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

Semester and Year SP 2014
Course Number FIRST-UG804
Section 001
Instructor Laurie Woodard
Days Mon,Wed
Time 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


Open to Gallatin transfer students only.


Identity: the ways in which we see ourselves; the ways in which others see us; the dynamic relationship between these two seemingly distinct and often irreconcilable poles is the underlying theme of this first-year research seminar. We focus specifically on the ways in which we create, build, rebuild, and live our racial and ethnic 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? We employ historical, sociological, and cultural lenses. Several short written assignments help students formulate, research, and respond to questions about racial identity in a longer final research paper. Texts include fiction, plays, theory and criticism including, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao , Edward Said’s Orientalism , Mark Anthony Neal's Soul Babies and B.D. Wong's M. Butterfly .



Course Type

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

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