College of Liberal Studies

Program Director: Carol Oyster

227 Graff Main Hall, 608.785.8222



Assistant Professor: Shillinger
Affiliated Faculty:
Betton, Bratina, Crutchfield, Grider, Haynes, Janecki, Khan, Macias-Gonzalez, McDonough, Morrison, Pena, Scherwitz, Slough, Vandenberg-Daves


Ethnic and Racial Studies Minor

(All colleges) — 18 credits – ERS 100, 220, 351, 490; six credits from ANT 343; CHE 453/553; CST 332, 337; EDS 406/506; EFN 486/586; ENG/ERS 207, 210, 215; ENG 380, 381, 382, 477, 478; ERS 253, 300, 400, 410/510; ERS/SOC 343; HIS 306, 310, 336; HIS/WGS 370; PHL 321, 329; POL 342; PSY 282, 285, 360; SOC 225; SOC/ERS 280, 343; THA 130; WGS 230. At least nine credits must be at the 300-400 level. Students may not apply courses used on their major to the ERS minor.


Institute for Ethnic and Racial Studies

This program is designed to provide students with exposure to the field of ethnic studies. Courses offered relate to African, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic, and Native Americans. These courses focus on an examination of the experiences of these minorities in the United States. The primary objective of the Institute is to develop and foster knowledge and appreciation of the multiracial and multicultural reality of the American society.




+ above a course number indicates a

General Education course.



ERS         100           Cr. 3

Introduction to Ethnic and Racial Studies

An examination of the persistence of minority and ethnic problems in the United States and consideration of the contributions, parallels, similarities, and differences between and among ethnic and minority groups. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.



ERS/ENG 207           Cr. 3

Multicultural Literature of the United States

This course examines cultural themes in American literature in an effort to enhance student awareness of the multi-ethnic nature of American culture. Students engage in close reading, discussion, analysis, and interpretation of texts written by individuals from a variety of American ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Content varies with instructors. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or 112. (Cross-listed with ENG; may only earn credit in ERS or ENG.) Offered Fall, Spring.



ERS/ENG 210           Cr. 3

The Literature of Black America

Survey and exploration of Black American prose and poetry from their eighteenth century beginnings to the end of the Harlem Renaissance and the depression years. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or 112. (Cross-listed with ENG; may only earn credit in ERS or ENG.) Offered Fall, Spring.



ERS/ENG 215           Cr. 3

African American Authors

A study of the principal post-depression (1940-present) African American authors, critics and scholars which clarifies the relationship between these writers and the general field of American literature and which illustrates their unique contributions as representatives of African American culture. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or 112. (Cross-listed with ENG; may only earn credit in ERS or ENG.) Offered Fall, Spring.



ERS         220           Cr. 3

Ethnic and Racial Stereotyping in the Media

This course will trace how popular entertainment mediums such as film, television, books, comics, “wild west shows,” music and cartoons have impacted perceptions of ethnic and racial groups from the early seventeenth century to the present. Besides analyzing the persuasive power of these types of mediums, it will examine why such representations were created and why they still persist. The mythopoeic image that surrounds American Indians, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and other minority groups will be juxtaposed against the historical reality that these groups have faced and the contemporary inequalities that we still must confront. Prerequisite: ERS 100. Offered Fall, Spring.


ERS         253           Cr. 3

Introduction to Wisconsin Indians

An introductory examination of Wisconsin Indians with specific reference to the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Ojibwa, Oneida, Potawatomi, and the Stockbridge-Munsee communities. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to explore topics including sovereignty, land use and environmental issues, education, economic development, social issues and challenges, and tribal identity. The course also will explore each tribe’s responses to both state and federal governments. Offered Fall, Spring.


ERS/SOC 280            Cr. 3

Hmong Americans

This course provides an introductory overview of Hmong history, culture, and contemporary adaptation in the United States of America. Areas of exploration will include ancient and modern Hmong history, the Hmong oral tradition, the traditional clan and leadership structure, Hmong musical heritage, Hmong craft heritage, marriage and funeral practices, child-rearing customs, traditional methods of conflict resolution, the tradition of ancestor worship, and herbal and spiritual healing practices. Contemporary developments and adjustment issues within the Hmong communities will be discussed. These will include current Hmong business initiatives, educational achievements, utilization of welfare institutions, the role of Hmong Mutual Assistance Associations, intergenerational conflicts, youth gangs, traditional vs. modern family structure, and Hmong exposure to public prejudices and discriminatory practices. Throughout the course Hmong achievements and triumphs over adversity also will be highlighted. Prerequisite: sophomore standing recommended. (Cross-listed with SOC; may only earn credit in ERS or SOC.) Offered Spring.


ERS         300           Cr. 1-3

Topics and Symposium in Ethnic and Racial Studies

Topics selected by the individual instructor or by the students and instructor together. Special interest of both the instructor and students such as Black drama or Native American art, or other areas of concern which are either not covered or briefly dealt with in formal course work may be the vehicles for this offering. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered occasionally.


ERS/SOC 343            Cr. 3

American Indian Contemporary Issues

This course is an interdisciplinary examination of American Indian contemporary experience in the United States. It will introduce students to some of the critical issues in American Indian studies by examining the place of American Indians within the American imagination, politics and society. The course concentrates on issues of tribal sovereignty, economics, social class and structure, and the difficulties of maintaining a tribal identity in the 21st century. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, 253, SOC 225, EFN 205, HIS 310, WGS 230. (Cross-listed with SOC; may only earn credit in ERS or SOC.) Offered Fall.


ERS         351           Cr. 3

Ethnic and Racial Relations

An introductory course that examines leading theories of racial and ethnic relations in the United States and assesses their significance and relevance in explaining historic and contemporary relations between the white majority and the racial and ethnic minorities. It also analyzes and evaluates the impact of various laws, policies, and programs on racial and ethnic relations. Prerequisite: ERS 100. Offered Spring.


ERS/SOC 363            Cr. 3

American Indians and the Environment

This course introduces students to American Indian environmental issues. Topics include treaty-based hunting, fishing and gathering rights, air and water quality regulatory authority, environmental racism, toxic and nuclear waste disposal on Indian lands, mining and hydroelectric dams, sacred sites, and Indian vs. Western perceptions of the environment. Special attention will be given to current environmental controversies in Wisconsin Indian country. Prerequisite: one of the following: ERS 100, 253, ERS/SOC 343, SOC 225, 328, EFN 205. (Cross-listed with SOC; may only earn credit in ERS or SOC.) Offered occasionally.


ERS         400/500     Cr. 1-3

Individual Study in Ethnic and Racial Studies

Directed reading and research under the supervision of an instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered Fall, Spring.


ERS         410/510     Cr. 3

Contemporary Issues in Ethnic and Racial Studies

An introduction to ethnic minority groups in the United States today emphasizing the historical antecedents of contemporary issues with particular attention to the problems of ethnic groups and educational institutions. Offered occasionally.


ERS         490           Cr. 3

Ethnic and Racial Studies Seminar

This capstone course is designed as a culminating experience for students completing a minor in ethnic and racial studies. Students will complete their ERS portfolios containing samples of all courses taken for the minor. In addition, students will be required to write a reflective essay that reviews the course materials in the portfolios. Students will also write a seminar research paper which analyzes some aspect of ethnic and racial experience in the United States. Prerequisites: ERS 100; 12 credits from core and elective courses. Offered Fall.