How do we understand the meaning(s) of race and ethnicity, their construction and practice in a contemporary U.S.? This course examines the construction and meanings about the concepts of race and ethnicity and how they manifest as race/ethnic identity and racialized ethnic relations in the U.S. We will pay close attention to their intersection with structures of gender, class and migration to evaluate how they relate in shaping understandings about identity as well as their consequential impact on social, economic, political and cultural life. The social meanings of these concepts are largely assumed to be understood (and misunderstood) and are part of our “common sense”. In this class, our readings and discussions will compel us to complicate what we think about these concepts and, just as important, assist in our abilities to discuss them with one another. A key question that should guide your preparations in readings and for our class meetings is:
What are the ways that race and ethnicity, in identity formation, inter/intra-relations and as ideology, shape our mobility, rights and sense of belonging?
This is an upper-division course – students should be prepared to:
Complete readings and assess them analytically in class discussions. As a result, lectures will not fully cover readings, but attempt to synthesize key ideas.
Conduct independent work and research and work on a final research project.
This course requires several writing assignments that develop skills in critical reasoning. A basic familiarity with discourses in race, ethnicity, and gender as well as studies in labor, inequality and globalization is indeed helpful, though not required. Class participation is important. You are encouraged to share your observations and insights with members of our class. At all times, you must do so in a respectful tone and conscientious manner towards your peers and professor.
*Note: Padelford has 3 wings: A,B and C. The easiest way to find my office - A517 - is to enter Padelford via the entrance near Hall Health. This is the A wing. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and turn left when you exit. My office is to your right, just four office doors past the elevator."