Department of Ethnic Studies

Social Behavioral, Room 207A
(909) 537-7500 Department of Ethnic Studies website

The Program of Ethnic Studies is committed to the teaching of Ethnic Studies from historical, interdisciplinary, intersection, theoretical and relational perspectives. Our faculty members offer courses on and conduct research in the political and intellectual cultures of communities of color in the United States and within transnational contexts. In our teaching and research, we work to uphold pedagogues and methodologies that reflect and respect the myriad communities that our student body represents. Moreover, we see community engagement to be revolutionary grounding for Ethnic Studies praxis. Nurturing and building relationships within and across communities of color creates radical openings for understanding the nature of systemic violence while centering the resistance that is at the core of community and Indigenous knowledge and activism. Students and faculty in our program are encouraged to engage ethically with communities; students will be provided with support offered through courses focused on community engagement, faculty mentoring and career advising. 

We recognize the 1968-1969 struggles of the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front (a coalition of organizations led by students of color) at San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley, and of revolutionary youth and student movements across the world as foundational to our being. We affirm the long-standing and ongoing intellectual and political activism of Black, Native/American Indian/Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander and Chicanx/Latinx scholars, artists and activists in our endeavors to build with, struggle alongside and learn from our students, our local communities of color and each other. We understand that communities of color are differently affected and produced by histories of empire, colonialism and slavery and within the afterlives of such violences. Centering these historical roots and embodied knowledge, we remain committed to understanding the ever-evolving field as being relational, feminist, queer and collective at its core.

We unequivocally support and affirm the resistance, knowledge, joy and power of Black peoples. We recognize that there is an unpaid and unpayable debt to Black communities and their unwavering commitment to imagining a world that exceeds the boundaries of the one in which we presently live. All of us pledge to research, teach, and serve from a commitment to supporting Black liberation struggles and challenging the anti-blackness which under girds the ongoing violence against Black peoples. 

We unequivocally support and affirm the resistance, knowledge, joy and power of Native/American Indian/Indigenous peoples. We recognize that CSUSB sits on the territory and ancestral land of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians (Yuhaaviatam) and that we continue to benefit from the genocidal project of settler colonialism. All of us pledge to research, teach and serve from a commitment to decolonization and supporting Native/American Indian/Indigenous sovereignties and stewardship.

Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Arts

Courses

ES 1000. Introduction to Ethnic Studies. Units: 3

An introduction to Ethnic Studies as an intellectual, political, methodological framework of rigorous analysis and knowledge making. Students will be introduced to histories of structural and systemic oppressions, including but not limited to white supremacy, antiblack racism and settler colonialism, as well as the histories of resistance that characterize communities and movements led by people of color, in particular Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinx Americans. Satisfies GE Category F.

ES 1020. Introduction to Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x Studies. Units: 3

An interdisciplinary introduction to the intellectual concepts, historical experiences and political movements that define Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x Studies in the United States . Formerly ES 102.

ES 1080. Resistance and Revolution. Units: 3

This course is an exploration of a selected few historical moments as nodes of possibility for radical change in the world. From abolition to decolonization movements, the focus will be on how communities of color have always actively struggled for justice, both in ways that are imaginable for us and those that seem impossible.

ES 1200. Introduction to Asian American Studies. Units: 3

The course will begin with a brief overview of recent literature on Asian American immigration to the US. From there, we will engage with the following themes: defining citizenship and US law; ethnic labor and transnational networks; gender and Asian American identity; class politics and the model minority myth; diversity and multiculturalism in the contemporary era; and finally, surveillance, deportation and the politics of the outsider. We will end with a dialogue connecting immigration and ethnicity in the American context to larger macro-theories of globalization, i.e. the production of the global citizen-consumer. The overall aim of this course is to provide an overview of the ways Asian Americans define, reify, and contest belonging and not belonging in ways that hopefully shape our own sense of place in the contemporary political and social moment.

ES 1400. Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality. Units: 3

Grounded in intersectionality, this introductory course examines the axes of identities that shape lived experiences of people of color -- Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinx Americans -- in the United States. Drawing from a range of interdisciplinary texts, students will critically reflect on the ways power operates in the production of inequalities that are then reproduced, resisted, and transformed through discourses of migration, labor, culture, and belonging.Satisfies GE Category F.

ES 2200. Women of Color Feminisms. Units: 3

Students will analyze the political roles, daily experiences, labor, and artistic outlets of women of color in the United States from a wide variety of racial backgrounds. They will engage with academic sources, literary fiction, as well as other forms of media including film, music, art, and podcasts to examine the cultural and political significance of the category "women of color" and it particular salience in our contemporary moment.

ES 3000. Research Methods in Ethnic Studies. Units: 3

Semester Corequisite: Ethnic Studies 1000
Development and implementation of research (quantitative or qualitative) that explores in depth one or more facets of ethnic experience. Formerly offered as ES 300.

ES 3080. Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Popular Culture. Units: 3

This course uses popular culture as a medium through which to analyze representations and performances of race, gender, and sexuality as well as their intersections in film, music, podcasts, art, literature, and poetry. Through these confrontations, students will question the rewards as well as the limits of the politics of representation and apply their understandings to course assignments and projects that involve direct engagement with their world and worldviews.

ES 3100. Black Feminist Movements. Units: 3

This course is an exploration of transnational Black Feminist Movements in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The focus will be, broadly speaking, on how literatures, theories and coalitional movements created by those who identify as Black women speak to longstanding struggles on social justice and liberation.

ES 3190. Queer of Color Critique. Units: 3

This course is an exploration of queer of color critique, an interdisciplinary field that recognizes the always-present intersections between race, gender, and sexuality. Moreover, it is an investigation into the ways in which Ethnic Studies has, in its framework, always already have been queer, always already have queered.

ES 3201. Race, Ethnicity and Immigration in the United States. Units: 3

This course explores the history of immigration and migration in the United States through the lens of race and ethnicity. Additional themes include citizenship, law, nationalism, violence, gender, sexuality, labor, and globalization. Offered as ES 3201 and HIST 3201, students may not receive credit for both.

ES 3390. Black Studies. Units: 3

This course is an exploration of Black Studies, providing both a historical and cultural overview, as well as an examination of how this interdisciplinary field has shaped numerous conversations on race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class and nation, both within the United States and in a broader, transnational context.

ES 3400. Gendering Labor: Migrant Women and Work. Units: 3

Situating migrant women's experiences at the center of this course, students will explore the ways the transnational realities of gendered labor position migrant women precariously in relation to the market and the state. This course examines various formal and informal sectors of work including domestic work, sex work, child care, nursing, and other forms of service work to understand the ways migrant women are uniquely racialized and feminized to position them paradoxically within and outside imaginings of US belonging.

ES 3501. Politics of Multiculturalism and Diversity. Units: 3

Multiculturalism and diversity have become tokenized liberal discourses of immigrant assimilation in the West. This course examines how these ideologies emerged as well as the ways people reproduce and contest these discourses by occupying registers of exclusion and inclusion simultaneously. We will examine these experiences through historical accounts, ethnography, and media representations to develop a critical understanding of the ways these narratives get "lived" in the contemporary context.

ES 3630. Race, Ethnicity, and Film in America, 1920-Present. Units: 3

This course utilizes documentary and popular film to better understand the experiences, representation, and resistance modes of people of color in the US. Students will explore racist imagery central to the American film industry during the 20th century while deeply analyzing film as a vital facet of political resistance and artistic production among people of color. Offered as ES 3630 and HIST 3630, students may not receive credit for both.

ES 3940. Topics in Ethnic Studies. Units: 3

A selected area or issue of ethnic studies. May be repeated for credit as topics change.

ES 4100. Health and Racism in the US, 1800-Present. Units: 3

This course posits that medicine, race and the fight for healthcare among people of color are deeply intertwined within the study of racial justice and oppression in the United States. Students will analyze portrayals of public health crises, the effects of environmental racism, and the long tradition of healthcare-centered activism among people of color in the US.

ES 4101. Race and Social Movements in the United States, 1840-Present. Units: 3

This course chronicles social movements in the US from the 1840s to the present, with a focus on race and ethnicity as centerpieces of grassroots organizing. Students will utilize sources from history, sociology, psychology, and literature to better grasp common threads, successes, and limitations of social movements. The class will begin with anti-slavery organizing during the mid-1800s and will end with a focus on movements such as Black Lives Matter, climate change activism, and immigration reform.

ES 4200. US Empire and Foreign Policy 1898-Present. Units: 3

This course analyzes US history and empire-building with a focus on the 20th century. Students explore the ways in which race, gender, and the growth of capitalism are inherently intertwined within this process. Content will trace the history of American occupations and economic and military interventions throughout numerous regions of the globe. Offered as ES 4200 and HIST 4200, students may not receive credit for both.

ES 4301. Latinx History through Film, 1920-Present. Units: 3

This course merges the broader study of Latinx history (1920-the present) with detailed documentary and popular film analyses. Students will analyze Latinx-produced films alongside changing portrayals of Latinx populations on film throughout the twentieth century.

ES 4400. Transnational Feminisms and Global Raciality. Units: 3

This course looks at the ways transnational feminisms and a global racial framework inform and expand our understanding of race and gender within and outside of the US. We will look at women's activism, labor organizing, migration, social movements, and development discourse to open up possibilities for imagining a global, transnational commitment to social justice and reflect on practices that can help create such visions.

ES 4480. Ethnic Studies in Southern California. Units: 3

This course is an exploration of Southern California as sites where Ethnic Studies is practiced and lived within various cities and communities. While the birth of Ethnic Studies has historically been linked to Northern California, this course will utilize Ethnic Studies as a means of exploring immigration, settler colonialism and environmental justice, among other topics, in and around Los Angeles, San Diego and the Inland Empire.

ES 4600. Eating the Other: Consumer Culture and Race. Units: 3

This course, an homage to bell hooks, draws from interdisciplinary texts to examine consumer culture through the lens of race, gender, and class. Contemporary debates surrounding the links and ruptures between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation have become nearly ubiquitous on university campuses and in various media outlets. Instead of resolving these concerns, this course examines the discourses that have given rise to these debates centering on consumption and the forms of racialization certain types of consumption produce. We will examine how these ideas have been contested by communities of color in the US as they negotiate their place in a racial landscape that perpetually inscribes them as the other.

ES 5100. Teaching Ethnic Studies. Units: 3

Semester Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least one other upper-division Ethnic Studies course in order to enroll in an ES 5000-level courses (or have received faculty approval)
This course explores how one might utilize Ethnic Studies as a pedagogical tool and framework within the classroom and other spaces of learning. Students will consider what it means beyond a model of inclusivity and diversity.

ES 5250. Performance Studies and Ethnic Studies. Units: 3

Semester Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least one other upper-division Ethnic Studies course in order to enroll in ES 5000-level courses (or have received faculty approval)
This course is an exploration of the ways in which Performance Studies and Ethnic Studies intersect with one another. It will also examine the ways in which performance, both onstage and off, holds the potential to disrupt conventional and/or stereotypical ways of thinking about identities.

ES 5753. Internship in Ethnic Studies. Units: 3

Semester Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least one other upper-division Ethnic Studies course in order to enroll in ES 5000-level courses (or have received faculty approval)
Reflecting the ongoing indebtedness of Ethnic Studies to learning with and learning from those outside of traditional spaces of higher education, this internship course provides an opportunity for service learning and community engagement. Community partners will be selected in consultation with Ethnic Studies faculty. Regular meetings with supervising faculty member will be required.

ES 5940. Senior Seminar. Units: 3

Semester Prerequisite: Completed and passed a minimum of one (1) upper-division Ethnic Studies course or faculty consultation
This course is an Ethnic Studies methodologies seminar wherein students will pursue faculty-guided independent research projects. The course will result in a final research paper that reflects originality of thought and shared conversation with interlocuters within Ethnic Studies.

ES 5953. Independent Study. Units: 3

For students capable of individualized work and in need of advanced or specialized study. May be taken two times for six units. Formerly ES 595C.