About Cultural and Ethnic Studies

Cultural and Ethnic Studies courses examine issues related to race, class, gender, and disability, and the construction and context of ethnicity.  Classes are interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from such Social Sciences and Humanities as Sociology, Anthropology, History, Political Economy, Philosophy, the Law, Communication, and Literature.

Coursework focuses on comparative analyses of racial and ethnic groups, interpretations of cultural practices, examination of biases, and exploration of a vision of a “multiculturally intelligent” society, with attention to embedded beliefs about and stereotypes of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and disability.  Students are encouraged to ask and examine challenging questions about how society works, how certain groups are perceived within society, and why some groups appear to experience conflict and uneven power relationships.  Students often work in small groups to produce an intellectually challenging and collegial learning environment

The work of transformation and growth includes recognition of ourselves as collaborators in determining changing social values and cultural understanding, with the power and responsibility to effect social change.  Above all, Cultural and Ethnic Studies seeks to cultivate values and skills that allow students to effectively and comfortably manage cultural differences and thereby become multicultural leaders.