Ethnic Studies Courses Spring 2021
United States: Revolution to Empire
T/Th 9:55 AM - 11:25 AM
Nancy O. Gallman
This survey course focuses on the shifting political, cultural, economic, and social developments of the United States from the Revolutionary period through the Spanish-American War. The themes underpinning the course will be the contested nature of freedom and the relationship between freedom and slavery; settler colonialism; ideologies about manhood and womanhood; the growth of capitalism; and the expansion of the nation-state and the origins of American empire. Along with attending to these themes, the course will provide you with an introduction to the discipline of history itself. History is not a series of names and dates, but an interpretive act in which we develop conclusions based on various types of historical evidence.
Modern Latin American History
T/Th 9:55 AM - 11:25 AM
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.
Asian American History in the United States
M/W/F 9:40-11:10 AM
“Asian American” is a catchall term that refers to a variety of people whose ethnic and cultural origins span a third of the globe. In this class, we will examine some of the distinct populations that make up this group, including those who trace their origins to China, Japan, Continental India, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Hawaii, and several other Pacific Islands. (Students may focus their independent research project on another group of their choice.) We will use memoirs, literature, government documents, history, film, and material culture to answer these questions: Why did they immigrate to the U.S.? What were their experiences after they arrived? How were their experiences shaped by global and internal politics, as well as their cultural repertoires? What do their experiences reveal about American history and contemporary politics and views? Why have such diverse populations been grouped under one label and viewed as a single “race”?
African American History Since 1863
T/TH 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM
Nancy O. Gallman
A survey of African American history from emancipation to the present: the process of emancipation, Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression and the transformation of the rural South, the civil rights movement, black power and white backlash, the rise of the prison-industrial complex, and the development of hip-hop culture. An examination of art, film, and theatre will supplement written primary and secondary sources.
Workshops in World Music
T/Th 2:10 PM - 3:40 PM
Examines folk, popular, and art musical traditions from around the world with a special focus on the Andes, Ireland, Indonesia, Ghana, and India. Drawing on historical and visual sources, recordings, and contemporary ethnography, the course develops interpretive skill sets for analyzing the sound structures, performance contexts, and cultural significance of music in rituals, festivals, politics, schools, recording studios, cinema, the internet, and global stages. In addition to learning about key topics in the field of ethnomusicology, we engage with traditions firsthand through an ethnographic assignment in Portland and a weekly workshop with performance faculty on campus. Organized into three small-group sessions, the workshops introduce music and dance from Indonesia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Spain, Latin America, and/or North India. Specific content may change from year to year.
Topics: Film Music of India
M 6:00 PM -9:00 PM
Advanced seminar with a different research focus every semester. Topics announced in advance. Classes will focus on music outside of North America. Topics in previous semesters have included music and Chinese philosophy, music and iconography, music of diaspora, music and ritual, eco-musicology, women and music, and medieval and Renaissance music.
M/W/F 12:55 PM - 1:55 PM
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.
Politics of Public Memory
TH 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Investigation of public memory as the public negotiation of the past for political purposes in the present. How different cultures have remembered and rhetorically constructed traumatic historical events such as the Holocaust and institutionalized slavery. Role of communication and persuasion in public acts of remembrance.
Race, Rhetoric, & Resistance
M/W 3:25 PM - 4:55 PM
Role of rhetoric in social conflicts regarding issues of race. Theories and strategies of resistance and the implications for political action. Examination of major race and resistance texts.
Social Change in Latin America
M/W/F 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Dynamics of social change in Latin America, with a particular focus on revolutionary transformations. Comparative analysis of social change in Cuba, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and other countries. An introduction to key concepts from development theory, social movements research, cultural studies, and political economy analysis.
Reproductive Justice: Bodies, Health, and Society
M/W/F 3:25 PM - 4:55 PM
This course introduces students to reproductive justice as a framework for analyzing issues of bodily autonomy and human rights related, but not limited to, the right to parent or to be child-free. With emphasis on contemporary US society, the course will survey the medicalization of birth, the spectrum of birth work and the rights of pregnant and parenting people, acknowledging that reproduction is an experience that goes beyond the gender binary. The course utilizes an intersectional approach by centering the scholarship and narratives of historically marginalized identities, particularly the sociocultural context of African American women in reproductive politics. Justice emerges from activism; reproductive justice is also a social movement that seeks equity beyond birth through the alleviation of social ills linked to institutional racism and other mechanisms of oppression including heterosexism. This course situates the body and reproductive experience as one that is socially constructed and shaped by social location (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, citizenship status, age, ability, or religion) to regulate bodily autonomy.
Latin America and Spain: Enlightenment-Present
T/Thr 11:40 AM - 1:10 PM
Matthieu P. Raillard
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.
Special Topics in Spanish: Borders and Cultural Production
M/W/F 12:55 PM - 1:55 PM
Special topics or issues of Hispanic literature and culture. Extensive oral and written work culminating in a research paper written in Spanish. May be taken twice for credit with change of topic.
American Theatre and Drama: 19th Century to Present
Monday: 3:00-4:30 PM, Thursday 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Readings in modern and contemporary American theatre. Topics include the origins of realism, American expressionism, noncommercial art theatre, African American playwriting, women in theatre, canonical family plays, the Federal Theatre Project, the musical, Broadway comedy, filmed adaptation of stage drama, the advent of experimental and postmodern theatre, and the evolution of theatrical forms and themes in relation to historical and social change