Program Information

The American Ethnic Studies major is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the comparative cultural heritage and experiences of various marginalized groups within the United States -- including but not limited to American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos/Latinas, Arab Americans -- as well as on the body of scholarship and theory that has emerged around national and global issues of race and ethnicity. Course offerings cover a broad range of historical and contemporary dynamics of race and ethnicity in America, made manifest in privilege and power, cultural traditions, and social movements, as well as economic and political developments. The major draws upon multiple disciplines and methodologies that include anthropology, art history, history, literature, rhetoric, politics, religion, and sociology. It affirms the integration of theory and practice through experiential education and civic engagement with communities of color.  

Requirements for the American Ethnic Studies Major (11 credits)

Students will complete eleven courses, including:

  • AES 150 Introduction to American Ethnic Studies
  • AES 330 Theory and Methods of American Ethnic Studies
  • AES 499W Senior Capstone

**AES majors are required to participate in a student-selected sustained experiential learning project. Typically, students will have completed this prior to the capstone course, but otherwise they will be expected to do so as the basis of that course. In the capstone course, students will complete a project that integrates this experiential learning with at least two of the four areas outlined below.

The following requirements should be taken into consideration in selecting elective courses:

At least 2 courses must be completed in each of the 4 thematic areas -- history, power, culture, voice -- drawn from the lists below:

  • No more than 3 courses can be taken from the same department
  • No more than 5 courses can be from the 200-level or below and no more than 3 at the 100-level

Elective courses for History:

  • ANTH 231 (TH; US) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar
  • ENGL 116W (IT) Topics in American Literature: Peculiar Intimacies
  • ENGL 337 African American Literature I
  • ENGL 338 African American Literature II
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: 1960s
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: Reconstruction
  • HIST 259 American Jewish History
  • HIST 262 American Women's History
  • HIST 307 American Immigration History
  • HIST 361 African American History 1619-1865
  • HIST 362 African American History 1865-present
  • IDS 205 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program
  • IDS 243 Race, Racism, and Human Genetics
  • IDS 396 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program Internship
  • REL 214 (TH) Religion in America
  • REL 252 Soul Food: Eating and Drinking in Western Religion
  • REL 334 Liberation Theology and Social Change

Elective courses in Power:

  • ANTH 351 (EV) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and the Environment
  • CCM 261 (EV) Persuasion and Mass Media: Race and Ethnicity
  • CCM 360 Topics in Public Discourse: Race, Gender and the Public Sphere
  • ENGL 381 Latin@ Countercultures Digital Research Project
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: 1960s
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry: Reconstruction
  • HIST 307 African American History 1619-1865
  • HIST 362 African American History 1865-present
  • IDS 205 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program
  • IDS 215 Willamette Academy Service Learning (.5)
  • IDS 243 Race, Racism and Human Genetics
  • IDS 396 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program Internship
  • POLI 318 (EV) Death in America
  • REL 214 (TH) Religion n America
  • SOC 114 (US) Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC/ANTH 358 Topics in Sociology/Topics in Anthropology: Race and Ethnicity

Elective courses for Culture:

  • ANTH 231 (TH; US) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar
  • ANTH 351 (EV) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and the Environment
  • ENGL 116W (IT) Topics in American Literature: Peculiar Intimacies
  • ENGL 337 African American Literature I
  • ENGL 338 African American Literature II
  • ENGL 361 Modern Poetry & Poetics: 20th Century African American Poetry
  • ENGL 381 Latin@ Countercultures Digital Research Project
  • ENGL 450 Advanced Studies in Authorship: Toni Morrison
  • REL 252 Soul Food: Eating and Drinking in Western Religion
  • SOC 114 (US) Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC/ANTH 358 Topics in Sociology/Topics in Anthropology: Race and Ethnicity

Elective courses for Voice:

  • CCM 261 (EV) Persuasion and Mass Media: Race and Ethnicity
  • CCM 360 Topics in Public Discourse: Race, Gender and the Public Sphere
  • ENGL 116W (IT) Topics in American Literature: Peculiar Intimacies
  • ENGL 361 Modern Poetry & Poetics: 20th Century African American Poetry
  • ENGL 450 Advanced Studies in Authorship: Toni Morrison
  • HIST 259 American Jewish History
  • HIST 262 American Women's History
  • POLI 318 (EV) Death in America
  • REL 334 Liberation Theology and Social Change

Other courses with themes to be determined at the time of offering:

  • ENGL 344 Major Author
  • ENGL 354 The Modern Novel
  • ENGL 361 Modern Poetry & Poetics
  • IDS 205 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program
  • IDS 343 Field Studies in Chicago
  • POLI 303 (EV) Topics in Political Theory
  • Other Topics and Advanced Topics courses

Requirements for the American Ethnic Studies Minor (5 Credits)

Core courses (2 credits)

  • AES 150 Introduction to American Ethnic Studies
  • AES 330 Theory and Methods in American Ethnic Studies

Elective Courses (3): NOTE: at least two of these courses must be at the 300-level or higher and no more than two of these courses can be drawn from the same department.

  • AES 144 Topics in American Ethnic Studies
  • AES 344 Advanced Topics in American Ethnic Studies
  • AES 354 Racial Justice Movements in the U.S.
  • AES 491W Independent Study in American Ethnic Studies
  • ANTH 231 (TH; US) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 303 Museum Studies Seminar
  • ANTH 351 (EV) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and the Environment
  • CCM 261 (EV) Persuasion and Mass Media: Race and Ethnicity*
  • CCM 360 Topics in Public Discourse: Race, Gender and the Public Sphere*
  • ENGL 116W (IT) Topics in American Literature*
  • ENGL 337 African American Literature I: Slave Narratives and Early African American Literary Tradition
  • ENGL 338 African American Literature II
  • ENGL 344 Major Authors*
  • ENGL 354 The Novel*
  • ENGL 361 Modern Poetry & Poetics
  • ENGL 450 Advanced Studies in Authorship*
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry*
  • HIST 259 American Jewish History
  • HIST 262 American Women's History
  • HIST 301W Themes in American Social History
  • HIST 306 History Through Biography*
  • HIST 307 American Immigration History
  • HIST 342 Studies in American History*
  • HIST 361 African American History 1619-1865
  • HIST 362 African American History 1865-present
  • IDS 205 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program
  • IDS 215 Willamette Academy Service Learning (.5)
  • IDS 343 Field Studies in Chicago
  • IDS 396 Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program Internship
  • POLI 303 (EV) Topics in Political Theory
  • POLI 318 (EV) Death in America
  • REL 214 (TH) Religion in America
  • REL 252 Soul Food: Eating and Drinking in Western Religion
  • SOC 114 (US) Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC/ANTH 358 Topics in Sociology/Topics in Anthropology*

* Selected Topics Only