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Production of Race, The Rhetoric of (Fall 2007)

Research Strategy Guide for:
PWR 1/The Rhetorical Production of Race
Name of Instructor/Quarter and Year: Subho Chakravarty / Fall 2007
Assigned Librarian & E-mail: Malgorzata Schaefer /

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your research topic may not fit the general description of your course but the steps for conducting your research are the same.

Starting Point: Here! A searchable site that combines links to the Catalog, Databases, Other Guides, How to Get Help, along with a Blog, FAQs, etc..

The Basics:
To find books and films, use Socrates.
To find journal, newspaper, and/or magazine articles, use a Database.


  • Use the chapters or headings in the reference book to give you keywords to use in your searches in the Socrates catalog and databases.
  • The authors are subject experts who have probably written books and articles on the topics you find interesting.
  • Reference sources have bibliographies with titles of books and citations of articles - use them to jump-start your research.
  • Ask a Librarian (see left top) or browse the 3 reference collections in Green Library: The IC (Information Center), SSRC and HASRC reading rooms have thousands of reference sources chosen by library subject specialists.

Here are some I found:

    The encyclopedia of Encyclopedia of race and ethnic studies / (Green Library Information Center GN495.6 .C37 2004)

    A portrait of race and ethnicity in California : an assessment of social and economic well-being (Green Library Information Center F870 .A1 P67 2001)

    Colonial America : an encyclopedia of social, political, cultural, and economic history / (Green Library Stacks E162 .C68 2006 V.1-5)

Use Reference Universe on the Databases page to find other reference sources. Be sure to click the box Restrict Search to Titles in your Library on the second page of the site. Look the title up in Socrates for exact location.


  • Use the library catalog, Socrates, and type in a few keywords to describe your topic. Use Simple Search and Search Everything.
  • Find an interesting book in the list of results. Look at the Detailed Record. Note the Subject Headings (LC) and the Call Number/Location. Click on “Nearby Items on Shelf” to find other books on similar topics.
  • Click on the link for Subject Heading (LC), or use part or all of the subject heading in a New Search.
  • Use the Call Number to find a relevant book in the stacks, and browse the shelves for other related books.

Some examples of appropriate Socrates Subject Headings

    Ethnicity - United States [or you can substitute another country]
    Race - religious aspects
    African Americans race identity
    Mexican Americans race identity
    Racism x [where x= a country]

Here are some interesting books I found in the Socrates Catalog using Subject terms such as those above (look up these books and see the subject headings in the Detailed Listing, and use these in further Socrates Searches):

    "Race" is a four-letter word : the genesis of the concept / C. Loring Brace (Green Library Stacks GN269 .B73 2005)

    Queering the color line : race and the invention of homosexuality in American culture / Siobhan B. Somerville.(Green Library Stacks HQ1075.5 .U6 S65 2000)

    Sociological theories : race and colonialism (Green Library Stacks HT1521 .S544)

Use Combined Search in Socrates and limit the Format to Films/Visual.


    Mirrors of privilege : [videorecording] : making whiteness visible / a film by Shakti Butler. Green Library Media Microtext Collection (Lower Level) ZDVD 13715

    When the levees broke [videorecording] : a requiem in four acts Green Library Media Microtext Collection (Lower Level) ZDVD 13364 Discs 1-3

    Race [videorecording] : the power of an illusion / produced by California Newsreel Green Library Media Microtext Collection (Lower Level) ZDVD 5392

    Many videos about Rodney King: the riots, what the jury saw, etc.

Try a database. You can select by large subject groupings, then click on the + sign next to the database to get a description; or click on Not Sure Which Database to Use to get started.

Examples of general databases (Note: these are good initial databases to try since they have multidisciplinary coverage)

Examples of Subject-specific Databases

Also try International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, which has full-text scholarly articles written by prominent authorities in the field.

Examples of News Databases

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