900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
The American Ethnic Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the rich cultural heritage of peoples of color in the United States as well as the body of scholarship and theory that has emerged around global and national issues of race and ethnicity. One focus of the program is the study of the broad historical, social, cultural traditions, and dynamics of race and ethnicity in America as a foundation for the exploration of more specialized topics.
College offerings cover a broad range of topics, primarily in the humanities, but also in contemporary areas of social, political and economic development. These include history, anthropology, art history, rhetoric and communications, politics, religion, sociology, and literature. A major focus of the program is the comparative experiences of various communities of color within the traditional Ethnic Studies categories: American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos/Latinas.
* Only when this particular topic is taught.
The nature of majority–minority relations in society are explored with a focus on the causes and consequences of prejudice, discrimination and racism, with special attention on the increasing importance of institutionalized racism in contemporary American society. Attention is also paid to how race relations have changed over time and the differences in the experiences of immigrant and racial minorities. Studies on race relations are explored from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Freshmen and Sophomores only.
Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society.
This course provides the flexibility to offer introductory topics of interest in American Ethnic Studies. The course may study a particular topic within American Ethnic Studies, or offer a survey of topics within American Ethnic Studies. Prerequisite: Closed to junior and seniors, except by consent of instructor.
This course examines the historical, political and social dynamics of race and ethnicity in the United States. It investigates the creation and effects of these social concepts on the experiences, identities and relations of various peoples, as well as the culture and structures of society. The course will focus on the various ways race and ethnicity are recreated in society, particularly by the media, and the way these "social constructions" perpetuate privilege and social inequality. It will critically investigate the myths and contradictions of race and ethnicity, and will attempt to understand what purposes they serve in a "color-bound" contemporary U.S. society. Understanding Society.
Prerequisite: Freshmen and Sophomores only or consent of instructor.
This course offers a survey of the dynamic, changing cultures of Native North America, from the time of the first peopling of the continent to the present day. The approach emphasizes the diversity of these cultures, as well as the complexity of the relationships between Native American and non-native peoples. Particular attention given to Oregon and the Northwest.
Mode of Inquiry: Thinking Historically; Understanding Society; Indigenous Peoples and Cultures Cluster
Prerequisite: ANTH 150 recommended.
This course is a historical-critical survey of the public discourse of Latino/Latinas in the United States from colonial times to the present. As such, we will focus significantly on such issues as language, establishment of identities, civil rights, immigration, the formation of communities, political participation, and cultural assimilation. In order to accomplish our task we will study the historical context of the discourse, prominent rhetors, and various pieces of discourse. Analyzing the environment out of which discourse springs, contributors to voice, and the arguments, styles, themes, and issues articulated is crucial for understanding Latino/Latina voices in the United States. This course will also count toward the Rhetoric and Media Studies major.
Mode of Inquiry: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values and Interpreting Texts
This seminar is designed to introduce students to the field of museum anthropology and to the theoretical and practical dimensions of museum studies. As an applied research experience, it offers the opportunity to do hands-on work with the Native American collection and exhibition program at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Topics include the application of contemporary anthropological theory to work in museums, particularly in terms of issues of cultural representation, ethics, fieldwork, and museum display. Students will learn and apply skills in collections and archival management, exhibition development, and museum public programming.
In this course, students will become familiar with the theoretical and methodological approaches in the interdisciplinary and evolving field of Ethnic Studies. It examines the key theories and methods that give voice to the realities of people of color, as well as group relations and resistance to inequality. This course analyzes the major theoretical paradigms for understanding race and ethnicity, evaluating the strengths and limitations for each framework in helping to bring about social change. It also explores and utilizes the methods of social science, recognizing the role, contribution and imitations of scientific inquiry for interpreting social reality. Other epistemological approaches will be assessed to determine what they bring to bare on empirical realities.
Prerequisite: AES 150; junior/senior standing; and at least one elective course in AES.
A study of modern/contemporary literature written by African-Americans. Formal and thematic analysis of the novel with secondary examples from folktale, lyric and drama.
Prerequisite: A 100-level Literature course and a minimum of sophomore standing
This course provides the flexibility to offer special topics of interest in American Ethnic Studies. The course may study a particular topic within American Ethnic Studies, or a particular problem dealing with American Ethnic Studies methods and/or theory in depth.
Prerequisite: Prior coursework in American Ethnic Studies encouraged. Closed to first year students, except by consent of instructor.
This course focuses upon environmental and human rights issues affecting indigenous peoples worldwide. Using the cross-cultural, comparative and field-based perspectives that distinguish anthropology, this course examines some of the most pressing problems facing the world’s indigenous peoples, explores strategies used by these groups in facing human rights and environmental violations, and offers students the opportunity to study about and take action on these issues. Case studies of specific indigenous groups will be drawn from different world areas, including North and South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia.
Prerequisite: Prior coursework in Anthropology or Environmental Studies required
Mode of Inquiry: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons and Values. Indigenous Peoples and Cultures Cluster, Environmental Cluster
Exploration of traditions in America's multicultural literatures: literary representations of relations between and within different ethnic and racial groups. Texts and emphases will vary.
Prerequisite: A 100-level literature course
This course examines the experience of African Americans in the United States from 1619 to the end of the Civil War. Course topics will include the Atlantic Slave Trade, the relationship between slavery and racism, the development of free black communities in the North and South, slave religion, patterns of slave resistance and accommodation, the emergence of a shared African-American culture in the 18th century, and the African-American role in both the abolitionist movement and the Civil War.
This course examines the experience of African Americans in the United States from Reconstruction to the present. Course topics will include Reconstruction, the Jim Crow period, the Great migration, the urban experience, the Civil Rights Movement, and African American leadership.
This course provides an opportunity for students to engage an area or topic of their choice in American Ethnic Studies, through a program of directed reading, research and writing, discussion and peer review. It involves developing and presenting a major research paper under the close supervision of an AES faculty member, sometimes in consultation with faculty teaching senior seminars outside of the AES program. This process is intended to deepen students' insight into the perspectives, theory and methods of AES; hone their skills of critical thinking; sharpen their abilities to analyze theory and test ideas through research; and ensure that their research designs and methodologies are effective and appropriate.
Prerequisite: AES 150 and AES 335; senior standing