American Racial and Multicultural Studies

http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/arms/

Director, 2012-13: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs (English), creative writing, Asian American studies, critical adoption studies

Faculty, 2012-13: Torin Alexander (Religion), American Christianity and African American religion and religious experience; Carolyn Anderson (Sociology/Anthropology), identity, kinship, theory, gender, Native North America, Western Europe, Scandinavia; John Barbour (Religion), religion and literature, ethics; Heather Campbell (Education), reading, ESL, science; Mary Carlsen (Social Work and Family Studies), social policy, professional ethics, cross-cultural practice, family practice (on leave); Devyani Chadran (Social Work and Family Studies); prevention theory and intervention; Michael Fitzgerald (History), African American History, Civil War Era; Carlos Gallego (English); Chicano/a studies, 20th century American literature, comparative ethnic studies, philosophy and critical theory, and cultural studies; David Hagedorn (Music), jazz, percussion, aural skills, percussion methods; Steven Hahn (History), early America, Native American history; Joan Hepburn (English), African American literature, drama; Jan Hill (English), writing, journalism; Abdulai Iddrisu (History), African history, Muslim societies, and diaspora studies; Rika Ito (Asian Studies), Japanese language and linguistics; Maria Kelly (Education), social studies education, teaching methods; Judy Kutulas (History), 20th-century American history, American women’s history, media history; Jonathan Naito (English), Black and Asian British literature, Transatlantic Anglophone literature, transnational studies; Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb (Sociology/Anthropology), gender, family, race and class; Rebecca Richards (English), rhetoric and composition, teaching of English, intersectionality, media studies; Matt Rohn (Art), art history, environmental studies; Mary Titus (English), American literature; Theodore Thornhill (Sociology/Anthropology), critical race theory, African American history and culture, crime and social control, and religion

American Racial and Multicultural Studies Program is committed to the study of people of color, primarily, though not exclusively, in the United States. The program proceeds from the recognition that race and ethnicity have been and continue to be crucial components within interlocking systems of oppression as well ass powerful sites of resistance. Our work focuses on the social, cultural, and historical contributions and lived experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/as and Middle Eastern Americans. In the U.S. immigration -- historical and contemporary, voluntary and involuntary -- is an experience that unites many of these communities. As such, our program encompasses coursework involving the cultures and nations outside of the United States from which such people are drawn; it can also include the study of racial and ethnic minorities in other nations. Globalization has brought greater urgency to the recognition that the economic, social, and political forces to which people of color are subjected are not limited to those that originate within the nations in which they reside. Thus we also attend to transnational coalitions, experiences, and phenomena relevant to people of color in the United States and elsewhere. The ARMS program is resolutely interdisciplinary, drawing upon methodologies and materials from a variety of fields in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE MAJOR

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR

A major consists of Introduction to American Racial and Multicultural Studies (ARMS 121-125), plus a minimum of seven other approved courses taken in at least three departments or programs (total of eight courses). One of the seven courses may be an independent study or research, and one may be an off-campus internship approved by the ARMS director. Students may wish to link an ARMS major with a major in one of the departments represented in the program. ARMS majors are required to complete a senior project and give an oral presentation of their findings before the ARMS faculty.

ARMS students are strongly encouraged to include off-campus study in their programs.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONCENTRATION

A concentration consists of ARMS 121-122: Introduction to American Racial and Multicultural Studies plus four other approved courses taken in at least two departments or programs (a total of five courses).

COURSES

REQUIRED COURSE

121 Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies

This course provides an introduction to the cultural and historical background of four groups in the United States: African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans. Emphasis is on race relations and the distinguishing characteristics of these cultures as reflected in the academic disciplines of the creative and performing arts, the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences and the general area of popular culture. Contributions to cultural pluralism are accentuated as well as the special issues of identity faced by these Americans. This course emphasizes literary texts. Counts toward American studies major and Africa and the Americas concentration.

122 Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies

This course provides an introduction to the cultural and historical background of four groups in the United States: African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans. Emphasis is on race relations and the distinguishing characteristics of these cultures as reflected in the academic disciplines of the creative and performing arts, the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences and the general area of popular culture. Contributions to cultural pluralism are accentuated as well as the special issues of identity faced by these Americans. This course emphasizes historical texts. Counts toward American Studies major and Africa and the Americas concentration.

ELECTIVE COURSE

250 Topical Seminar

Students apply interdisciplinary theories and methods to selected topics in American racial and multicultural studies. The course employs a discussion format, focusing on critical reading and analytical essays. Offered annually. May be repeated if topics are different.

294, 394 Internship

298 Independent Study

396 Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.

398 Independent Research

APPROVED COURSES

Africa and the Americas 231-232: Africa and the Americas
Dance 246: Dance in the United States
Education 170: Urban Schools and Communities
Education 378: Multicultural Education in Hawaii: Seminar and Practicum (Off-Campus: Oahu, Hawaii)
Education 379: Urban Education Seminar and Practicum (Off-Campus: Minneapolis/St. Paul)
English 108: The Hero and the Trickster in Post-Colonial Literature
English 205: American Racial and Multicultural Literatures
English 265: Performing Arts in New York (Off Campus)
English 345: Topics in Multicultural Literature
History 165: Slavery in the Americas
History 181: Civil Rights Revolution
History 199: American History Since 1865
History 277: African-American History
History 282: Native American History
History 288: America in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era
Music 231: History of Jazz
Music 237: World Music
Sociology/Anthropology 128: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Sociology/Anthropology 242: Contemporary Native American Issues
Sociology/Anthropology 261: Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Sociology/Anthropology 264; Race and Class in American Culture

In addition, some sections of Religion 121 and Writing 111 may count toward American Racial and Multicultural Studies, depending on topic. Petition the director of ARMS for approval.