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Home > Academics > Undergraduate > Ethnic Studies >
Ethnic Studies
Course Description

Ethnic Studies 090
Comparative Ethnic Literature & Cultural Production: History, Coloniality, and Recovery

How can we shift from consuming to questioning? This semester we will read a variety of work produced by writers of color in the US, and focus on narratives that consider the effects of history and coloniality. Reading fiction, graphic work, and criticism, we will employ an Ethnic Studies lens that considers the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality in order to better understand the mechanics of power as represented in literature. By considering such concepts as racial formation, the construction of the “native informant,” as well as beliefs regarding normativity, we will investigate how texts position characters in fictional and historical worlds, and how “politics” intertwine with the personal. One question we will consider is, How can narratives produced by people of color disrupt master narratives?

Reading List
Junot Díaz, Apocalypse
Toni Morrison, Paradise
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Helena María Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus
Chang Rae Lee, A Gesture Life
Janet E. Gardner, Writing about Literature

An ereserves course reader in the Mills library course reserves (noted as (e) on the schedule) 

Course Requirements
Reader's journal
Written assignments
Presentations (15%)
Three five page analytical essays (20%, 20%, 25%)
Final examination (20%) 

Grading Policies

If you think you may have a disability or health issue that affects your learning abilities, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 430-2264. Discuss accommodations ASAP.

The Department of Ethnic Studies takes plagiarism very seriously. Any work that includes plagiarized material will receive an F grade. Additional consequences may include receiving a failing grade for the entire course, and being reported to college authorities. If you have any questions about how to cite secondary material, including internet resources, please ask your professor.

Program Information

Faculty and Staff


Full Course List

Ethnic Studies Course List

Schedule of Courses for
the Current Semester

Activities & Resources

Research Justice at the Intersections

Meet Ethnic Studies Alumnae

Latina Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

Black History Month

Pow Wow

SAMEAPI Awareness Now!

Ethnic Studies Events

Ethnic Studies Fund

Women of Color Resource Center

Diversity at Mills

Contact Information

P: 510.430.2080
F: 510.430.2067

Last Updated: 6/22/17