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Graduate Courses

The following is a list of all courses currently offered within the Ethnic Studies Department. For syllabi from additional past courses, visit the Graduate Studies Syllabi page. For information on undergraduate courses, visit the Undergraduate Courses and syllabi pages.


Departures: A Genealogy of Critical Racial and Ethnic Studies (4) Introduction to critical racial and ethnic studies and how this perspective departs from traditional constructions of race and culture; examination of relevant studies to identify themes, concepts, and formulations that indicate the critical departures that characterize the field. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.


Formulations: Interdisciplinarity and Knowledge Production in Ethnic Studies (4) This course uses model studies to explore how comparative and relational problems are posed as research projects, how research questions are constructed, and how they employ theory to frame the project and establish what is at stake in the research. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.


Projects (ProSeminar): Research in Ethnic Studies (4) Students examine research designs presented by faculty and advanced graduate students to study how to conceive of and pose research questions, integrate theoretical and methodological models, and conceptualize their own research project. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.


Representing Native America (4) This course provides an introduction to the history and theory of museum representation of American Indians in order to explore its relation to colonialism and decolonization. In addition to a wide-ranging look at the complex foundations of systems of representing Indians and Indianness, the course includes a study of a specific art form and history of a specific Native American community that will allow the class to create new approaches to designing a museum exhibition. 


Representing Native America - Exhibition Design (4) This course follows the introduction to the history and theory of museum representation of American Indians in order to explore its relation to colonialism and decolonization (Part 1). Students will develop the proposals they completed in Part 1 of the course, finishing with curatorial briefs for an exhibition of Native American art with a partner museum incorporating new and decolonizing approaches to representation.

ETHN 230

Departmental Colloquium (1) The departmental colloquium is a forum for the presentation of recent research by guests, faculty, and students. May be taken for credit six times. For more information, visit the Colloquium page. 

ETHN 252

Race, Gender, and Space(4) This course offers scholars of race, gender, and sexuality an introduction to spatial theory and geographic methodologies. Particular attention will be given to theories of spatial formation, the interplay of social and spatial mobility and containment, and alternative spatio-political imaginaries.

ETHN 255

Race and Psychoanalysis (4)This seminar explores the centrality of race to the formation of the discipline of psychoanalysis as well as the relevance of psychoanalysis to the study of race, gender and sexuality. We will read key texts by Freud, Lacan and Fanon and follow the development of their ideas in the works of late 20th and 21st century scholars like Spillers, Marriott, Judy, Seshadri-Crooks, Eng and Mercer.

ETHN 256

Gender, Sexuality, and Race (4) This course studies the body cross-culturally as a site for the construction of gender, sex, ethnic, and racial identities. 

ETHN 257 A-B

Social Theory (4-4) This course is an intensive survey of social and cultural theory, focusing on how constructions of science, language, politics, and social inequality shaped early modernity, Romantic Nationalism, Marxism, cultural relativity, psychoanalysis, and fin de siècle social thought. The second quarter surveys poststructuralist, postmodern, feminist, Subaltern Studies, globalization, and other critiques. ETHN 257A is not a prerequisite for ETHN 257B. 

ETHN 260

Transnationalism and Borderlands: The Local and Global (4) This course critically reviews the analytical frameworks of transnationalism and borderlands. The goals are to assess traditional and current social science practice on immigration, identity, and community studies, and to understand how diverse peoples engage and participate in global processes.

ETHN 265

Critical Immigration and Refugee Studies (4) This course surveys the field of immigration and refugee studies and introduces students to recent theories and cutting-edge research in the field. Key topics: gender and migration; diaspora and transnationalism; immigration, race, and citizenship; and globalization and immigrant labor. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

ETHN 266

Popular Culture and Pedagogy (4) This course examines popular culture as a site of domination and resistance, and pedagogy broadly as (always political) education projets in a variety of social contexts, with a focus on youth popular culture in U.S. urban public schools. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

ETHN 267

History and Memory (4) We analyze how concepts of power and memory are appropriated in diverse narratives: literature, theater, personal testimonies, monuments, museums, memorials; and examine how mutually constituted processes of remembering/forgetting work to to produce official discourses of nationalism, colonialism, violence, and construction of subaltern subjectivities. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

ETHN 268

Theories and Cultures of US Imperialism (4) How did the United States become an empire?  This course approaches the historical and contemporary problem of the United States as an imperial power through analyses of hierarchies and cultures at home and outside of formal U.S. borders.

ETHN 270

Indigenous Epistemologies and Their Disruptions (4) This seminar will explore indigenous epistemologies, their ontological dimensions, the methodological issues surrounding related research, and their significance in relation to the production of knowledge and the histories, presents, and futures of Native American and Indigenous people. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

ETHN 275

Marxist Thought (4) This seminar examines critical exgagements between scholarship from postcolonial, feminist and other radical Marxist traditions. We focus on philosophical and political debates stemming from issues of race and gender, tracing them in Marx's texts and their historical contexts. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

ETHN 280

Black Thought: Roots and Routes (4) This course explores major currents in Black intellectual history, and some paths less well tread, structured thematically, geographically, and chronologically from the Nineteenth Century to the present. Students read foundational primary sources and contemporary scholarly studies of African Diasporic texts. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

ETHN 289

Topics in Ethnic Studies Research (4) This course is a research seminar on themes of contemporary and historic importance in ethnic studies. Themes will be determined by instructor. Course may be repeated three times for credit.

ETHN 291

Comprehensive Examination Preparation (4) Organized group preparation for Comprehensive Examination.

ETHN 298

Directed Reading (1-12) This course is an independent research or individual guided tutorial in an area not covered by present course offerings. This course may be repeated for an indefinite number of times due to the independent nature of the content of the course.

ETHN 299

Thesis Research (1-12) This course is open to graduate students conducting doctoral thesis research. This course may be repeated for an indefinite number of times due to the independent nature of thesis research and writing.

ETHN 500

Apprentice Teaching in Ethnic Studies (4) This is a course in which teaching assistants are aided in learning proper teaching methods by means of supervision of their work by the faculty: handling of discussions, preparation and grading of examinations and other written exercises, and student relations.

ETIM 289

Interdisciplinary Methods Seminar, Special Topics (4) Training in interdisciplinary methods, including: 1) the integration of multiple methods and disciplinary frames and the use of hybrid sources; 2) critiques of narrow disciplinarity; and 3) strategies for applying mixed methods and frames to bear on a research problem. Special topic themes will be determined by instructor.