Noël A. Cazenave

Professor of Sociology

Post-Doc, 1989 University of Pennsylvania
Post-Doc, 1977-8, University of New Hampshire
Ph.D., 1977, Tulane University
M.A., 1971, Psychology, University of Michigan
B.A., 1970, Psychology, Dillard University



I am interested in sociology, as well as the other social sciences and the humanities, largely for what they offer as instruments of human liberation from social and economic oppression and for the realization of our full potential as human beings.

My research and teaching interests include racism, poverty policy, political sociology, urban sociology, and criminal justice.

My most recently completed book is Conceptualizing Racism: Breaking the Chains of Racially Accommodative Language.  Conceptualizing Racism introduces two important concepts with which it fleshes out the dual components of its argument. First, linguistic racial accommodation is an instrument of racism denial and evasiveness in highly racialized–but otherwise democratic–societies that has resulted in the conceptual retardation and underdevelopment of our understanding of racism. And second, only by challenging such language censorship through linguistic racial confrontation is the development of an honest and full conceptualization and articulation of racism possible.

A more recent and still emerging interest of mine is the police and vigilante killings of African Americans. My current book project is tentatively entitled, Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism.

I teach at the Storrs campus each fall semester and in the Urban and Community Studies Program at the Greater Hartford Campus each spring semester. Courses taught include White Racism, African Americans and Social Protest, Sociological Perspectives on Poverty, the Social Construction of Happiness, and Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism. I also teach a graduate seminar at the Storrs campus on Racism Theory. I am a faculty affiliate with UConn’s Institute for African American Studies and with its American Studies Program. For developing and teaching my White Racism course, I received a Northeast Magazine Connecticut Bloomer award for contributions to the quality of life of the state. The story of how the initial opposition to that course was defeated is featured in Joe Feagin and Hernan Vera’s Liberation Sociology. As a consultant I have provided staff training sessions in understanding systemic racism.

I am a proud father of a wonderful daughter, Anika Tene Cazenave, and greatly enjoy being the grandfather of Graciela-Celestina Cazenave. I live in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford, CT. with Anika, Gracie, and our cat, Tehute. My personal interests include hiking, enjoying nature, listening to jazz and the blues, African-American theater and film, reading, eating gumbo, and expanding my consciousness through meditation and other forms of spiritual practice. I am proud to have had a small speaking part in the movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

My life goals can be summed up as “Liberation through Struggle” and “Serenity through Practice.”


2015. Conceptualizing Racism: Breaking the Chains of Racially Accommodate Language. Rowman and Littlefield.

2011. The Urban Racial State: Managing Race Relations in American Cities.Rowman and Littlefield.

2007. Impossible: Democracy: The Unlikely Success of the War on Poverty Community Action Programs.SUNY Press. Honorable Mention. 2008 Gustavus Myers Book Award.

2001. Kenneth J. Neubeck and Noel A. Cazenave. Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card against America’s Poor. Routledge. The winner of five book awards.

Noel Cazenave
Contact Information
Phone860 486-4190
Office Location221 Manchester Hall (Storrs Campus)
417 Library Building, (Hartford)