Proposal for new multi-ethnic studies minor

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Submitted by:

Michael Brescia, Latino Studies Coordinator

Saundra Liggins, African American Studies Coordinator

Elizabeth Hoffman Nelson, Multi-ethnic Studies Coordinator

James Stevens, American Indian Studies Coordinator

The Multi-ethnic Studies program originally consisted of African American Studies, American Indian Studies and Latino Studies. To these interdisciplinary minor programs, we now propose a fourth option for students—a minor in Multi-ethnic Studies.
Multi-ethnic Studies will be an interdisciplinary minor program that provides an opportunity to study the histories and cultures of ethnic minority groups in North America and their relationships to each other as well as to the dominant culture.
The Multi-ethnic Studies minor is designed for students who desire a broader focus than offered by the existing minors—African American, American Indian and Latino Studies. The Multi-ethnic Studies minor will merge facets of all three minors—for example, history, literature, language, anthropology, music, etc.—to give a broad-based understanding of those people who have been marginalized or excluded from full participation in society.
Because of its focus on several ethnic groups, the Multi-ethnic Studies minor would be compatible with many majors such as English, History, Communications, Political Science, Sociology, and Visual Arts and New Media. However, it may be particularly important for Education majors who wish to have a deeper understanding of the people and cultures they may encounter as teachers, or for Business Administration majors who will be participating in what is increasingly becoming a world economy. This minor, with its wide scope, will appeal to students interested in learning more about the expressions and perspectives of North American minority groups and how the inter-relationships of race, ethnicity, gender, and class define our society.

MINOR REQUIREMENTS: 21 credit hours from the following. Students declaring a Multi-ethnic Studies minor may use past courses retroactively after consultation with the coordinator.

ENGL 299/INDS 489(02)—Intro to African American Studies

INDS 105—Intro to American Indian Studies

HIST 225/INDS 225—Intro to Latino History and Culture

[Minors will be required to take these three introductory courses which have been designed to offer students interdisciplinary explorations of the minority groups they will be studying throughout their minor.]

[Minors will be advised to take courses from each of the following areas—African American, American Indian and Latino Studies—in order to achieve the fullest understanding of these cultures. They will also be encouraged to select their electives in a truly interdisciplinary way. For example, an ideal set of electives would include one course each in literature, history, social science, and arts/language.]

African American Studies:

ANTH 324—Anthropology of the Caribbean

DANC 231—Afro Caribbean Dance

EDU 305—Cultural/Linguistic Diversity

ENGL 240—African American Literature

ENGL 340—Black Women Writers

ENGL 341—Harlem Renaissance

ENGL 342—African American Autobiography

HIST 328—Civil War Era

HIST 333—African American History to 1877

HIST 334—African American History since 1877

HIST 344—African American Social Thought

HIST 336—African American Women’s History

MUS 265—History of Jazz

MUS 267—African American Music

POLI 328—African American Politics

SOC 316—Minority Groups

American Indian Studies:

ANTH 321—Anthropology of Indian America

EDU 305—Cultural/Linguistic Diversity

ENGL 242—Intro to American Indian Literature

HIST 282—Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin America

HIST 289—Comparative North America

HIST 356—American Indian History

HIST 358—20th Century American Indian Issues

HIST 380—Pre-Columbian/Colonial Mexico

SOC 316—Minority Groups

Latino Studies:

ANTH 324—Anthropology of the Caribbean

COMM 360—Mexican Cinema

EDU 305—Cultural/Linguistic Diversity

ENGL 241—Intro to Latino Literature

ENGL 304/INDS 304—Latina Literary and Cultural Studies

HIST 282—Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin America

HIST 283—Revolution and Reform in Latin America

HIST 289—Comparative North America

HIST 380—Pre-Columbian and Colonial Mexico

HIST 381—Mexico in the Modern World

LANG 327—Sex and Magic in Latin American Literature

MUS 334—Music of Latin America

SOC 316—Minority Groups

SPAN 215—Intermediate Spanish I

SPAN 315—Intro to Readings in Hispanic Literature

SPAN 317—Spanish Conversation

SPAN 325—Survey of Spanish-American Literature

SPAN 425—Spanish-American Fiction

WOST203/INDS 203—Chicana Writers and Visual Artists

[Students would also be able to select from Special Topics courses in any discipline with the permission of their advisor.]


We feel this minor is an important addition to the current set of Interdisciplinary Studies minors. The courses included in the new Multi-ethnic Studies minor will offer students a chance to learn about several underrepresented cultures at one time.
Questions have arisen regarding lack of a common methodology among the courses. This minor is interdisciplinary by definition, therefore students take courses from all disciplines, just as they do for Women’s Studies or American Studies.
The issue of gender was also raised. Due to credit restraints, there is not room within this minor to require a course (e.g. Intro to Women’s Studies) solely on the study of gender, but rest assured that many of the courses devote a large portion of the class to the study of gender within these cultures. We also have several electives that focus directly on gender, including ENGL 340—Black Women Writers, and ENGL 304/INDS 304/WOST 304—Latina Literature and Cultural Studies. Students will be encouraged to focus part of their studies on issues of gender.

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