For complete information about minoring, see the online catalog.

ENG-326 African American Literature

M/W/F 11:30 - 12:30 

K. Fujie

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.

HST-135 United States: Empire to Superpower

M/W/F 10:20 - 11:20 


The power of the United States in the world, from the Spanish-American War to Iraq. Central themes are freedom, the state, and empire. Overall, our topics include the rise of imperialism; the demise of Reconstruction and the development of industrial capitalism; Progressivism; the World Wars; urbanization; consumer culture; the Great Migration; the depression and New Deal; the Cold War; the rights revolutions of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s; Vietnam; and the rise of the Right.

HST-142 Modern Latin American History

T/H 9:40 - 11:10 

E. 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.

HST-208 Asian American History in the U.S.

M/W/F 12:40 - 1:40

S. Glosser

“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”?

HST-243 African American History Since 1863

T/H 1:50 - 3:20

R. Hillyer

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.

HST-338 Crime and Punishment in the United States

F 1:00 - 4:00

R. 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.

HST-390 Immigration and Asylum Law

T/TH 1:50 - 3:20

E. Young

Introduces students to immigration and asylum law in the United States. Students will work with instructor on several asylum cases for which instructor serves as expert witness for country conditions. Countries we cover include Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Venezuela. Asylum claims cover a variety of topics, including political persecution, drug cartel and gang violence, sexual violence, and gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination. Guest speakers will include immigration lawyers, immigration advocates, and immigration law professors. Students will apply liberal-arts research and writing skills to draft declarations for asylum petitioners, and they will work in teams on several cases during the semester, participating in intake interviews with clients to hearings before an immigration judge.

MUS-142 Music and Social Justice

T/TH 9:40 - 11:10

A. 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.

RHMS-313 Politics of Public Memory

W 6:00 - 9:00

M. Reyes

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.

SOAN-251 Myth, Ritual, and Symbol

M/W/F 11:30 - 12:30

B. Podobnik

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.

SPAN-370 Latin America/Spain: Enlightenment to Present

T/TH 9:40 - 11:10

F. Vilches

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.

TH-382 American Theatre and Drama: 19thC to Present

T/TH 11:30 - 1:00

J. Tamimi

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.

 A minimum of 24 semester credits distributed as follows:

One course chosen from the following:

  • HIST 240 Race and Ethnicity in the United States
  • HIST 243 African American History Since 1863
  • SOAN 225 Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective

ETHS 400 Topics in Race and Ethnic Studies (4 credits)

16 elective semester credits from the departmental listings

  • No more than 2 courses from any one department
  • At least one of the elective courses must be at the 300 or 400 level

12 semester credits must be exclusive to the minor

Starting in 2023-24:

A minimum of 24 semester credits, distributed as follows (12 semester credits must be exclusive to the minor):

Core class (4 credits): ETHS 2XX: Introduction to Ethnic Studies

20 elective credits from ETHS courses or departmental listings

  • No more than 3 courses can be applied to the minor from any one department.
  • At least 2 of the elective courses must be at the 300 or 400 level, one of which must include a capstone project (see below).

Capstone Project:

Junior or senior standing is required. A capstone project consists of one of the following and must be approved by the director of the Ethnic Studies program:

  • An Ethnic Studies focused thesis and/or honors project, or a major research-based assignment in a 300/400-level course in any department or program.
  • Chairing the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies (ETHS 345).
  • A student-designed capstone project using the methods of Ethnic Studies, pre-approved by the Ethnic Studies director and supervised as an independent study by Ethnic Studies faculty. This could include an independent study, practicum, or internship, and should only be pursued if none of the previously listed options are available.