Race and Resistance Studies

In 2010, the College of Ethnic Studies formally established a comparative program: Race and Resistance Studies (RRS) was started as an interdisciplinary program program and recently became a full-fledged department, with two minors and several academic programs in development. Coursework focuses upon processes of racialization—how race-related discourses/practices create and perpetuate social problems—across diverse ethnic and racialized communities.  The core faculty in RRS provides students with tools for examining how institutions oppress communities of color.  Students explore the creative and complex ways in which communities of color express multiple forms of resistance.  In doing so, we further explore how domestic issues are shaped by transnational processes and how oppression and resistance are shaped by the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality.

A new initiative—Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas—is taking shape within RRS to further diversify and complement the curricular offerings within the wider College of Ethnic Studies.

Degree Options

The Race and Resistance Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program that provides undergraduate students with an approach to social justice to study race as a politically produced and contested process that begins with institutions, movements, and social problems, to examine racialized communities. The curriculum examines how race, gender, and class are co-constitutive factors of identity; how different groups are racialized in relation to one another; how social justice movements cohere and fall apart; and how groups have formed their own identities. The Race and Resistance Studies minor provides students with non-traditional, multi-ethnic, and comparative perspectives on national and transnational experiences of people of color within the U.S.

Race and Resistance Studies (RRS) examines both the race-related processes that underlie many social problems and the multiple forms of resistance and struggle aimed at achieving racial social justice. Our analytical approach is comparative, relational, interdisciplinary, and intersectional. The program will 1) provide majors with a solid understanding of key theories and approaches through a set of core courses required of all students, 2) provide all students with an overview of key areas of concern, including histories of resistance, gender issues, transnational issues, and cultural production, 3) Allow students to choose electives emphasizing particular areas of interest, and 4) develop students' abilities to work in a community organizations.