The Department of Race and Resistance Studies began with its first faculty member hire in 2002, began offering a minor in 2010, and was officially recognized as a Department in 2017. RRS coursework examines how institutions such as education, healthcare, penal systems, and popular culture affect and oppress communities of color and Native peoples. More importantly, students examine the creative and complex ways in communities of color and Native peoples respond and resist institutional and social inequality. In doing so, program curriculum explores how domestic issues are shaped by transnational processes and how oppressions and resistances are shaped by intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. The Race and Resistance Studies Department offers a minor undergraduate degree. Additionally, the deaprtment houses new areas of study that may become free-standing units, include Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora (AMED) Studies.
As an academic, intellectual and communal space, AMED is our collective home. Your continued involvement and support will facilitate the realization of our academic goals of becoming the first tenuring department in Arab and Muslim Studies anywhere in the world, a department that takes pride in its rootedness in, and accountability to our diverse communities among whom we live, to whom we belong, and from whose textured lives, experiences and trials and tribulations we draw the rich material for our research, writing, teaching, and academic progress.
AMED departs from the dominant trend in Arab and Muslim Studies as the study of foreign communities in a confined geographical area. We view Arabs and Muslims as organic members of the larger communities of color within the US, in the Americas, and transnationally across other Diasporas. Housed in the College of Ethnic Studies, AMED's unique vision is framed within a justice-centered perspective, which is essential to the study of Arab and Muslim communities. AMED is committed to reciprocity and strong collaboration between university and non-university communities. The Palestinian Cultural Mural honoring the late Professor Edward Said is a case in point: Initiated and spearheaded by SFSU students, the project survived as a result of a collective efforts by coalition of university- and community-based groups and individuals.
Our public and educational programs extend beyond campus boundaries and are steeped in the belief that it is our responsibility to share the knowledge we produce and reproduce with our multiple publics, to contribute to a better understanding of Arab and Muslim experiences and concerns in North America, to promote a culture of justice, dignity, tolerance, and peace, and to deepen a sense of fairness, ethics, and solidarity among and between our communities.