Ethnicity and Race Studies

Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race: 423 Hamilton; 212-854-0507
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cser/

Program Director: Prof. Frances Negrón-Muntaner, 422 Hamilton; 212-854-0507; fn2103@columbia.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Catherine Fennell, 957 Schermerhorn Extension; 212-854-7752; ckf2106@columbia.edu

Founded in 1999, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER) is an interdisciplinary intellectual space whose mission is to advance the most innovative teaching, research, and public discussion about race and ethnicity. To promote its mission, the Center organizes conferences, seminars, exhibits, film screenings, and lectures that bring together faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Moreover, CSER partners with departments, centers, and institutes at Columbia, as well as with colleagues and organizations on and off campus, in order to reach new audiences and facilitate an exchange of knowledge.

Programs of Study

The ethnicity and race studies major encompasses a variety of fields and interdisciplinary approaches to the critical study of ethnicity and race. What makes CSER unique is its attention to the comparative study of racial and ethnic categories in the production of social identities, power relations, and forms of knowledge in a multiplicity of contexts including the arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. In addition to the major, CSER also offers a concentration in ethnicity and race studies.

In both the major and concentration, students have the opportunity to select from the following areas of specialization:

  • Asian American studies;
  • Comparative ethnic studies;
  • Latino/a studies;
  • Native American/Indigenous studies.

Faculty and students find this field exciting and important because it opens up new ways of thinking about two fundamental aspects of human social existence: race and ethnicity. Although various traditional disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, and literature, among others, offer valuable knowledge on race and ethnicity, ethnicity and race studies provides a flexible interdisciplinary and comparative space to bring the insights of various conceptual frameworks and disciplines together in critical dialogue.

Overall, this program introduces students to the study of ethnicity and race, and the deep implications of the subject matter for thinking about human bodies, identity, culture, social hierarchy, and the formation of political communities. The major encourages students to consider the repercussions of racial and ethnic identifications to local and global politics, and how race and ethnicity relates to gender, sexuality, and social class, among other forms of hierarchical difference.

Students majoring in ethnicity and race studies may focus their work on specific groups, such as Asian Americans, Latinos, or Native Americans; or a comparative study of how race and ethnicity are formed and how conceptions of race and ethnicity transform and change over time and place. Students also have the option of designing an individualized course of study, which may encompass a wide variety of themes. Among the most studied are those involving the relationship between race, ethnicity and law; health; human rights; urban spaces; cultural production; visual culture; and the environment.

Due to its rigorous curriculum, which trains students in theory, history, and a wide range of modes of inquiry, the major enables students to follow multiple directions after graduation. According to our internal surveys, nearly half of CSER students continue to Ph.D. programs in history, anthropology, and ethnic studies, among other areas. A second significant number of students continue on to professions most notably related to law, public policy, medicine, human rights, community organizing, journalism, and the environment.

Study Abroad

Students are highly encouraged to participate in study abroad programs, as they represent an exciting opportunity to learn new languages and live in countries that are germane to their areas of study. In addition, traveling abroad can enrich every student's intellectual experience by providing an opportunity to learn about other perspectives on ethnicity and race.

In the past, students have participated in study abroad programs in Australia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and South Africa. To ensure that study abroad complements the major and integrates effectively with the requirements of the major, students are encouraged to consult with CSER's undergraduate adviser as early in their academic program as possible. The director of undergraduate studies can advise students on what may be exciting programs for their areas.

Departmental Honors

CSER majors may choose to write and/or produce an honors project. If a monograph, the honors thesis is expected to be 35-50 pages in length. Honors projects can also take other forms, such as video or websitesThese projects also require a written component, but of a shorter length than the traditional thesis. During their senior year, honors students perform research as part of CSER W3990 Senior Project Seminar. Senior projects are due in early April.

In order to qualify for departmental honors, students must satisfy all the requirements for the major, maintain a GPA of at least 3.6 in the major, and complete a high quality honors project. In addition, each student is expected to meet periodically with his or her supervising project adviser and preceptor. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year.

Executive Committee

  • Catherine Fennel (Anthropology) 
  • John Gamber (English and Comparative Literature) 
  • Karl Jacoby (History)
  • Claudio Lomnitz (Anthropology) 
  • Frances Negrón-Muntaner (English and Comparative Literature) 
  • Mae Ngai (History)
  • Ana Maria Ochoa (Ethnomusicology) 
  • Gary Okihiro (School of International and Public Affairs) 
  • Gray Tuttle (East Asian Languages and Cultures) 
  • Christopher Washburne (Ethnomusicology)

Affiliated Faculty

  • Rachel Adams (English and Comparative Literature)
  • Carlos Alonso (Latin American and Iberian Cultures)
  • Christina Burnett (Law School)
  • Nadia Abu El-Haj (Anthropology, Barnard)
  • Kevin Fellezs (Music)
  • Kaiama L. Glover (French, Barnard)
  • Steven Gregory (Anthropology)
  • Kim Hall (English, Barnard)
  • Marianne Hirsch (English and Comparative Literature)
  • Maja Horn (Spanish and Latin American Cultures, Barnard)
  • Jean Howard (English and Comparative Literature)
  • Elizabeth Hutchinson (Art History, Barnard)
  • Clara Irazabal Zurita (Architecture, Planning and Preservation)
  • Ira Katznelson (Political Science)
  • George Lewis (Music)
  • Natasha Lightfoot (History)
  • Jose Moya (History, Barnard)
  • Celia Naylor (History, Barnard)
  • Greg Pflugfelder (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Pablo Piccato (History)
  • Caterina Pizzigoni (History)
  • Elizabeth A. Povinelli (Anthropology)
  • Bruce Robbins (English and Comparative Literature)
  • Samuel Roberts (History)
  • Joseph Slaughter (English and Comparative Literature)
  • Audra Simpson (Anthropology)
  • Neferti X.M. Tadiar (Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Barnard)
  • Dennis Tenen (English and Comparative Literature)

Major in Ethnicity and Race Studies

The major in ethnicity and race studies consists of a minimum of 27 points. Students take three core courses and write a senior research project. Following the core courses, students take a minimum of four elective courses, one of which must be a seminar:

Core Courses
CSER W1040Critical Approaches to the Study of Ethnicity and Race
or CSER W1010 Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies
CSER W3919Modes of Inquiry
CSER W3928Colonization/Decolonization
Specialization
Students must complete at least four courses, in consultation with their major adviser, in one of the following areas of specialization:
Asian American studies
Comparative ethnic studies
Latino/a studies
Native American/Indigenous studies
Individualized courses of study
Senior Research Project
CSER W3990Senior Project Seminar
The final requirement for the major is completion of a senior essay, to be written in the spring of the senior year. All CSER seniors are expected to present their paper at the annual undergraduate symposium in April. Students may fulfill this requirement in one of the following two ways:
1. By matriculating in the Senior Thesis course and writing the thesis under the supervision of the course faculty.
2. By taking an additional 4-point seminar where a major paper is required and further developing the paper into a thesis length work (minimum of 30 pages) under the supervision of a CSER faculty member.
Language Courses
One of the following is highly recommended, although not required for the major:
One course beyond the intermediate-level in language pertinent to the student's focus
An introductory course in a language other than that used to fulfill the degree requirements, but that is pertinent to the student's focus
A linguistics or other course that critically engages language
An outside language and study abroad programs that include an emphasis on language acquisition

Concentration in Ethnicity and Race Studies

The requirements for this program were modified on September 19, 2014. Students who declared this program before this date should contact the director of undergraduate studies for the department in order to confirm their correct course of study.

The concentration in ethnicity and race studies requires a minimum of 19 points. Students take two core courses and four elective courses, one of which must be a seminar:

Core Courses
CSER W1040Critical Approaches to the Study of Ethnicity and Race
or CSER W1010 Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies
CSER W3928Colonization/Decolonization
Specialization
Students must complete at least four courses, in consultation with their major adviser, in one of the following areas of specialization:
Asian American studies
Comparative ethnic studies
Latino/a studies
Native American/Indigenous studies
Individualized courses of study

Fall 2016

Ethnicity and Race Studies

CSER W1010 Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement, Discussion Section Required
Students MUST register for a Discussion Section.

Introduction to the field of comparative ethnic studies.

Fall 2016: CSER W1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 1010 001/10979 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Deborah Paredez 4 97/200

CSER W1601 Introduction to Latino/a Studies. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement, SIPA: United States
Enrollment limited to 101.Not offered during 2016-17 academic year.

This course provides an introductory, interdisciplinary discussion of the major issues surrounding this nation's Latino population. The focus is on social scientific perspectives utilized by scholars in the field of Latino Studies. Major demographic, social, economic, and political trends are discussed. Key topics covered in the course include: the evolution of Latino identity and ethnicity; the main Latino sub-populations in the United States; the formation of Latino communities in the United States; Latino immigration; issues of race and ethnicity within the Latino population; socioeconomic status and labor force participation of Latinos; Latino social movements; and the participation of Latinos in U.S. civil society.

CSER W3490 Post 9/11 Immigration Policies. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 22.

Since September 11, 2001, there has been an avalanche of immigration enforcement policies and initiatives proposed or implemented under the guise of national security. This course will analyze the domino effect of the Patriot Act, the Absconder Initiative, Special Registration, the Real I.D. Act, border security including the building of the 700-mile fence along the U.S./Mexico border, Secured Communities Act-that requires the cooperation of state and local authorities in immigration enforcement, the challenge to birthright citizenship, and now the congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization. Have these policies been effective in combating the war on terrorism and promoting national security? Who stands to benefit from these enforcement strategies? Do immigrant communities feel safer in the U.S.? How have states joined the federal bandwagon of immigration enforcement or created solutions to an inflexible, broken immigration system?

Fall 2016: CSER W3490
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3490 001/12193 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Elizabeth OuYang 4 22/22

CSER W3904 Rumor and Racial Conflict. 4 points.

This course will take a transnational look at the strange ways that race and mass rumors have interacted. From the judicial and popular riots in the U.S. justified by recurrent rumors of African-American insurrection, to accusations that French Jews were players in the 'white slave trade,' to tales of white fat-stealing monsters among indigenous people of Bolivia and Peru, rumors play a key role in constructing, enforcing, and contesting regimes of racial identity and domination. In order to grasp rumor's importance for race, we will need to understand how it works, so our readings will cover both instances of racialized rumor-telling, conspiracy theories and mass panics, and some key approaches to how rumors work as a social phenomenon. The instructor will expect you to post a response to the reading on Courseworks each week and to engage actively in class discussion. There will be an in-class midterm exam, and you will be able to choose between writing an independent research project or doing a take-home exam.

CSER W3905 Asian Americans and the Psychology of Race. 4 points.

This seminar provides an introduction to mental health issues for Asian Americans.  In particular, it focuses on the psychology of Asian Americans as racial/ethnic minorities in the United States by exploring a number of key concepts: immigration, racialization, prejudice, family, identity, pathology, and loss.  We will examine the development of identity in relation to self, family, college, and society.  Quantitative investigation, qualitative research, psychology theories of multiculturalism, and Asian American literature will also be integrated into the course.

CSER W3916 Native American and Indigenous Film. 4 points.

This course will examine filmic representations by Native American and Indigenous filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, and directors in order to query the ways that these Native artists construct and communicate Indigenous self, community, and nation. In many ways, these films serve to counter certain stereotypes of Native people, especially those found in films throughout cinematic history, serving a pedagogical purpose for outgroup, non-Native audiences. However, many, especially more recent, works move away from such autoethnographic purposes, targeting Indigenous audiences and participating in allusive conversations with and between Indigenous artistic works from a variety of genres.

Fall 2016: CSER W3916
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3916 001/25399 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
John Gamber 4 22/22

CSER W3919 Modes of Inquiry. 4 points.

Lab Required

Corequisites: CSER W3921 Modes of Inquiry-Lab, which takes place on Mondays 2:10-3:10pm (meets five times a semester).

This class, a combination of a seminar and a workshop, will prepare students to conduct, write up, and present original research. It has several aims and goals. First, the course introduces students to a variety of ways of thinking about knowledge as well as to specific ways of knowing and making arguments key to humanistic and social science fields. Second, this seminar asks students to think critically about the approaches they employ in pursuing their research. The course will culminate in a semester project, not a fully executed research project, but rather an 8-10 page proposal for research that will articulate a question, provide basic background on the context that this question is situated in, sketch preliminary directions and plot out a detailed methodological plan for answering this question. Students will be strongly encouraged to think of this proposal as related to their thesis or senior project. Over the course of the semester, students will also produce several short exercises to experiment with research techniques and genres of writing.

Fall 2016: CSER W3919
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3919 001/65018 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Sayantani DasGupta 4 15/15

CSER W3921 Modes of Inquiry-Lab. 0 points.

Corequisites: CSER W3919 Modes of Inquiry.

This lab session meets 5 times a semester, for an hour.

Fall 2016: CSER W3921
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3921 001/13294 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
0 12/15

CSER W3922 Asian American Cinema. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 22.

This seminar focuses on the critical analysis of Asian representation and participation in Hollywood by taking a look at how mainstream American cinema continues to essentialize the Asian and how Asian American filmmakers have responded to Hollywood Orientalist stereotypes. We will analyze various issues confronting the Asian American, including yellowface, white patriarchy, male and female stereotypes, the “model minority” myth, depictions of “Chinatowns,” panethnicity, the changing political interpretations of the term "Asian American" throughout American history, gender and sexuality, and cultural hegemonies and privileging within the Asian community.

Fall 2016: CSER W3922
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3922 001/71726 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Eric Gamalinda 4 22/22

CSER W3923 Latina/o and Asian American Memoir. 4 points.

In this class, we will explore Latino and Asian American memoir, focusing on themes of immigration and duality. How do we construct identity and homeland when we are ‘multiple’? How do we define ourselves and how do others define us? By reading some of the most challenging and exciting memoirs by Latino and Asian Americans, we will attempt to answer these questions and/or at least try to understand these transnational and multicultural experiences. This class combines the critical with the creative—students have to read and critic memoirs as well as write a final 10-page nonfiction creative writing piece. Students will also have the opportunity to speak to some Latino and Asian authors in class or via SKYPE. Students will be asked to prepare questions in advance for the author, whose work(s) we will have read and discussed. This usually arises interesting and thought-provoking conversations and debates. This 'Dialogue Series' within the class exposes students to a wide-range of voices and offers them a deeper understanding of the complexity of duality.

Fall 2016: CSER W3923
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3923 001/11815 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Nathalie Handal 4 21/22

CSER W3926 Latin Music and Identity. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Latin music has had a historically strained relationship with mainstream music tastes, exploding in occasional 'boom' periods, and receding into invisibility in others. What if this were true because it is a space for hybrid construction of identity that directly reflects a mixture of traditions across racial lines in Latin America? This course will investigate Latin music's transgression of binary views of race in Anglo-American society, even as it directly affects the development of pop music in America. From New Orleans jazz to Texas corridos, salsa, rock, and reggaeton, Latin music acts as both as a soundtrack and a structural blueprint for the 21st century's multicultural experiment. There will be a strong focus on studying Latin music's political economy, and investigating the story it tells about migration and globalization.

Fall 2016: CSER W3926
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3926 001/24530 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Edward Morales 4 22/22

CSER W3928 Colonization/Decolonization. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 22.

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor's permission.

This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The course ends with a section on decolonization and post-colonialism in the period after World War II. Intensive reading and discussion of primary documents.

Spring 2016: CSER W3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/71996 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Mae Ngai 4 23/8
Fall 2016: CSER W3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/77601 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Mae Ngai 4 17/22

CSER W3935 Historical Anthropology of the US-Mexico Border. 4 points.

Not offered during 2016-17 academic year.

Beginning in the 1980s, border crossing became an academic rage in the humanities and the social sciences. This was a consequence of globalization, an historical process that reconfigured the boundaries between economy, society, and culture; and it was also a primary theme of post-modernist aesthetics, which celebrated playful borrowing of multiple and diverse historical references. Within that frame, interest in the US-Mexican border shifted dramatically. Since that border is the longest and most intensively crossed boundary between a rich and a poor country, it became a paradigmatic point of reference. Places like Tijuana or El Paso, with their rather seedy reputation, had until then been of interest principally to local residents, but they now became exemplars of post-modern “hybridity,” and were meant to inspire the kind of transnational scholarship that is required in today’s world. Indeed, the border itself became a metaphor, a movable imaginary boundary that marks ethnic and racial distinction in American and Mexican cities. This course is an introduction to the historical formation of the US-Mexican border.

CSER W4482 Indigenous People's Rights: From Local Identities to the Global Indigenous Movement. 4 points.

Indigenous Peoples, numbering more that 370 million in some 90 countries and about 5000 groups and representing a great part of the world’s human diversity and cultural heritage, continue to raise major controversies and to face threats to their physical and cultural existence. The main task of this course is to explore the complex historic circumstances and political actions that gave rise to the international Indigenous movement through the human rights agenda and thus also produced a global Indigenous identity on all continents, two intertwined and deeply significant phenomena over the past fifty years.  We will analyze the achievements, challenges and potential of the dynamic interface between the Indigenous Peoples’ movement-one of the strongest social movements of our times- and the international community, especially the United Nations system. Centered on the themes laid out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), the course will examine how Indigenous Peoples have been contesting and reshaping norms, institutions and global debates in the past 50 years, re-shaping and gradually decolonizing international institutions and how they have contributed to some of the most important contemporary debates, including human rights, development,  law, and specifically the concepts of self-determination, governance, group rights, inter-culturality and pluriculturality, gender, land, territories and natural resources, cultural rights, intellectual property, health, education, the environment and climate justice. The syllabus will draw on a variety of academic literature, case studies and documentation of Indigenous organizations, the UN and other intergovernmental organizations as well as States from different parts of the world. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with Indigenous leaders and representatives of international organizations and States and will be encouraged to attend the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Select short films will be shown and discussed in class.

CSER W4701 Troubling the Color: Passing, Inter-racial Sex, and Ethnic Ambiguity. 4 points.

Passing, remarked W.E.B. Du Bois in 1929, “is a petty, silly matter of no real importance which another generation will comprehend with great difficulty.”  Yet passing and related phenomena such as intermarriage continue to raise profound challenges to the U.S.’s racial hierarchy.  How does one differentiate the members of one race from another?  What happens when an individual’s background combines several supposed races?  What do such uncertainties suggest as to the stability of race as a concept?  How might racial passing intersect with other forms of reinvention (women passing as men, queers passing as straight, Jews passing as gentiles)?  Is passing, as Langston Hughes once put it, an ethical response to the injustices of white supremacy: “Most Negroes feel that bigoted white persons deserve to be cheated and fooled since the way they behave towards us makes no moral sense at all”?  Or are passers turning their backs on African-American notions of community and solidarity?  Such dilemmas rendered passing a potent topic not only for turn-of-the-century policy makers but artists and intellectuals as well.  The era’s literature and theater referenced the phenomenon, and celebrated cases of racial passing riveted the public’s attention.  This class will address the complex historical, artistic, and cultural issues that passing has raised in American life.

Fall 2016: CSER W4701
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4701 001/25511 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Karl Jacoby 4 13/20

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

EEEB W4321 Human Nature: DNA, Race & Identity. 4 points.

The course focuses on human identity, beginning with the individual and progressing to communal and global viewpoints using a framework of perspectives from biology, genetics, medicine, psychiatry, religion and the law.

Spring 2016: EEEB W4321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4321 001/22892 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Robert Pollack, Marya Pollack 4 11
Fall 2016: EEEB W4321
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EEEB 4321 001/10699 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Robert Pollack, Marya Pollack 4 15

Spring 2016

Ethnicity and Race Studies

CSER W1011 Introduction to Asian American Studies. 4 points.

This course provides an overview of Asian/ Pacific American history from the late 18th Century until the present day. The course follows a thematic format that begins with European and American empires in Asia and the Pacific. The course surveys significant and interrelated topics -- including anti-Asian movements, immigration and exclusion, various forms of resistance, Orientalism, media representations, the model minority myth, the Asian American movement, identity, and racial, ethnic, and generational conflicts -- in Asian/ Pacific American history of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Each of these concepts and topics will resonant, in various expressions and forms, well into the 21st Century and beyond.

Spring 2016: CSER W1011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 1011 001/17383 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
420 Hamilton Hall
Daniel Inouye 4 12/24

CSER W1040 Critical Approaches to the Study of Ethnicity and Race. 0 points.

This course provides an introduction to central approaches and concepts animating the investigation of race and ethnicity. We will not treat either of these categories of difference as a given, nor as separable from other axes of social difference. Rather, we will apply an interdisciplinary and intersectional framework to illuminate how these concepts have come to emerge and cohere within a number of familiar and less familiar socio-cultural and historical contexts. We will consider how racial and ethnic differentiation as fraught but powerful processes have bolstered global labor regimes and imperial expansion projects; parsed, managed, and regulated populations; governed sexed and gendered logics of subject and social formation; and finally, opened and constrained axes of self-understanding, political organization, and social belonging. Special attention will be given to broadening students' understanding of racial and ethnic differentiation beyond examinations of identity. Taken together, theoretical and empirical readings, discussions, and outside film screenings will prepare students for further coursework in race and ethnic studies, as well as fields such as literary studies, women’s studies, history, sociology, and anthropology.

Spring 2016: CSER W1040
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 1040 001/62794 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
503 Hamilton Hall
John Gamber 0 17/22

CSER W3701 US Latina/o Cultural Production. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 22.

The course will investigate the possibility that hybrid constructions of identity among Latinos in the U.S. are the principal driving force behind the cultural production of Latinos in literature and film. There will be readings on the linguistic implications of “Spanglish” and the construction of Latino racial identity, followed by examples of literature, film, music, and other cultural production that provide evidence for bilingual/bicultural identity as a form of adaptation to the U.S. Examples will be drawn from different Latino ethnicities from the Caribbean, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America.

Spring 2016: CSER W3701
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3701 001/28690 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Edward Morales 4 19/22

CSER W3913 Video as Inquiry. 4 points.

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with visual production, particularly video production, as a mode of inquiry to explore questions related to race, ethnicity, indigeneity, and other forms of social hierarchy and difference. The class will include readings in visual production as a mode of inquiry and on the basic craft of video production in various genres (fiction, documentary, and experimental). As part of the course, students will produce a video short and complete it by semester's end.

Spring 2016: CSER W3913
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3913 001/76810 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Frances Negron-Muntaner 4 20/14

CSER W3928 Colonization/Decolonization. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 22.

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor's permission.

This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The course ends with a section on decolonization and post-colonialism in the period after World War II. Intensive reading and discussion of primary documents.

Spring 2016: CSER W3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/71996 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Mae Ngai 4 23/8
Fall 2016: CSER W3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/77601 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Mae Ngai 4 17/22

CSER W3940 Comparative Study of Constitutional Challenges Affecting African, Latino, and Asian American Communities. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

This course will examine how the American legal system decided constitutional challenges affecting the empowerment of African, Latino, and Asian American communities from the 19th century to the present. Focus will be on the role that race, citizenship, capitalism/labor, property, and ownership played in the court decision in the context of the historical, social, and political conditions existing at the time. Topics include the denial of citizenship and naturalization to slaves and immigrants, government sanctioned segregation, the struggle for reparations for descendants of slavery, and Japanese Americans during World War II.

Spring 2016: CSER W3940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3940 001/23272 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Elizabeth OuYang 4 20/22

CSER W3970 Arabs in Literature and Film. 4 points.

This course explores contemporary Arab American and the Arab Diaspora culture and history through literature and film produced by writers and filmmakers of these communities. As a starting historical point, the course explores the idea of Arabness, and examines the Arab migration globally, in particular to the U.S., focusing on three periods: 1875-1945, 1945-early 1960s, and late 1960s-present. By reading and viewing the most exciting and best-known literary works and films produced by these writers and filmmakers, students will attain an awareness of the richness and complexity of these societies. Additionally, students will read historical and critical works to help them have a deeper understanding of theses creative works. Discussions revolve around styles and aesthetics as well as identity and cultural politics. Some of the writers the class will cover include, Wajdi Mouawad, Diana Abu Jaber,  Amin Maalouf, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Anthony Shadid, Hisham Matar, and Adhaf Soueif.

Spring 2016: CSER W3970
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3970 001/11512 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Nathalie Handal 4 12/22

CSER W3990 Senior Project Seminar. 4 points.

The Senior Paper Colloquium will focus primarily on developing students' ideas for their research projects and discussing their written work. The course is designed to develop and hone the skills necessary to complete the senior paper. Students will receive guidance in researching for and writing an advanced academic paper. Conducted as a seminar, the colloquium provides the students a forum in which to discuss their work with each other. The CSER preceptor, who facilitates the colloquium, will also provide students with additional academic support, supplementary to the advice they receive from their individual faculty sponsors. While most of the course will be devoted to the students' work, during the first weeks of the term, students will read and discuss several ethnic studies-oriented texts to gain insight into the kinds of research projects done in the field.

Spring 2016: CSER W3990
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3990 001/12790 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Warren McKinney 4 7/12

CSER W4340 Visionary Medicine: Racial Justice, Health and Speculative Fictions. 4 points.

In Fall 2014, medical students across the U.S. staged die-ins as part of the nationwide #blacklivesmatter protests. The intention was to create a shocking visual spectacle, laying on the line “white coats for black lives.” The images were all over social media: students of all colors, dressed in lab coats, lying prone against eerily clean tile floors, stethoscopes in pockets, hands and around necks. One prone student held a sign reading, “Racism is Real.” These medical students’ collective protests not only created visual spectacle, but produced a dynamic speculative fiction. What would it mean if instead of Michael Brown or Eric Garner or Freddie Gray, these other, more seemingly elite bodies were subjected to police violence? In another viral image, a group of African American male medical students from Harvard posed wearing hoodies beneath their white coats, making clear that the bodies of some future doctors could perhaps be more easily targeted for state-sanctioned brutality. “They tried to bury us,” read a sign held by one of the students, “they didn’t realize we were seeds.” Both medicine and racial justice are acts of speculation; their practices are inextricable from the practice of imagining. By imagining new cures, new discoveries and new futures for human beings in the face of illness, medicine is necessarily always committing acts of speculation. By imagining ourselves into a more racially just future, by simply imagining ourselves any sort of future in the face of racist erasure, social justice activists are similarly involved in creating speculative fictions. This course begins with the premise that racial justice is the bioethical imperative of our time. It will explore the space of science fiction as a methodology of imagining such just futures, embracing the work of Asian- and Afroturism, Cosmos Latinos and Indigenous Imaginaries. We will explore issues including Biocolonialism, Alien/nation, Transnational Labor and Reproduction, the Borderlands and Other Diasporic Spaces. This course will be seminar-style and will make central learner participation and presentation. The seminar will be inter-disciplinary, drawing from science and speculative fictions, cultural studies, gender studies, narrative medicine, disability studies, and bioethics. Ultimately, the course aims to connect the work of science and speculative fiction with on the ground action and organizing.

Spring 2016: CSER W4340
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4340 001/89031 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Sayantani DasGupta 4 20/21

CSER W4483 Subcitizenship. 4 points.

The class will survey the status of groups with compromised citizenship status internationally, including indigenous Bolivians, Indian immigrants to Dubai, and Arabs in France. Then we will look at several different kinds of subcitizenship in the United States, focusing on African Americans, Native Americans, “white trash,” and Chicanos. In the course of the term we will shift between looking at the administrative practices that render people subcitizens, experiences of marginalization, and how contestations such as the DREAM Act movement, the idea of “cultural citizenship” and newly powerful indigenous movements in South America are removing control of citizenship from states, and transforming citizenship for everyone.

Spring 2016: CSER W4483
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4483 001/70644 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Stuart Rockefeller 4 13/22

CSER W4350 Cinema of Subversion: Responses to Authoritarianism in Global Cinema. 4 points.

Russian filmmaker Andre Tarkovsky said that “the artist has no right to an idea in which he is not socially committed.” Argentine filmmaker Fernando Solanas and Spanish-born Octavio Getino postulated an alternative cinema that would spur spectators to political action. In this course we will ask the question: How do authoritarian governments influence the arts, and how do artists respond? We will study how socially committed filmmakers have subverted and redefined cinema aesthetics to challenge authoritarianism and repression. In addition, we will look at how some filmmakers respond to institutional oppression, such as poverty and corruption, even within so-called “free” societies. The focus is on contemporary filmmakers but will also include earlier classics of world cinema to provide historical perspective. The course will discuss these topics, among others: What is authoritarianism, what is totalitarianism, and what are the tools of repression within authoritarian/totalitarian societies? What is Third Cinema, and how does it represent and challenge authoritarianism? How does film navigate the opposition of censorship, propaganda and truth? How do filmmakers respond to repressive laws concerning gender and sexual orientation? How do they deal with violence and trauma? How are memories of repressive regimes reflected in the psyche of modern cinema? And finally, what do we learn about authority, artistic vision, and about ourselves when we watch these films?

Spring 2016: CSER W4350
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4350 001/62201 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Eric Gamalinda 4 14/22

CSER W4051 Narrative, Health and Social Justice. 4 points.

This course will explore the connections between narrative, health, and social justice.  In doing so, it broadens the mandate of narrative medicine – challenging each of us to bring a critical, self-reflective eye to our scholarship, teaching, practice, and organizing.  We will examine such questions as: How do power and hierarchy – on an interpersonal, institutional, cultural, social, or political scale - impact the work of Narrative Medicine? How can we ‘read’ multiple, simultaneous narratives – ie. the individual and the sociopolitical? What are the intersections of Narrative Medicine with health advocacy and activism on local, national, and global levels? How can the pedagogy of Narrative Medicine enact social justice in health care? In other words, how do we teach Narrative Medicine and why? Finally, how are the stories we tell, and are told, manifestations of social injustice?  How can we transform such stories into narratives of justice, health, and change?

Spring 2016: CSER W4051
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4051 001/88247 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Sayantani DasGupta 4 15/16

CSER W4360 American Diva: Gender and Performance. 4 points.

Not offered during 2016-17 academic year.

What makes a diva a diva? How have divas shaped and challenged our ideas about American culture, performance, race, space, and capital during the last century? This seminar explores the central role of the diva—the celebrated, iconic, and supremely skilled female performer—in the fashioning and re-imagining of racial, gendered, sexual, national, temporal, and aesthetic categories in American culture. Students in this course will theorize the cultural function and constitutive aspects of the diva and will analyze particular performances of a range of American divas from the 20th and 21st centuries and their respective roles in (re)defining American popular culture.

Spring 2016: CSER W4360
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4360 001/19694 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Deborah Paredez 4 22/22