to deliver lecture as SPPA marks 50th

Eminent scholar and professor Elijah Anderson of Yale University will deliver a talk on race and civility on Tuesday, Nov. 15, giving the first speech in a series of distinguished lectures organized by the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) to commemorate its 50-year anniversary.

SPPA, established in 1961 to focus on the challenges of urban America, will celebrate its milestone anniversary with numerous year-round events, including the lecture series and a daylong career conference in March.

Anderson’s lecture, which will take place at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Bayard Sharp Hall, will examine his new book, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life.

Best known for his award-winning book, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City, which showed how the oppositional behavior of some urban residents is a reaction to the harsh environments in which they reside, his new book introduces the concept of the “cosmopolitan canopy” — public spaces in center-city Philadelphia that create islands of civility surrounded by ethnic enclaves, ghettos and suburbs where segregation is the norm.

In his new book, Anderson shows how the city’s racial and ethnic groups interact when they gather in parks, restaurants, shopping malls and other public spaces. Contrary to the assumptions of many, the interactions are mostly relaxed and cordial.

“Anderson’s ground-breaking study of the cosmopolitan canopy provides a new understanding of the complexities of present day race relations and reveals the unique opportunities for cross-cultural interaction,” says Leland Ware, the Louis L. Redding Chair and professor of law and public policy at SPPA.
Anderson, the William K. Lanman, Jr., Professor of Sociology at Yale University, is one of the premier urban ethnographers in the United States. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is formerly a vice-president of the American Sociological Association. He has also served as a consultant to a variety of government agencies, including the White House, the United States Congress, the National Academy of Science and the National Science Foundation.

The Nov. 15 lecture is free and open to the public.