Course Highlights: Fall 2019

 

caroline light
Caroline Light
EMR 131
LOVE'S LABOR'S FOUND: UNCOVERING HISTORIES OF EMOTIONAL LABOR
TH 9:00 - 11:45 PM

What excites you about this course? What were you thinking about when you designed the syllabus?

This has long been a dream course for me, as it combines my interest in work – and how we ascribe value to different forms of work and different kinds of workers – with a deep investigation of the emotions that accompany the production of certain labor forms. This course provides a chance to study often invisible or under-recognized types of work (e.g. the rigorous, energy-consuming labor of caring for and sustaining others who cannot support themselves) that are nevertheless vital for our survival as human beings.

What is one thing you hope that students invested in studies of ethnicity, indigeneity, and race will understand in a new way after taking this course?

Our contemporary patterns of producing and consuming different types of work might appear on the surface to be based on “natural” considerations of value, but they reflect historic structures of inequality rooted in assumptions about human difference. These structures can be changed, but we must work to expose them first.

 

Tina Shull
Kristina Shull
EMR 135
CLIMATE MIGRATION: HISTORIES, BORDERS, AND ACTIVISM
M 12:00 - 2:45 PM

What about this course most excites you?

I am very excited to invite students in this course to contribute collaboratively to a digital humanities project I direct called "Climate Refugee Stories" that uplifts the voices, histories, art, and activism of communities displaced by climate change and border controls around the world. I believe that working collaboratively and engaging public audiences is centrally important to scholarly work in all disciplines, and that "public history" projects can be transformative for achieving social justice. Climate Refugee Stories is an open-source archive and public education platform where students, researchers, non-profit, and community partners contribute media in all forms, and I look forward to working together in our course to design new student-led and inspired content.     

What is one thing you hope that students invested in studies of ethnicity, indigeneity, and race will understand in a new way after taking this course?

While questions of climate change, climate migration, and border controls are urgent concerns in today's world and seem to have arisen only in the recent past, all have much deeper roots in histories of colonialism, racial capitalism, and global inequality. In this course we will excavate these histories--for example, connecting the US-Mexico border wall to settler colonialism, or uncovering racism in the environmental movement--in order to come away with an appreciation for how the disciplines of History and Ethnic Studies can give us a better understanding of the central role that race, indigeneity, and ethnicity play in addressing the most concerning issues of our time.   

 

Hannah Waits
Hannah Waits
EMR 136
RACE, GENDER, AND AMERICAN EMPIRE
TH 12:00 - 2:45 PM

What about this course most excites you?

This is a critical moment to excavate and interrogate the long history of American empire and the ways that different actors have resisted, appropriated, or aided formal and informal imperial relations. I am excited about the practical applications that students will be able to take away from this course for their engagement with current political and cultural justice issues. Portions of this course will address the present issues of immigration and family separation; we will examine the politics of migration in different periods, and will also explore political battles over families and children in the US and around the world by looking at programs of adoption, forced sterilization, and humanitarianism. In all sections of the course, we will trace the larger transnational historical context that shapes today’s battles around the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender.

What is one thing you hope that students invested in studies of ethnicity, indigeneity, and race will understand in a new way after taking this course?

I hope students will understand how the politics of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity have taken on different configurations over time and across space. Using a framework like American empire allows students to explore many distinct formations of racial politics in different locations around the world throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century, and I hope students will come away with new understandings about how race and ethnicity functioned in time periods and areas of the world that they have not yet explored. The course focuses especially on US-Asia and US-Latin America connections, but we also will cover some connections between the US and Africa and the Middle East in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

 

Mayra Rivera

Mayra Rivera
EMR 139/REL 2519
COLONIALITY, RACE AND CATASTROPHE
TU 12:00 - 2:00 PM

What about this course most excites you?
Announcements of climate catastrophe are everywhere these days; we read about the destruction of the amazon, the extinction of animal species, the unprecedented intensity of “natural disasters,” and more. This is not a topic we can avoid. This class is an opportunity to analyze its significance. We will step back and think about the longer history of human catastrophes and their ecological dimensions to gain insights that help us respond to the challenges of the current moment. Engaging these questions interdisciplinarily—through history and theory, literature and visual arts—reveals their multiple dimensions and the creativity they stir.
What is one thing you hope that students invested in studies of ethnicity, indigeneity, and race will understand in a new way after taking this course?
Ecological devastation is part of the histories of colonialism and race. Learning about those histories and the responses of communities on the receiving end of colonialism—in all its forms—is crucial for a better understanding of and responses to climate change.
 
 

Lorgia
Lorgia García Peña
SPANISH 126
PERFORMING LATINIDAD
TU-TH 1:30 - 2:45 PM

What about this course most excites you?

Performing Latinidad is not only an opportunity to learn about Latinx Studies, Latinx theory and Latinx histories, it is also a space for community building and solidarity. I look forward to the growth that happens in our Latinx learning community every semester I teach this course and to the experience of co-creating and accompaniment that shapes it.

What is one thing you hope that students invested in studies of ethnicity, indigeneity, and race will understand in a new way after taking this course?

​​​​​​​That Ethnic Studies is not only a theory, it is also a praxis; one that begins in the classroom and extends beyond it through thoughts and actions.