Professor Smith presenting Cultural Appropriation seminar to a packed audience.

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.

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.

Core Courses in Ethnic Studies 2021-22

Check the Class Schedule for a full listing of courses in Ethnic Studies (which includes the many cross-listed courses being offered).

Fall Term 2021
  • ETST 110 (5307): Introduction to Ethnic Studies (D) (TR 10:25-12:10; S. Colón)
  • ETST 300 (5305): Contemporary Native American Women (D) (TR 12:40 – 2:25; B. Miller) \
  • ETST 303 (5435): Race, Ethnicity and Health (D) (MWF 9:50-11:00; J. Smith)
  • ETST 310 (5486): TOP: Critical Geography (D) (TR 2:35-4:20; S. Colón)                                     
  • ETST 600 (5304): Senior Seminar (MWF 1:50-3:00; J. Smith)
Winter Term 2022
  • ETST 160 (1530): Introduction to Asian American Studies (D) (TR 12:40-2:25; S. Colón)
  • ETST 301 (1321): Theories of Race & Ethnicity (D,W) (TR 10:25-12:10; J. Smith)
  • ETST 304 (1474): Race, Ethnicity and Justice (D) (TR 2:35-4:20; J. Smith)
  • ETST 337 (1526): Decolonization Today (G,D) (MWF 11:10-12:20; B. Miller & L. Murali)
Spring Term 2022
  • ETST 210 (3276): Expressions of Ethnicity (D) (MWF 1:50-3:00; K. Hoffmann)
  • ETST 302 (3275): Research Methods in Ethnic Studies (D) (MWF 11:10 – 12:20; J. Smith)
  • ETST 336 (3277): Decolonization, Activism and Hope (D) (TR 12:40 – 2:25; B. Miller)
  • ETST 365 (3278): Black and Latin@ Sociology (D) (MWF 8:30-9:40; J. Smith)

For further information, read about Ethnic Studies – For All Students & our Social Justice Requirement in Advising, see how to build an ETST major or minor in Major/Minor Requirements, or explore ETST classes in Course Descriptions.

Ethnic Studies Remembers Lifongo Vetinde (1955-2020)

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

In memory 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.