In Fall 2021, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is adding Ethnic Studies to its growing list of Interdisciplinary Minors and Programs.
“The minor is a general overview of ethnic studies, the history of why it developed, and how it reflects fundamental changes that occurred in the humanities and social sciences about issues of history and representation,” said Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa, Associate Professor of Sociology and co-director of the new program.
Students will learn about multiple cultures’ social and historical context within the United States, as well as academic and experiential learning focused on key themes, concepts, and ideas in the field of ethnic studies. The program curriculum will allow students to examine modern (in)justice; social movements; legal and public policy activism; antiracist and anti-patriarchal ontologies; liberationist epistemologies; and community and identity formation in American history.
“Understanding other cultures and other perspectives in the world is key to critical thinking. One of the reasons we go to college is to gain diversity of perspective. This is why you have a General Education requirement that “requires” you to take an art class, even if you are a business major with no seeming interest in art. This is because our society believes in the value of interdisciplinary perspectives. Because it values quantitative and qualitative approaches. Because it believes in the importance of critical thinking and creativity,” said Takaragawa.
The Ethnic Studies minor will focus on producing culturally competent, global citizens that represent diverse perspectives of a realist in a globalized world, helping students understand interactions of race, class, gender, and sexuality in social groups – an important topic in today’s world.
“The minor is interdisciplinary in nature and was pragmatically designed to support a student’s intellectual and professional growth by building upon a range of existing courses,” said Dr. Cathery Yeh, Assistant Professor in Attallah College of Educational Studies and co-director of the program.
“In addition to the Ethnic Studies minor working synergistically with the other diversity-related programs, such as Latinx and Latin American Studies, Africana Studies, LGBTQ+ Studies, Disability Studies, Women’s Studies, and Asian Studies, the class offerings cut across disciplines in a way that will allow students of many majors to complete the minor with the goal that completion of the Ethnic Studies Minor will provide critical pedagogical knowledge and leadership skills that undergraduates will be able to use across all disciplines and career fields,” said Yeh.