Undergraduate Catalog

Ethnic Studies

Director: Kundai Chirindo
Administrative Coordinator: Chelsea Jackson

Ethnic identity is integral to the formation of group consciousness, as it produces common meaning through shared language, religious traditions, and family history. At the same time, colonialism, slavery, and genocide have been intertwined with the construction of racial and ethnic categories. To recognize both the positive and negative aspects of ethnic identity, as well as to heed the significance of transnational migrations in the creation of diasporic identities, the ethnic studies minor focuses on five themes: diaspora, colonialism, slavery, genocide, and community formation. Fostering an interdisciplinary approach that pulls together a variety of historical, social, and cultural perspectives, the curriculum explores the five themes and related topics as they intersect with gender, sexuality, class, and nation.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester credits distributed as follows:

  • One course chosen from the following:

    HIST 240Race and Ethnicity in the United States
    HIST 243African American History Since 1863
    SOAN 225Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective
  • 16 elective semester credits from the departmental listings below. No more than two courses can be applied to the minor from any one department. At least one of the elective courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.

  • 12 semester credits must be exclusive to the minor.

Departmental Listings

ART 207Pre-Columbian Art
ART 451Special Topics in Art History (only when the topic is relevant)
ENG 319Postcolonial Literature: Anglophone Africa, India, Caribbean
ENG 326African American Literature
Ethnic Studies
ETHS 220Education and Social Inequality in Urban America
ETHS 320Critical Hip-Hop Studies
French Studies
FREN 330Francophone Literature
FREN 450Special Topics (only when the topic is relevant)
Hispanic Studies
SPAN 230Hispanic Literature in Translation (only when the topic is relevant)
SPAN 260Cultural Production of the Spanish-Speaking World
SPAN 360Latin America and Spain: Pre-Columbian to Baroque
SPAN 370Latin America and Spain: Enlightenment to the Present
SPAN 440Topics in Hispanic Literatures (only when the topic is relevant)
SPAN 446Special Topics in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures (only when the topic is relevant)
HIST 134United States: Revolution to Empire
HIST 135United States: Empire to Superpower
HIST 141Colonial Latin American History
HIST 142Modern Latin American History
HIST 209Japan at War
HIST 217The Emergence of Modern South Asia
HIST 222Britain in the Age of Revolution, 1688 to 1815
HIST 22620th-Century Germany
HIST 229The Holocaust in Comparative Perspective
HIST 239Constructing the American Landscape
HIST 240Race and Ethnicity in the United States
HIST 242Borderlands: U.S.-Mexico Border, 16th Century to Present
HIST 328The British Empire
HIST 335History and Culture of American Indians
HIST 345Race and Nation in Latin America
HIST 347Modern Mexico: Culture, Politics, and Economic Crisis
HIST 348Modern Cuba
HIST 400Reading Colloquium (only when topic is relevant)
HIST 450History Seminar (only when topic is relevant)
International Affairs
IA 230African Politics
IA 231Latin American Politics
IA 232Southeast Asian Politics
IA 296Human Rights in International Relations
Latin American Studies
LAS 200Latin American Cultural Studies
MUS 136World Music: Asia
MUS 142Music and Social Justice
Political Science
POLS 313Global Justice
PSY 390Cross-Cultural Psychology
Rhetoric and Media Studies
RHMS 313Politics of Public Memory
RHMS 315Comparative Rhetoric
RHMS 321Argumentation and Social Justice
RHMS 340Media Across Cultures
RHMS 406Race, Rhetoric, and Resistance
SOAN 225Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective
SOAN 251Myth, Ritual, and Symbol
SOAN 261Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
SOAN 266Social Change in Latin America
SOAN 270Cultural Politics of Youth in East Asia
SOAN 274Chinese Culture Through Film
SOAN 281South Asian Cultures
SOAN 285Culture and Power in the Middle East
SOAN 310Religion, Society, and Modernity
SOAN 324Anthropology of Violence
SOAN 347Borderlands: Tibet and the Himalaya
SOAN 349Indigenous Peoples: Identities and Politics
SOAN 350Global Inequality
SOAN 355African Migration and Diaspora
SOAN 360Colonialism and Postcolonialism
SOAN 363Imagining the Nation: Culture and Identity in Nation-State Formation
TH 382American Theatre and Drama: 19th Century to Present


Kimberly Brodkin. Associate professor with term of gender studies and ethnic studies. Gender and politics in the U.S. PhD 2001 Rutgers University. BA 1992 University of Pennsylvania.

David A. Campion. Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Associate Professor of History. British and South Asian history. PhD 2002, MA 1997 University of Virginia. BA 1991 Georgetown University.

Maureen Healy. Associate professor of history. European history, women's and gender history, war and genocide. PhD 2000, MA 1994 University of Chicago. BA 1990 Tufts University.

Deborah Heath. Associate professor of anthropology, director of the Gender Studies Program. Anthropology of science, technology, and medicine; anthropology of the body; cultural and critical theory; visual and narrative representation. PhD Johns Hopkins University. MA University of Minnesota at Minneapolis–St. Paul. BA Reed College.

Kabir Mansingh Heimsath. Visiting assistant professor of humanities. PhD 2011, MSc 2005 University of Oxford. MA 1996 University of Washington. BA 1992 University of California.

Reiko Hillyer. Assistant professor of history. U.S. South, African American history, history of the built. PhD 2006, MPhil 2001, MA 1999 Columbia University. BA 1991 Yale University.

Jane H. Hunter. Professor of history. U.S. history, post-Civil War, women's history. PhD 1981, MA 1975, BA 1971 Yale University.

Matthew N. Johnston. Associate professor of art history, chair of the Department of Art. Modern art history. PhD 2004, MA 1994 University of Chicago. BA 1992 Yale University.

Oren Kosansky. Associate professor of anthropology, program director of Middle East/North Africa Studies. Political economy of religious experience, postcolonial nationalism and diaspora, textual culture, Morocco. PhD 2003, MA 1994 University of Michigan. MAT 1990 Binghamton University. BA 1988 Brown University.

Dawn Odell. Associate professor of art history. Early modern East Asian and European art history. PhD 2003 University of Chicago. MA 1992 Harvard University. BA 1986 Carleton College.

Bruce M. Podobnik. Associate professor of sociology. Environmental sociology, social movements, quantitative methods, Latin America. PhD 2000, MA 1994 Johns Hopkins University. BA 1991 University of California at Santa Cruz.

Matthieu P. Raillard. Associate professor of Hispanic studies, chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures (fall). Hispanic studies, 18th- and 19th-century Peninsular Spanish literature. PhD 2004, MA 2000 University of Virginia. BA 1998 Colgate University.

G. Mitchell Reyes. Associate professor of rhetoric and media studies. Rhetoric, public memory, public discourse, rhetoric of science. PhD 2004, MA 2000 Pennsylvania State University. BS 1997 Willamette University.

Heather M. Smith-Cannoy. Associate professor of international affairs, chair of the Department of International Affairs. International law, international institutions, human rights, and human trafficking. PhD 2007, MA 2003 University of California at San Diego. BA 2000 University of California at Irvine.

Juan Carlos Toledano Redondo. Professor of Hispanic studies. Hispanic studies, 19th- and 20th-century Spanish American literature, Hispanic-Caribbean literature. PhD 2002 University of Miami. BA 1996 Universidad de Granada.

Pauls Toutonghi. Associate professor of English. Fiction, expository writing, creative writing. PhD 2006, MA 2002 Cornell University. BA 1999 Middlebury College.

Freddy O. Vilches. Associate professor of Hispanic studies, director of the Latin American Studies Program. Hispanic studies, contemporary Spanish American literature, poetry and song, Latin American cultural studies. Charango, Venezuelan quatro. PhD 2006, MA 1993, BA 1991 University of Oregon.

Sarah D. Warren. Associate professor of sociology. Race and ethnicity, social movements, nations and nationalism, gender, Latin America. PhD 2010 University of Wisconsin at Madison. MA 2004 University of Texas at Austin. BA 2001 University of Arizona.

Elliott Young. Professor of history. Latin American and U.S.-Mexico Borderlands history. PhD 1997, MA 1993 University of Texas at Austin. BA 1989 Princeton University.

Yueping Zhang. Associate professor of psychology, co-director of the Neuroscience Program. Behavioral neuroscience, brain and behavior, drugs and behavior, cross-cultural psychology. PhD 1996, MA 1992 University of New Hampshire. MD 1985 Shandong Medical University.


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ETHS 220 Education and Social Inequality in Urban America

Content: Examines the sociological relationship between education, the school system, and society, with a particular focus on how schooling can reproduce, reinforce, and perpetuate racial inequality, class hierarchies, and social stratification in urban America. By surveying and analyzing foundational theories that investigate and interrogate the social function of education, the social purpose of schools, and the vulnerable conditions of the ghetto, this course will provide theoretical understanding and empirical analysis of how education and the process of schooling can impact social life.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ETHS 244 Practicum

Content: Development of an extensive project relating to ethnic studies issues in an organizational setting. Placement in community-based social and educational agencies concerned with problems related to race and ethnicity, such as employment discrimination, immigration rights, civil and voting rights, equal access to education, housing, law, public policy, and political organization. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: One ethnic studies course.
Restrictions: Declared ethnic studies minor. Sophomore standing and consent of program director and faculty sponsor required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 1-4.

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ETHS 250 Education, Culture, and Citizenship

Content: Connecting education and cultural competence theory to the practice of civic leadership. Exploration of the intersection of these concepts through the creation of a community-based research project that meets the needs of a community or community organization in the Portland metro area. Includes readings and discussion. Credit-no credit.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 2.

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ETHS 320 Critical Hip-Hop Studies

Content: Using an interdisciplinary approach to explore the complexity of hip-hop culture and the lived experiences of people in inner-city urban America, this course will examine the historical factors and conditions that birthed hip-hop culture, early narratives and experiences that were being articulated through the music, the corporate commodification of the art form (i.e., rap music), the contemporary representation of African American culture in mainstream rap music, and the possibility of hip-hop culture as a form of resistance against structural marginalization.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ETHS 345 Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies Chair

Content: Student chairs perform substantive analytic work related to this interdisciplinary field of study, conducting extensive research to explore speakers, develop panels, identify important issues, and develop the program of events. Working closely with each other, the planning committee, and the faculty director, chairs also develop leadership and professional responsibilities. Preference given to minors in Ethnic Studies, but students with relevant coursework or other experience will be considered.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Junior standing. Requires permission of instructor after completion of application and interview.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ETHS 400 Ethnic Studies Colloquium

Content: Reading and critical analysis of major interpretive works. Organized around themes or analytical problems; comparative study of works in ethnic studies exemplifying different points of view, methodologies, subject matter. Focus varies depending on instructor's teaching and research area.
Prerequisites: SOAN 225 or HIST 240 recommended.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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ETHS 499 Independent Study

Content: Opportunities for well-prepared student to design and pursue a substantive course of independent learning on an advanced level. Details determined by the student and the supervising instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: SOAN 225 or HIST 240.
Restrictions: Declared ethnic studies minor. Sophomore standing and consent of program director and faculty sponsor required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 2-4.