School navigation

Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies Courses Spring 2020


SOAN 255
Race and Ethnicity in a Global Perspective
T/Th 1:50-3:20 PM
Sarah Warren
Sociological and anthropological analysis of how the notions of racial and ethnic groups, nations and nationalities, indigenous and nonindigenous groups, and states and citizenships have evolved cross-culturally. How they might be reconfiguring in the present context of economic globalization, mass migrations, and diasporic formations. Causes and consequences of the recent resurgence of ethnicity and the content, scope, and proposals of ethnic movements.



Pre-Columbian Art
M/W/F 9:10-10:10 AM
Matthew N. Johnston
Overview of the art of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca civilizations, other major early Central and South
American cultures. Examination of architecture, sculpture, ceramics, painting; how the arts played a key role in developing a sense of continuity within these societies across time and distance.

United States: Revolution to Empire
M/W/F 11:30–12:30 PM
Nancy Gallman
Introduction to the United States. How the young American nation coped with major changes and adjustments in its first century. Emergence of political parties; wars with Indians and Mexico, and expansion into a continental nation; the lingering problem of slavery; the rise of industry and urbanization; immigration; the development of arts and letters into a new national culture.

Modern Latin American History
T/Th 9:40- 11:10 AM
Elliott Young
Confrontation with the complexity of modern Latin America through historical analysis of the roots
of contemporary society, politics, and culture. Through traditional texts, novels, films, and lectures, exploration of the historical construction of modern Latin America. Themes of unity and diversity, continuity and change as framework for analyzing case studies of selected countries.

Japan at War
M/W/F 10:20–11:20 AM
Andrew W. Bernstein
In-depth study of the causes, dynamics, and outcomes of the wars fought by Japan in Asia and
the Pacific from the late 19th century through World War II. The trajectories of Japanese imperialism, sequence of events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor, social impact of total war. Japan’s wartime culture as seen through diaries, newspaper articles, propaganda films, short stories, government documents. Short- and long-term effects of the atomic bomb and the American occupation of Japan.

Emergence of Modern South Asia
M/W/F 9:10–10:10 AM
David Campion
The social, economic, and political history of the Indian subcontinent from the 18th century to the
present. The cultural foundations of Indian Society; the East India Company and the expansion of British power; the experience of Indians under the British Raj; Gandhi and the rise of Indian nationalism; independence and partition; postcolonial South Asian developments in politics, economy, and culture. Thematic emphasis on the causes and consequences of Western imperialism, religious and cultural identities, and competing historical interpretations.

Crime and Punishment in the United States
Friday 1:00– 4:00 PM
Reiko Hillyer
The rise of the carceral state in the United States, including crime in different historical eras and the ways Americans have sought to deter, punish, and rehabilitate. Sub-topics include the changing role of the police; changing definitions of what constitutes a crime; the evolution of the prison system; the rise of convict labor; the political economy of the recent prison boom; the emergence of the victims’ rights and prisoners’ rights movements; the privatization of prisons; differences in treatment based on race, gender, and age. Course will take place in a nearby correctional facility.

Modern Mexico: Culture, Politics, and Economic Crisis
T/Th 1:50–3:20 PM
Elliott Young
Origins and development of the modern Mexican nation from independence to the contemporary economic and political crisis. 1811 to 1940: liberal-conservative battles, imperialism, the pax Porfiriana, the Mexican Revolution, industrialization, and institutionalizing the revolution. 1940 to the present: urbanization, migration to the United States, the student movement, neoliberal economics and politics, disintegration of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), and the new social rebellions (Zapatistas, Popular Revolutionary
Army, Civil Society). Constructing mexicanidad in music, dance, film, and the cultural poetics of the street and the town plaza.

Argument & Social Justice
T/TH 8:00–9:30 AM
Heather Hayes
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.

SPAN 370
Latin America and Spain: Enlightenment-Present
T/TH 9:40–11:10 AM
Magalí Rabasa
Introduction to major trends in Latin American and Spanish literature from the Enlightenment period to the present day. Selected works from Latin America and Spain read in the context of cultural
and historical events.

SOAN 251
Myth, Ritual and Symbol

M/W/F 9:10–10:10 AM
Sociocultural approaches to the study of myth, ritual, and symbol. The nature of myth and ritual in a variety of cultures, including the United States. Introduction to analytical approaches to myth, ritual, and symbolic forms including functionalism, structuralism, psychoanalysis, interpretive and performative approaches.


SOAN 360
T/TH 1:50-3:20 PM

Colonialism and Postcolonialism
Oren Kosansky
Anthropological and sociological approaches to the study of colonial and postcolonial societies. Topics include imperial ideologies, modes of colonial representation and cultural control, European society in the colonies, colonial resistance, and postcolonial nationalisms and diasporas.


SOAN 367

M/W/F 1:50-2:50 PM

Kabir M. Heimsath
Investigation of key themes in the study of tourism, including economic and social inequality, race, “the gaze,” authenticity, commodification of place and culture, heritage, identity, and performance. Students are
encouraged to reflect on their own backgrounds in consideration of these themes. Focus on ethnographic studies of tourism in Asia. The course provides theoretical and methodological tools to imagine, design, and carry out a required individual research project.

SOAN 373
Political Economy of Black Labor
T/TH 11:30-1:00 PM
Kim Cameron-Dominguez
Focus on black diasporic labor as a central component in the development of Western hemispheric political and economic systems. Historical, sociocultural, and transnational examination of black people’s encounter with capitalist relations of production; slavery; internal and diasporic labor migration; class mobility and racialized work; black responses to exploitative systems via labor and social movements; cultural practices and performance; representation of self and community on the internet and via social media. Consideration will be given to leisure as well as work and how these construct/frame identity and belonging. Students will read from works in anthropology, sociology, and the humanities with emphasis on those produced by authors of color; part of our work will be to ask how race and labor figure into authorial intent, knowledge production, and professional expertise.

Ethnic Studies

Contact Us