C. B. Lauer, PhD
Formerly Cynthia Levine-Rasky, PhD
Writing has always been part of my life in one form or another. While I do some creative writing, my work as a professional sociologist (PhD, York University, 1997) led me to publish in that field. For twenty years, I was a tenured professor at a research-intensive Canadian university where I taught courses on research methods, race, the sociology of health, and applied sociology. I retired in 2022.
My intellectual interests are diverse. I edited one book and wrote one monograph, Whiteness Fractured, on critical whiteness studies in addition to many scholarly articles on the subject. I also wrote a book on the Roma community in Toronto, Writing the Roma, and co-edited two volumes of Romani women’s writing: A Romani Women’s Anthology: Spectrum of the Blue Water, and Stone to Stone: Writing by Romani Women. My co-edited book, We Resist: Defending the Common Good in Hostile Times is an anthology of forty-two influential writers on actions we may take against austerity and attacks on our democratic freedoms. As a public sociologist, my writing for general readers appears in The Conversation, Canadian Dimension, Ricochet, National Observer, Canada’s History Magazine, Refuge, and NOW.
My past community work includes serving as a board member for the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, a co-founder of the first Canadian chapter of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, and the grant-writer for the Toronto Roma Community Centre. As an expert in the field, I provided affidavits for immigration lawyers representing refugee claimants in Canada.
Gardening is a genuine passion. A member of Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc., my column appears in Trillium, the quarterly newsletter of the Ontario Horticultural Association / Garden Ontario. I am an occasional contributor to the Canadian quarterly magazine, The Gardener. Gardening at my family’s property in Simcoe County is an endlessly rewarding project in sustainable urban agriculture.
Whiteness Fractured examines the many ways in which whiteness is conceptualized today and how it is understood to operate and to effect social relationships. Exploring the intersections between whiteness, social class, ethnicity and psychosocial phenomena, this book is framed by the question of how whiteness works and what it does. With attention to central concepts and the history of whiteness, it explains the four ways in which whiteness works.
A Romani Women’s Anthology: Spectrum of the Blue Water
A Romani Women’s Anthology: Spectrum of the Blue Water is grounded upon Romani women’s lived experiences, and confers epistemic privilege on critical insights that derive from their authentic and personal knowledge. Romani women are impressively diverse in their attachments, status, beliefs, and identities. The chapters in this book illustrate this multiplicity by traversing writing motifs.
Writing the Roma
The culmination of four years of ethnographic research at the Roma Community Centre in Toronto, Writing the Roma is the first book to provide an overview of the identities, origins, history and treatment of Roma refugees. Cynthia Levine-Rasky traces the historical and cultural roots of the Roma in Europe, through their genocide in the Holocaust, their persecution in Eastern Europe in the post-Communist era, to their settlement as refugees in Canada. What emerges is a book that challenges the stereotypes surrounding this non-territorial nation while exposing the ways that Canadian immigration policies have affected Roma populations.