Ethnic Studies

Introduction to the Ethnic Studies Program

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.

New Ethnic Studies Major Starting 2018-19 Academic Year

The Ethnic Studies major will offer 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 “real-world” practice through service learning, internships, volunteer work, or student-teaching. For their senior experience, students will choose from three options designed to bring reflection and focus to their Ethnic Studies experience.

New major in Ethnic Studies approved by a positive majority vote among the full faculty on February 13, 2018! See the advising page for details.

After a long process involving the first Ethnic Studies class being taught in 2002, our first student graduates with the minor in 2007, the program self-study and external review in 2015, and our new tenure-track faculty hire in 2017, Ethnic Studies is thrilled to implement a new major in addition to a minor.

We have many people to thank but above all Ethnic Studies would like to thank our students and alumni! Thank you students and alumni for responding to student and alumni surveys related to the self-study and external review. Thank you students for participating in the successful national search that brought Dr. Jesús Gregorio Smith to campus as our tenure-track colleague in Ethnic Studies. Thank you students for attending recent Ethnic Studies Open House events. We take pride in students whose interest in Ethnic Studies have manifest in multiple ways in addition to minoring and now majoring in Ethnic Studies.

See the advising page for a preview of the new major and minor requirements that start the next 2018-19 academic year.

New at Lawrence in Ethnic Studies! Jesus Gregorio Smith, Tenure-track Professor in Ethnic Studies since 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)

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