Dr. Vilna Bashi Treitler is Professor and Chair of the Department of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College, and Professor in the Sociology Program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her scholarship and art centers on the intersection of race, migration, and inequality.
Treitler is the author of The Ethnic Project: Transforming Racial Fictions into Ethnic Factions (2013, Stanford University Press), which argues that beliefs in racial distinctions persist – despite 100 years of evidence proving them false – because ethnic groups use their social agency to fight for a better racial status, thus reifying rather than dismantling the racial structure. Her book, Survival of the Knitted: Immigrant Social Networks in a Stratified World (Stanford University Press, 2007), provides a new model of immigrant networks and shows how transnational networks shaped black migrants’ socioeconomic adaptation in New York, London, Canada, and the Caribbean. Survival was named Finalist for the Thomas-Znanecki Book Award given by the American Sociological Association’s section on International Migration. Her works in progress include Race in Transnational and Transracial Adoption (forthcoming July 2014 with Palgrave Macmillan) that gathers contributions from scholars from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and she is also conducting a separate National Science Foundation-funded study on race and adoption in the U.S. and Europe. She is editing (with co-editor Prof. Manuela Boatca of Freie Universität Berlin) the book Global Hierarchies and Inequalities, planned to be simultaneously published both as a special issue of Current Sociology and a Sage Monograph. And she’s at work on an article for Contexts (the magazine of the American Sociological Association) on a comparison of racialization practices among families in the U.S. and Austria formed (in part) by international adoption.
Treitler is also an artist, who works in oil on canvas and Masonite; and in pigment painted and fired on glass. She studies with master painter Sam Adoquei at the Union Square Atelier. She has also participated in glass painting workshops at Wheaton Arts with master painter Jonathan Cooke, and at Bryn Athyn’s workshops on the Sacred Arts with J. Kenneth Leap.