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September 14, 2005
Contact: Joane Nagel, Sociology, (785) 864-4111

Sociologist to address lessons learned from racist underground in Clark Lecture

LAWRENCE -- Sociologist Kathy Blee, who has extensively studied women in the Ku Klux Klan, will present "Voyeurism, Ethics and the Lure of the Extraordinary: Lessons from Studying America's Racist Underground" on Sept. 21 for this year's Clark Lecture.

The lecture, presented by the University of Kansas sociology department, will be at 4 pm in Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

The Carroll D. Clark lecture series is intended to share the sociological perspective on contemporary issues of interest to the broader university community. It was established in 1993 with an endowment from the estate of Foline Eppstein Gartside in honor of Carroll D. Clark, who chaired the sociology department from 1930 to 1968. Gartside was a former student of Clark.

Blee, professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, has spent most of her scholarly life thinking about the paradoxes of class, gender and race in the U.S. In her book, "Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s," she examined how the Ku Klux Klan was able to mobilize millions of women and men in its vicious racist crusade by claiming to represent the interests of women's rights and family values.

Her book, "In The Road to Poverty: The Making of Wealth and Hardship in Appalachia," Blee studied one of America's poorest counties to understand how economic and social forces created poverty and isolation in an area that a century before had been one of the country's most prosperous and politically connected. She currently is involved in a project on racial violence that does not appear in official hate crime statistics.

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