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Transfer Student Research Seminar: Identity and the Cultural Construction of Race and Ethnicity

Semester and Year FA 2015
Course Number FIRST-UG804
Section 001
Instructor Laurie Woodard
Days MW
Time 4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U


Open to Gallatin transfer students only. Permission required. To register, please contact Gallatin’s Transfer Student Class Adviser, Joshua Shirkey (


Identity: the ways in which we see our selves; the ways in which others see us; the dynamic relationship between these two seemingly distinct and often irreconcilable poles is the underlying theme of first-year research seminar. We focus specifically on the ways in we create, build, rebuild, and live our identities in constant dialogue with contemporary American societal constructions of race and ethnicity. Questions we explore include: what is race? Is it immutable? How do we know it when we see it? How is it distinct from ethnicity? What is gained and/or lost by considering or not considering race today? In what ways do other facets of identity, for example gender, sexuality, and class inform, challenge, reconstruct, or deconstruct our racial identities? Several short written assignments help students formulate, research, and respond to questions about identity and race and ethnicity in a longer final research paper. Texts include fiction, nonfiction, plays, and film. The reading list is not set, but will likely include Dael Orlandersmith's  Yellowman , Tony Kushner's  Angels in America , Edward Said’s  Orientalism , and David Henry Hwang's  M. Butterfly. 


All Syllabi

Course Type

First-Year Program: Transfer Student Research Seminar (FIRST-UG)