My name is Vilna Bashi Treitler. I began this blog because I lose too much sleep with concern about the unequal value given to human lives, and widespread inattention to the result. I wanted to do more to get these thoughts out of my head, and onto paper or canvas, but it takes a long time before the products of art and scholarship get eyeballs on them. I wanted to be able to share some of my less-perfected and more troublesome ideas with people, or at least get them out of my head so they don’t keep me up at night.
I am (in no particular order) a writer, mother, foodie, painter, scholar, wife, knitter, optimist, seamstress, activist, gluten free baker, researcher, atheist, mentor, survivor, gin drinker. I believe that life and our globe are precious, and I do what I can to make the most of my spin on this planet. I am stubborn and bossy, caring and loyal. I dislike rollercoasters and chocolate. I believe in love more than anything. If you ask me “How are you?” I don’t say “Fine, and you?”. Instead, I tell you the truth. “Honest or silent” is pretty much my motto.
My job is Full Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York (CUNY). I’m Chair of the Department of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College (the CUNY Business School), and Professor in the Sociology Program at the Graduate Center (CUNY’s PhD awarding institution). I’ve authored or edited four books: (1) Dynamics of Inequalities in Global Perspective (2016; edited, with Manuela Boatca); (2) Race in Transnational and Transracial Adoption (2014); (3) The Ethnic Project (2013) explains that racial thinking persists (even though we have known for 100 years that races don’t exist) because ethnic groups’ struggles for better status actually shore up rather than dismantle society’s racism, and (4) Survival of the Knitted (2007) explains how helping networks aid migrants in surviving and thriving around the globe. And I’m working on my fifth book, co-authoring the fifth edition of the classic text, Race in North America, by Audrey Smedley.