Course Listings

The Center for Ethnic Studies offers courses in the following areas:

Asian Culture (ASN)

In this course students will inquire into the nature of classical traditions of Chinese culture. A range of Chinese texts in translation and associated materials will be explored to develop knowledge of the literary and philosophical foundations of Chinese culture. Lectures and readings are in English.

The Asian American presence from the mid-nineteenth century to the present is studied. Three periods, 1848 to 1943, 1943 to 1965, and 1965 to the present are examined. Topics are desigend to focus on the impact of historical processes on the cultural, economic, and political experiences of diverse Asian American groups in urban and rural communities. The multi-ethnic aspects of Asian American communities are explored.

This course aims to introduce students to the Middle East, from the rise of Islam to contemporary times. It takes a cross-disciplinary approach, designed to allow students the chance to examine the region from a number of different perspectives; not only an historical one, but also those of literature, religion, economics, politics and international relations. It is hoped that at minimum, the course will provide a sound basis by which students might better frame their understanding of the region; at maximum, that it might stimulate a desire to further explore the region in greater depth. Particularly given the tendency of the media to view the region largely in terms of current events, it is hoped that by taking a cross-disciplinary approach, students will come to conceive of the region as multi-dimensional; as a region with rich and varied cultural, historical and intellectual traditions; most importantly, as a region made up of people, of individuals who have many of the same desires and aspirations, the same fears and concerns, as ourselves. Given that the course constitutes a broad cross-disciplinary survey of the Middle East, it will, at times, be necessarily selective, focusing in depth on specific but representative aspects of Middle Eastern civilization. Students are thus encouraged to make reference to the “additional reading list” towards the end of the syllabus. An additional goal of the course is to consider in a more critical way the manner in which the region is portrayed in the media. Thus, periodically, will be examining issues of topical interest.

Representative works reflecting the collective experiences of Asian American writers are analyzed. Fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction written from Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian cultural perspectives are discussed. Prerequisite: ENG 201 or ENG 121 NOTE: ASN 339 satisfies requirements for a third semester of the English sequence.

Africana Studies (AFN)

This is a survey course examining the function and form of African art in its past and present relationships to African cultures. The influence of African art forms on Western art is studied. Lectures, slides and visits to museums and galleries are included.

The aesthetic, cultural, and social contexts of African American art are studied. Comparative studies of the art created by Haitian and African-American artists are included in the course.

African civilizations from the pre-historic cultures in East Africa to the decline of the West African kingdom of Songhai in 1596 are examined.

Africa from the beginnings of the Atlantic slave trade to the end of Colonialism in the late twentieth century is examined. The effect of Colonialism on economic and cultural patterns in the African diaspora is explored.

This course is a systematic examination of the participation of African American people in the political, economic and cultural history of the United States. The involvement of African Americans in abolitionism and in the development of social and cultural institutions in free black communities is analyzed.

Reconstructions I and II, the social Darwinist years, Civil Rights activism of the 1960's, and the cumulative effects of institutionalized racism are set in an historical framework for comparative study. The course examines the impact of urbanization, institutional racism, economic, and political policies on the life experiences of African-Americans. The dynamics of cultural, social, and political interactions within the social structure of the nation since 1865 are analyzed.

This course is a survey of the economic, political and cultural institutions which characterize the present nations of the Caribbean, their antecedents in the post-Emancipation period and the prospects for the future.

This course explores the role of economics, culture, and world diplomacy in the development of the Republic of Haiti since the Revolution of 1791. The impact of Haitian intellectual and popular thought on prose, poetry, and art is examined.

The changing status of women in African traditional societies is compared with changes in the status of Black women in the United States, the Caribbean, and Brazil.

The effects of economic and social factors on socialization, status, and levels of achievement among Black men are analyzed. The impact of institutional racism and underachievement on urbanized populations is explored in terms of access, social status, and economic differentials.

The origins of nationalist ideologies, and political and social action in the United States, Caribbean, and Africa are examined. Political and economic developments since the late 19th century are analyzed.

Current theories of socialization, cultural transformation, and poverty are assessed. Field visits to recognized agencies and institutions are arranged under supervision of the instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of the center

Current theories of socialization, cultural transformation, and poverty are assessed. Field visits to recognized agencies and institutions are arranged under supervision of the instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of the center

The Black family in current urban/suburban settings and the effects of changing value systems, the single-parent family, crises in education, and economic stability are examined. Field visits to selected agencies and institutions are required.

This course is a survey of fiction, poetry, and commentary by African American writers from the 18th century through the Harlem Renaissance to 1940.
Prerequisite: ENG 201

This course is a survey of fictional and non- fictional writing by African Americans from 1940 to the present.
Prerequisite: ENG 201

The course examines the emergence and growth of a distinct regional literature in English and French speaking nations.
Prerequisite: ENG 201

Africana/ Latino Studies (AFL)

This course introduces the subject of urban economics in historical and social contexts rather than as a strict analytical discipline. The causes and existence of poverty in cities, the management of federal, state and local government programs, the financing of Black enterprises, and conditions of social welfare are considered. Solutions toward developing neglected economics of urban communities are proposed.

This course analyzes the economic policies of the different political regimes in the Dominican Republic from the end of the 19th century to the present. It studies the application and results of these policies¿changes brought about by these regimes in trade, industry, agriculture and population. It also examines the influence of the United States on developments in the Dominican economy during this century.

Problems of African economic and political development since 1900 are analyzed. The emergence of conditions contrary to the goals of independence and African participation in world affairs is explored.

This course surveys the long history of cross-racial and inter-ethnic interactions among immigrants, migrants, people of color and working people in the United States and the wider world from the era of mercantile capitalism in the sixteenth century to the present. By making inroads into the dynamic worlds that indigenous people, people of African and Latin American descent, European Americans, and Asian Americans made and remade, the course aims to reach across borders of all kinds, including national boundaries, to cultivate global, transnational and comparative perspectives on race and ethnicity. In particular, it places emphasis on relationships and conflicts between these diverse groups, especially how they were treated and defined in relation to each other. Broadly, this course is concerned with how these groups struggle to stake out their place in a highly unequal world.

This is a study of the factors affecting the economies of the English and French speaking countries of the Caribbean region. The effects of international diplomacy, multinational corporate policies, educational and social determinants, and economic policies are evaluated.

This course analyzes the relationships between economic and social factors, and the delivery of health care services in urban communities. Attention is given to community needs related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, mortality rates, prevention, and education. Guest lecturers and workshops are presented.

This course analyzes the status and roles of women in cross-cultural perspective. Particular emphasis is given to the socio-cultural forces underlying the women's rights movements in the 19th century and the present resurgence of feminism.

Latino Studies (LAT)

This survey course will look at major trends and directions in Latin American theatre by drawing on plays and performance ensembles of the mid-twentieth century to the present. We will look at the work of some of the most influential playwrights, directors, and ensembles as they grapple with their political, national, and cultural contexts, and discuss these artists’ dual commitment to social conscience and artistic expression. We will read manifestoes and plays by many of Latin America’s major playwrights and performing artists, as well as critical writing by scholars and historians. We will also engage with documentary films and videos of performances.
Prerequisite: SPE 100 or THE 100 or LAT 100
This course studies the emergence of a national culture, folklore and identity. Topics include the Taino, Spanish and African contributions to the creation of a criollo personality and character and the Puerto Rican family, race relations, the jibaro, religion, and the arts. It reviews customs, traditions, celebrations, dances, legends, songs, proverbs, and hero/underdog stories as well as the impact of the United States culture.
This course studies the history of Puerto Rico from the pre-Columbian period to the end of the 19th century. Consideration will be given to political, social, cultural and economic factors contributing to the emergence of national consciousness in the 19th century and to the events leading to the Spanish-American War in 1898.
This course studies the historical conditions of Puerto Rico in the 20th century. The transition from a Spanish colony to an American possession is examined. The events and forces that created the present Puerto Rico are studied and analyzed in perspective. The alternatives to the problem of status commonwealth, statehood and independence are studied.
Survey covering from the pre-Columbian cultures, the age of discovery and exploration, colonial structures, independence movements, to contemporary Latin America, with special emphasis on the countries of the mainland (i.e., North, Central, and South America). Students will learn about the traditions and institutions of Latin American Civilization including the Iberian conquest and colonization, the role of the Catholic Church, economic and social structures, as well as problems related to government, nation-building, race and class relations, wars and Latin America's position in the world.
This course studies the history of the Dominican Republic from the pre-Columbian and Colonial periods to the present. It deals with the geographical, political, social and economic factors that form the Dominican nation. Emphasis is given to relations with Haiti and North America. The course also analyzes the position of the Dominican Republic in the community of Latin American nations as well as its place in today's world.
The course will survey the musical genres of Puerto Rico and how each developed within a historical and social context, beginning with the role of music in pre-Colombian, European and African cultures up to the present.
This course studies the varied experiences of Latinos in the United States of America. Through readings, lectures, discussions and fieldwork, students will become familiar with the group and its diverse components from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, while covering representative nationalities such as Mexicans, Salvadorians, Cubans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. The course will survey the history and evolution of Latinos at the same time that it explores issues of culture and identity. Other topics include family, race relations, religion, education, economic incorporation and political participation. Key issues of contemporary interest will also be explored, such as Latinos and immigration, and the impact they have on local, state and nationwide elective office.
This course is an analysis of the political movements and parties of Puerto Rican communities in the U.S.A.; the relationships of these movements and parties toward political development in Puerto Rico; the role of the Puerto Rican in both traditional and radical political movements in the U.S.A.; and how political participation in the American process has come to contribute to a sense of community identity among Puerto Ricans in the U.S.A.
This course studies the peculiar characteristics of the Puerto Rican migration to the U.S. It analyzes the processes of assimilation and adaptation to the American society as opposed to the identity and preservation of Puerto Rican cultural values. The problems of education, housing, health services, family and community, employment, and economic development are given special attention as they relate to the unique experience of the Puerto Rican in the U.S.A.
This course examines the diverse peoples and cultures that have populated Latin American and the Caribbean region since pre-Columbian times. It discusses the legacy of European colonization and the subsequent struggles for independence, formation of national identities and the quest for modernization today. The course will place particular emphasis on the production of social movements that respond to social inequality, and conflicting ideologies around ethnicity, race and gender among other factors. The readings illustrate case studies that examine a wide range of topics - ecological adaptation, food production, kinship and local politics, medical and religious beliefs and artistic expressions - from small-scale rural society to large complex urban centers throughout the continent. It will also explore how globalization, intense migration, and transnationalism have generated new notions of identity in the US today.
This is an intensive study of a group of Puerto Rican writers and their reactions to different periods in the history of their country. The course includes both oral and written analyses of the important works of Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Jose de Diego, Antonio S. Pedreira, Julia de Burgos, J. L. Gonzalez, Luis R. Sanchez, and other selected writers. Each writer is studied as a man/woman reflected in his/her works¿his/her unique reactions to the circumstances in which he/she has lived. Note: This course is taught in Spanish and satisfies the Liberal Arts requirement for Modern Language.
Prerequisite: SPN 210 or departmental approval
This course studies the Puerto Rican family as the primary unit of Puerto Rican society, reflecting the patterns and dynamics of that society. It examines the variations in family structure that have evolved from the Taino, Spanish and African cultures. The historical and economic changes that have transformed Puerto Rican society are analyzed with emphasis on their effect on the family structure. The experience of migration and its impact on the Puerto Rican family are considered. Attention is given to the problems facing the family as the unit of migration.
This course is a study of the drama written in Puerto Rico during the Spanish Colonial period, its relation to the development of a national identity and its links to the developing drama in Latin America. The course also studies the contemporary dramatic expression both on the island and in the U.S.A., and analyzes the different aspects and problems of a dramatic production. Actors, directors and playwrights are invited for discussions and students are required to see and study local productions. Note: This course is taught in Spanish and satisfies the Liberal Arts requirement for Modern Language.
Prerequisite: SPN 210 or departmental approval
This course analyzes the history and effects of American economic policies on contemporary Puerto Rico. Economic conditions before the American occupation are examined with the objective of comparing them with the conditions and changes after 1898. The period of sugar as a monoculture is studied as well as the great depression and its impact on Puerto Rico. The coming to power of the Popular Party, with its politics of land reform and economic development, are examined. The economic and social planning that have brought about modern Puerto Rico are analyzed.
This course is a survey of Puerto Rican literature from the Spanish colonial period through the 19th century. It includes a study of the first literary expressions (both in prose and verse), a history of the various literary movements, and representative authors and their works. Written critical analyses and oral reports on selected work are required. Note: This course is taught in Spanish and satisfies the Liberal Arts requirement for Modern Language.
Prerequisite: SPN 210 or departmental approval
This course covers the contemporary literary expression in Puerto Rico. Authors such as Luis Pales Matos, Julia de Burgos, Diaz Alfaro, and other short story writers are studied and evaluated. The course studies and analyzes the modern novel as a reflection of the present Puerto Rican society. Note: This course is taught in Spanish and satisfies the Liberal Arts requirement for Modern Language. Prerequisite: SPN 210 or departmental approval
This course studies the short story as major form of literary expression in the Spanish speaking countries of the Caribbean: Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. It studies the development of the short story beginning with Indian legends recreated by Spaniards during the early Colonial period. Examples of short stories written during the different literary movements are studied and analyzed. The relationship between the writer and society is analyzed as well as the common history, culture, and socio-economic problems which are reflected in each story. Note: This course is taught in Spanish and satisfies the Liberal Arts requirement for Modern Language. Prerequisite: SPN 210 or departmental approval
In this course, works reflecting the experiences of U.S. Latino/a writers in English are analyzed. Students will read, discuss, and write about fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama by writers such as Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, Gloria Anzaldua, Roberto Fernandez, Tato Laviera, Achy Obejas, Abraham Rodriguez Jr., and Piri Thomas. Note: Crosslisted with ENG 338
Pre-Requisite: ENG101 and ENG201 or ENG121
This is a summer course taught abroad in a Latin American or Caribbean country. It offers the student the opportunity to travel, to share, to live and to study in another country. From a global perspective, this course explores the history and culture of a selected Latin American or Caribbean country by focusing on religion, homeland, art, family, identity, film, economic development, social and political movements and environment as they are presented as major themes of current research and in the tangible appreciation of the student.
Prerequisite: A functional knowledge of the language of the country or countries visited may be required.

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