Ethnic Studies at Lawrence

Ethnic Studies at Lawrence is the critical and interdisciplinary examination of race and ethnicity. Through a focus on the experiences and expressions of people of color in and beyond the US, students explore current and historical issues pertaining to race and ethnicity in both domestic and global contexts. Students learn how ethnic groups identify themselves on the basis of national origin, family heritage, shared historical experience, customs and traditions, and/or language. They critically examine how constructions of race and racism are still embedded in institutions and everyday life. Students gain skills enhancing their own ability to negotiate multi-ethnic and interracial relationships and to thrive in diverse communities and workplaces.

Professor Smith presenting Cultural Appropriation seminar to a packed audience.

Ethnic Studies Major

The Ethnic Studies major offers foundational courses that introduce students to central concepts and current approaches to Ethnic Studies theory and methods. In consultation with an Ethnic Studies faculty advisor, students will select a set of electives that reflect their individual interest in certain topics or current debates, specific ethno-racial communities, geographic areas, or historical time periods. In a community-based learning experience, students will bridge academic learning and “read-world” practice through service learning, internships, volunteer work, or student-teaching. Finally, for their senior experience, students may choose from three options designed to bring reflection and focus to their Ethnic Studies experience.

New Senior Seminar in Ethnic Studies 2019-20 (Winter Term 2020 - TR 9:00-10:50am)

ETST 600: Senior Seminar (taken in the winter of the senior year)

Senior majors in Ethnic Studies must take ETST 600 unless, in advanced consultation with an Ethnic Studies advisor, the student completes one of the two other senior experience options:

  • Off-Campus Program experience incorporating a major research project
  • Student Teaching Practicum: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages OR Teaching in ethnically diverse K-12 classrooms or programs

Core Courses in Ethnic Studies for Academic Year 2019-20

See the class schedule on the web for the list of all Ethnic Studies courses.

Fall Term 2019

  • ETST 100: Introduction to Ethnic Studies (MWF 1:50 – 3:00; J. Smith)
  • ETST 300: Contemporary Native American Perspectives (TR 12:30 – 2:20; B. Miller)

Winter Term 2020

  • ETST 301: Theories of Race & Ethnicity (TR 2:30 – 4:20; J. Smith)
  • ETST 600: Senior Seminar (TR 9:00 – 10:50; J. Smith)

Spring Term 2020

  • ETST 210: Expressions of Ethnicity (MWF 9:50 – 11:00; K. Hoffmann)
  • ETST 302: Research Methods in Ethnic Studies (TR 9:00 – 10:50; J. Smith)
  • ETST 336: Decolonization, Activism and Hope (TR 12:30 – 2:20; B. Miller)
  • ETST 400 Sociology of Latinx Americans (TR 2:30 – 4:20; J. Smith)

See the class schedule on the web for the list of all Ethnic Studies courses.

Ethnic Studies Remembers Lifongo Vetinde

Headshot of Lifongo Vetinde, Professor of French and Francophone Studies.

It is with a deep and abiding sense of loss that all of us in the Ethnic Studies program wish to acknowledge the passing of our colleague, mentor, teacher, and friend, Lifongo Vetinde.

Ethnic Studies was one of Lifongo’s homes on campus. Dedicated and generous with his time and insights, Lifongo played a crucial role in helping to build the Ethnic Studies program from an idea in the late 1990's to a minor to now a flourishing major. He was part of the initial Working Group on Ethnic Studies that designed and championed a proposal for a minor in the field. He continued to play a crucial part in the many steps needed to develop the minor into a major, all the while continuing to teach core courses and cross-listed courses in the program. He was one of the very first professors to teach Expressions of Ethnicity, a course that remains foundational to the Ethnic Studies program at Lawrence. It is just one of the many legacies of his commitment to expanding his students' engagement with the world beyond the classroom.

We remember with gratitude his generous and collaborative spirit, his radiant smile and characteristic warmth, and his ability to make us laugh, even in difficult times.