Summer 2021 expanding section

Ethnic & Racial Studies Courses

ERS 100  Introduction to Ethnic and Racial Studies - Cr. 3 

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.

Fall 2021 expanding section

Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Courses

WGS 100  Gender, Race, and Class in American Institutions - Cr. 3

This course provides an introduction to how gender, race and class have intertwined over time to produce women's social roles and status in American culture. The creation, transmittal, interpretation and institutionalization of gender roles will be examined using family and kinship, the educational system, the media, work, government and the health care system. The course provides a critical, interdisciplinary perspective on scholarship which omits or distorts the female experience. 

WGS/SOC 105  Introduction to LGBT Studies - Cr. 3

This course will examine the cultural, legal, and political dimensions of LGBT life in the U.S. It will begin by exploring the social invention of heterosexuality and how personal and institutional interpretations of sexuality have historically informed the lives of LGBT people. The course also addresses class, racial and gender biases that especially confront queer communities of color in the U.S. Finally, the course looks at continued instances of hate crimes and homophobia against the backdrop of rights-based activism and the role that art and politics play in this interplay. (Cross-listed with SOC/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years. Instructor: Willem Van Roosenbeek

WGS/SOC 337  Globalization, Women, and Work - 3 Cr.

This course examines the global and often exploitative experiences of women, migrating from one part of the world to another for work. As women leave their countries of origin, many find themselves working as nannies, sex workers, house cleaners and modern-day slaves in sweatshops. These work environments often create vulnerability, discrimination, and abuse of women within the private and public institutions of their host countries. The course will also use in-depth personal narratives and a focus on grassroots social movements to witness how women resist workplace policies and domestic laws to campaign for their rights, despite cultural and political constraints. Prerequisite one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 130, WGS 150, EDS 206, or ERS 100. (Cross-listed with SOC/WGS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Alternate Years. Instructor: Mahruq Khan

WGS 345  Gender, Race, and Leadership - 3 Cr.

NEW! This course examines how gender and race impact opportunities for and exercise of leadership within workplaces, communities, and movements, while developing students' leadership skills and understanding of the workplace structures they are likely to inhabit. Students examine the under-representation of women of all colors, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color from formal, public positions of power while also evaluating the strengths such leaders can and do bring to their work. Students critically evaluate leadership models, especially as they pertain to gender, sexuality, and race. Offered Alternate Years. Instructor: Jodi Vandenberg-Daves

WGS 499  Seminar: Women’s Studies - Cr. 3

Intensive interdisciplinary study of particular areas in women’s studies. Topics will be chosen by the instructor and the students. Prerequisite: one of the following: WGS 100, WGS 210, WGS 130; at least two other courses approved for the women’s studies major or minor plan; declared women’s studies major or minor plan. Instructor: Mahruq Khan

ECO 336  Women in the U.S. Economy - Cr. 3

An introduction to the status of women in the U.S. economy. Topics include alternative perspectives on women, work and the labor force, the value of paid versus unpaid labor, pay equity, the social support network, and the prospects for change. Instructor: SaraJane Parsons

HED 472  Sexual Health Promotion - Cr. 3

A review of current information on health and human sexuality. Emphasis is given to biological, psychosocial and educational aspects of human sexuality with special emphasis on instructional activities related to interpersonal communication, decision-making ability and clarification of values. Instructor: Keely Rees

POL 205  Women and Politics - Cr. 3

An examination of the positions and roles of women in the political arena. This course discusses the nature and extent of women's political involvement, both in the United States and abroad, with particular emphasis on the cultural and racial diversity of women political participants in the United States. Additional topics will include the legal status of women, differences between male and female political behavior, factors that influence women's political participation and current political issues related to women. Offered annually. Instructor: Kristina LaPlant

PSY 305  Human Sexuality - Cr. 3

This course is an exploration of human sexuality from biological, psychological, and social perspectives throughout the lifespan. Sexual attitudes and behaviors reflecting a broad spectrum of typicality and experience will be discussed. Offered Fall, Spring. Instructor: Casey Tobin

PSY 318  Psychology of Women - Cr. 3

Theories and research concerning the biological, psychological, and social aspects of female functioning will be evaluated. The course will analyze psychological literature that addresses itself to the experience, development, and behavior of women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Offered Fall, Spring. Instructor: Berna Gercek Swing

SOC 150  Introduction to Social Justice - Cr. 3

Students in this course will examine the concept of social justice through an intersectional and multidisciplinary lens. Students will begin with a critical investigation of the connections between the individual, the local, and the structural as they relate to justice and inequality in society. Social justice strategies are then evaluated, in case study fashion, through the lenses of gender, race, and class structures. Instructor: Laurie Cooper Stoll

SOC 421  Intersectionality and Queer Theory - Cr. 3

The term "intersectionality" has become prominently used on social media, in activists spaces, in academic works, and recently as buzzword in corporate America. In this course we will investigate intersectionality as an analytic tool and theoretical framework to examine the complex manner in which privilege and oppressive forms are interconnected. This course explores the intersections of social and political identities related to gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, indigeneity, age, ability, culture, nation, and other forms of difference. Furthermore, we will explore new considerations for sociology alongside intersectionality, such as Queer Theory, Quare Studies, Trans Studies, and Crip Theory. This is an interdisciplinary sociology course in which we will contend with contemporary contributions made by scholars across the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. This course will explore the following questions: How are marginalized identities constructed in the social world and within the context of institutions such as schools, hospitals, and prisons? How are individual identities intersectionally informed, specifically as it pertains to the experiences of people of color, LGBTQ+ people, women, and disabled people? What does intersectionality mean in an increasingly globalized world? What does it mean in the context of one’s career trajectory? How do social movements and activists take up intersectionality? And where and how do intersectionality, critical race, and queer theory converge and diverge? Prerequisite: one of the following: SOC/WGS 105, SOC 110, SOC 120, SOC/WGS 150, SOC 225, WGS 100, or WGS 130. Instructor: Justine Egner

Ethnic & Racial Studies Courses

ERS 100  Introduction to Ethnic and Racial Studies - Cr. 3 

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.

ENG/ERS 207  Multicultural Literature of the United States - Cr. 3 

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. (Cross-listed with ENG/ERS; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring. Instructor: Karen Hart

ERS 220  Introduction to Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes in the Media - Cr. 3

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. Instructor: Shuma Iwai

ERS 300  Topics: Race, Gender, Sexuality in Black Activisms - Cr. 3

NEW! This course explores how black political, cultural, and social activism has been gendered in such a way as it has sought to empower and affirm cis and/or trans black women, men, and those who identify as non-binary. Struggles and calls for justice in African America have always been complicated by power dynamics that existed within, among and between black communities. Sometimes historical/political moments have called for African American women, men, and those with fluid or non-binary gender identities to work more within identity-exclusive and/or identity-inclusive communities in efforts to fight for equality and against white supremacy simultaneously.  Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Offered Occasionally. Instructor: Richard Breaux

ERS 314  Race, Ethnicity, and Sport - Cr. 3 

Sport has long occupied a place at the heart of American culture and society. Organized athletics have also served as symbolic sites of protest, power, and inclusion for the nation's racial minorities. This course will explore the terrain of American sport in the twentieth century as a way to understand the profound impact that the phenomenon of athletic competition has had in the development of American race relations. With particular attention to the experiences of African American athletes, but also encompassing Native American, Latino/a, and Asian American interactions with sport, and will delve into the events, icons, and cultural meanings of sports over the last century. Offered Occasionally. Instructor: Richard Breaux

ERS/PHL 321  American Indian Thought - Cr. 3

This course draws from sources authored by Native American scholars, organizers, and artists to examine historical and contemporary turns in Native American thought. We will consider how theories and methodologies that emerge from Native American communities intervene on dominant colonial approaches. The course will combine theoretical and applied readings with personal reflection to develop a critical consciousness of key topics in Native American and Indigenous Studies such as land, agency, and decolonization.  Prerequisite: ERS 100. (Cross-listed with ERS/PHL 321; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.  Instructor: Taylor Johnson

CST 332  Intercultural Communication – Cr. 3

The primary objective of this course is to provide an overview of the study of cultures and their effects on communication. Cultural, socio-cultural, psychocultural and environmental influences will be explored in terms of how they affect the communication process. Communication behavior (both verbal and nonverbal) will be examined to determine its role in other cultures. Students will learn to communicate more competently with people from other cultures and ethnic groups. Prerequisite: CST 190 or CST 230. Offered Occasionally. Instructor: Ayesha Patnaik

PSY 282  Cross-Cultural Psychology – Cr. 3

An orientation to the definitions, concepts, theories, and methodologies of cross-cultural psychology. Included is an examination of cultural and ecological factors and their influences on perceptual and cognitive processes, personality, language, and other psychological variables. Offered Fall, Spring. Instructor: Jason Sumontha

PSY 285  Culture and Mental Health – Cr. 3

This course provides an examination of the relationship between culture and mental health. Specific attention is given to the impact of racism, prejudice, and minority status on the lives of various American minority groups and how the effects of these factors reveal themselves within a mental health framework. An eclectic, multidisciplinary approach that draws from clinical and social psychology, as well as sociology, is utilized. Offered Fall, Spring. Instructor: Suthakaran Verrasamy

PSY/ERS 443  Prejudice and Stigma – Cr. 3

This course explores the psychological underpinnings of prejudice and stigma from an empirical, research-based perspective. In addition to covering well-recognized forms of prejudice such as racism, the course examines discrimination more broadly in terms of its impact on those who stigmatize and those who are stigmatized. Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 241 or SOC 330; PSY 321 or PSY 331. Students with credit in ERS/PSY 442 may not earn credit in ERS/PSY 443. (Cross-listed with ERS/PSY; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Occasionally.  Instructor: Kevin Zabel

SOC 225  Sociology of Race and Ethnicity – Cr. 3

This course offers a critical examination of the social dynamics shaping race and ethnicity in the United States. Students will examine both historic and contemporary issues related to race and ethnicity including the social construction of race, sources of prejudice, institutional and individual-level discrimination, power relations and stratification, and strategies for addressing racial and ethnic inequality. Emphasis is placed on the use of empirical evidence to evaluate popular beliefs about race and ethnicity in the United States. Offered Annually. Instructor: Laurie Cooper Stoll OR Justine Egner