Ethnic Studies

Introduction to the Ethnic Studies Program

Drawing upon its own inter-disciplinary body of theory, concepts and methodological approaches, ethnic studies at Lawrence provides intellectual environments in which students can participate in meaningful dialogue about topics too often shrouded in silence. Ethnic studies appeals to students who want to explore the evolution of ethno-racial identities in both U.S. domestic and global contexts, and examine current issues pertaining to race and ethnicity. Students take ethnic studies courses to enhance their own ability to negotiate multi-ethnic and inter-racial relationships and to thrive in workplace diversity. Students broaden their own worldview when they study concepts of ethnicity and learn what it means to identify with an ethnic group on the basis of national origin, family heritage, shared historical experience, customs and traditions, and/or language. Students think critically about the concept of race when they explore how race is a recent human invention, how race is about culture and politics and not biology, and how race and racism are still embedded in institutions and everyday life.

The ethnic studies minor at Lawrence offers two core courses that introduce students to theory, concepts and approaches from the social sciences (ETST 200: Race and Ethnicity in the United States) and the arts and humanities (ETST 210 Expressions of Ethnicity). Students take at least one of the two core courses and four additional elective courses, at least one from each of two categories—domestic and global—to build a minor that reflects individual student interests in certain topics or current debates, specific ethno-racial communities, geographic areas, or historical time periods. In a senior capstone requirement, students may choose from a range of options designed to bring reflection and focus to their ethnic studies experience.

Expanding to a Major and Enhancing Diversity

The Ethnic Studies program has begun a search for a tenure-line appointment in ethnic studies following a proposal unanimously endorsed by the committee process at Lawrence University. New additions to our curriculum will hopefully lead to the approval of an Ethnic Studies major. As an academic community, we at Lawrence hold a deep commitment to valuing diversity and enhancing diversity on campus. Recruiting and retaining a diverse student body and educating all students to think critically and productively about race and ethnicity are crucial goals for the inclusive excellence that will help Lawrence’s vitality now and into the future.  A new tenure-track appointment and developing a major in Ethnic Studies will play an important role in these goals.

New at Lawrence in Ethnic Studies! Jesus Gregorio Smith, Tenure-track Professor in Ethnic Studies arriving September 1, 2017

Jesus Gregorio Smith is completing his PhD in Sociology from Texas A&M University where he currently serves as a Diversity Fellow. His expertise centers on the intersections of race, gender and sexuality and how they impact condom use and sexual risk activity. Professor Smith has published book chapters, encyclopedia entries and journal articles on topics ranging from gender representation online, to Latino LGBT issues and racism in the gay community. 

For the 2017-18 academic year, Dr. Smith will teach the following:

  • ETST 200: Race & Ethnicity in the U.S.  MWF 9:50- 11:00  (Fall 2017)
  • ETST 370: US/Mexican Border Sociology TR 2:30-4:20 (Winter 2018)
  • ETST 265: Black and Latin@ Sociology MWR 1:50-3:00 (Spring 2018)

Farewell Dr. Tori Arthur!

The Ethnic Studies program is pleased to congratulate Dr. Tori Arthur on attaining a tenure track position at Colorado State.  Dr. Arthur has been a Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2016-2017 academic year.  She has been the program’s first faculty member exclusively dedicated to Ethnic Studies.  Students enjoyed taking courses based on her specializations in Black Cultural Tourism, African Immigrant Narratives, and Digital Ethnic Studies. Dr. Arthur will be missed but we wish her the best!

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