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What is Ethnic Studies?

Mirande
Navarro
Rodriguez
Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary social and historical study of how different populations have experienced, survived, and critically engaged the United States nation-building project.  We analyze the social dynamics of race, racism, and various forms of institutionalized violence, including land conquest, racist state violence, Spanish and Euroamerican colonialisms, U.S. imperialism, systemic sexual violence, racial genocide, chattel slavery, gendered militarization, legalized discrimination (apartheid and segregation), white supremacy, and the internalized logics of gender/racial domination and assimilation. We are especially engaged with the creative historical work of social movements, cultural and artistic productions, legal and public policy activisms, indigenous and liberationist epistemologies, community and identity formation, and radical social and political thought. We examine how these different kinds of resistance, persistence, liberation struggle, and radical knowledge production both confront and transform oppressive conditions and create new possibilities for social change.

Individually and collectively, courses in Ethnic Studies forge strong scholarly and intellectual connections between the related fields of Native American, African American, Chicana/o, and Asian American Studies. Ethnic Studies is committed to scholarly excellence, intellectual rigor, and making critical contributions to global discourses regarding the meaning of human freedom. As part of our pedagogical philosophy, we strive to provide an empowering literacy that expands students’ social and political horizons, as well as the creative, critical thinking skills necessary to participate fully in society and the world.