College of Liberal Studies

Program Director: Jonathan A. Majak

223B Graff Main Hall, 608-785-8227




Institute For Ethnic and Racial Studies


Associate Professor: Jonathan A. Majak

Assistant Professor: Shillinger.



Ethnic and Racial Studies Minor

(All colleges) 24 credits, including ERS 100, 251, 490; nine credits from at least three disciplines* must be taken from the following: ANT 101, EFN 205, ENG 207, 460, ERS 300, 400, 410, HIS 306, PHL 230, POL 300, 342, 372, PSY 382, SOC 225, 311, W-S 230. The remaining six credits may be taken from the following: ANT 343, ENG 210, 215, 461, SPA 425, HIS 309, 310. At least 12 credits must be at the 300-400 level.


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 Minority Cultures in the United States

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.



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. (Cross-listed with ENG 207; may only earn credit in ERS or ENG.)



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. (Cross-listed with ENG; may only earn credit in ERS or ENG.)



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. (Cross-listed with ENG; may only earn credit in ERS or ENG.)


ERS 251 Cr. 3

Theories of Racial and Ethnic Relations in the United States

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.


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 6.


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 6.


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 Sem. I.


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, 251, and 12 credits from core and elective courses. Offered Sem. II.