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Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies Courses Fall 2020


Ethnic Studies Colloquium: US Slavery, Bondage, & Prisons
T 6:00-9:00 PM
Elliott Young
The prison has been one of the fundamental institutions in the United States, from the enslavement of indigenous people to shackling of African slaves to the 2.2 million people behind bars every year. Not only does the US have the highest rate of incarceration in the world, but black and brown men are disproportionately subject to the prison system. This course will explore the history and present day criminal justice system with a focus on prisons through an analysis of race and ethnicity. We will explore this theme through a variety of different disciplines and sources: history, sociology, memoir, and literature. What is the relationship between settler-colonialism, slavery and the rise of prisons? How did the US become the biggest prison state in the world? How has race influenced the criminal justice system? How do women, immigrants, and LGBTQ people experience the prison system?


Postcolonial Literature: Anglophone Africa, India, Caribbean
M/W/F 10:20-
11:20 AM
Rishona Zimring
Literary works and essays exploring the literary and cultural issues that arise from the questioning and collapse of the colonial world order. Topics include decolonization and national allegories; authenticity and the invention of tradition; constructions of race; the role of women in empire and the nation; adolescence and the novel of education; Western travel and primitivism; violence and trauma. Authors include Chinua Achebe, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Aime Cesaire, J.M. Coetzee, Tsitsi Dangarembga, E.M. Forster, Una Marson, Arundhati Roy, Jean Rhys, Salman Rushdie, Edward Said.

African American Literature
T/Th 9:40-11:10 AM
Rachel Cole
In this class, we will study the African American literary tradition from slavery through the present. Topics will include the particularity and plurality of the African American experience; black authors’ participation in and departures from the broader tradition of American literature; and discussion of what it means to define oneself and one’s community, other people and their communities, or a literary tradition with reference to race. Authors may include Wheatley, Douglass, Jacobs, Sejour, Washington, Du Bois, Chesnutt, Hughes, Bennett, Toomer, Larsen, Ellison, Baldwin, Wright, Brooks, Giovanni, Baraka, Lorde, Morrison, Butler, Cole, Dove, Trethewey, Smith.

Francophone Literature
M/W 3:00-4:30 PM
Philippe Brand
Major works by Francophone writers outside of France (Africa, Canada, Caribbean). Focus on sociocultural issues as expressed in literature. Class discussion, short papers, oral presentations, midterm, final.

Ethnic Studies Symposium Chair
Kimberly Brodkin
Student chairs perform substantive analytic work related to this interdisciplinary field of study, conducting extensive research to explore speakers, develop panels, identify important issues, and develop the program of events.Working closely with each other, the planning committee, and the faculty director, chairs also develop leadership and professional responsibilities. Preference given to minors in Ethnic Studies, but students with relevant coursework or other experience will be considered. Instructor permission required.

Colonial Latin American History
T/Th 9:40-11:10 AM
Elliott Young
History of Latin America from Native American contact cultures through the onset of independence movements in the early 19th century. Cultural confrontations, change, and Native American accommodation and strategies of evasion in dealing with the Hispanic colonial empire.

The Holocaust in Comparative Perspective
T/Th 1:50-3:20 PM
Maureen A. Healy
The Nazi genocide of European Jews during World War II in comparison to other cases of 20th-century mass violence in countries such as Armenia, Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda. Nazi Germany serves as the principal case study for discussion of the broader question: What has made possible the organization and execution of mass violence against specific ethnic and religious groups in a wide variety of societies around the world over the past century? Includes examination of strategies for the prevention of future incidents of mass ethnic violence.

Borderlands: U.S.-Mexico Border (16th Century to Present)
M/W/F 12:20-1:40 PM
Nancy Gallman
The concept and region known as the Borderlands from when it was part of northern New Spain to its present incarnation as the U.S.-Mexico border. Thematic focus on the roles of imperialism and capitalism in the formation of borderlands race, class, gender, and national identities. The transformation of this region from a frontier between European empires to a borderline between nations.

HIST-348 Modern Cuba
T/Th 1:50-3:20 PM
Elliott Young
Development of the modern Cuban nation from the independence movement of the mid-19th century to the contemporary socialist state. Focus on how identity changed under the Spanish colonial, U.S. neocolonial, Cuban republic, and revolutionary states. 1840s to 1898: wars of independence, slavery, transition to free labor. 1898 to 1952: U.S. occupation and neocolonialism, Afrocubanismo, populism. 1952 to the present: Castro revolution, socialism, U.S.-Cuban-Soviet relations.

African Politics
T/Th 9:40-11:10 AM
Laura Vinson
Introduces students to political, social, and economic issues facing African states (primarily sub-Saharan), covering both domestic and international dimensions. The course explores the historical origins and contemporary dynamics of challenges associated with democratization, civil conflict, and underdevelopment, as well as emerging opportunities and prospects. Students gain specific country expertise and are also equipped to make sense of the variation in the experiences of a range of African countries.

IA-342 Perception and International Relations
T/Th 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Bob Mandel
Processes and patterns of intergroup and international perception, views of enemies, perception in foreign policy-making and deterrence, ways of reducing perceptual distortions. Students analyze and theorize about
the role of misperception - distortions in one state’s perception of other states - in international relations.

Music and Social Justice
M/W 3:00-4:30 PM
Nora Beck
Engages with the roles of music in movements for women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, civil rights, labor reform, and nation building. Will entail critical listening, examination of primary and secondary sources, and research papers.

Cross-Cultural Psychology
W 6:00-9:00 PM
Yueping Zhang
Relations between culture and human behavior. Examination of topics in psychology from a multicultural, multiethnic perspective, with special emphasis on cultural influence on research methods, self-concept, communication, emotion, social behavior, development, mental health. Cultural variation, how culture shapes human behavior, and psychological theories and practices in different cultures.

Argument and Social Justice
T/Th 8:00-9:30 AM
George Reyes
Investigation of argumentation and social justice. Exploration and application of scholarship through the community-based Thank You for Arguing, a mentoring program run with local inner-city public schools. Theoretical and methodological frameworks for understanding the role of argumentation in fostering social justice explored through readings, class discussion, and writing assignments.

SOAN 261: Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM
Sarah Warren
Gender and sexuality in Latin America through an anthropological lens. Ethnographic and theoretical texts - including testimonial and film material - dealing with the different gender experiences of indigenous and nonindigenous peoples, lowland jungle hunter-gatherers, highland peasants, urban dwellers, and transnational migrants.

Borderlands: Tibet and the Himalaya
T/Th 1:50-3:20 PM
Kabir Heimsath
Investigation of the “borderland” nature of anthropology dealing with Tibet and the broader Himalayan region. Without clear state definition, scholastic inquiry is dispersed among distinct themes rather than a cohesive historical or cultural approach. Focus on ethnographies of non-state peoples, cross-border travel, marginalized lives, and international development and representation. Reading-intensive course with a series of literature review assignments leading toward a final project.

Latin America and Spain: Pre-Columbian to Baroque
M/W/F 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Matthieu P. Raillard
Introduction to major trends in Latin American and Spanish literature from their beginnings to the baroque period. Selected works from Latin America and Spain read in the context of cultural and historical events.

Ethnic Studies

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