Ethnic Studies at College of San Mateo - Overview
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Ethnic Studies

Overview

Contact Us


Frederick Gaines
Professor
gainesf@smccd.edu
(650) 574-6183
Ethnic studies is a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field focused on the analysis of socially-constructed categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, nationality and (non)citizenship. Using a range of materials, from literary and musical works to sociological studies and historical texts, we deeply examine the processes whereby social categories of identity and difference are produced, resisted, inhabited, embraced, and transformed across historical time and geographic space. We trace the ways in which these racialized categories shape and are shaped by a variety of other complex issues, such as colonialism, military conflict, and the relations between capital and labor.

Our classes interrogate systems of power and inequality, analyze the effects of social justice movements past and present, and delve into the ontology and phenomenology of the elusive notion of liberation. By familiarizing students with a range of methodological tools for the study of social life, while prioritizing the voices and perspectives of marginalized individuals and minoritized communities, we open up an intellectual space within which the term "ethnic" in "ethnic studies" is both critically deconstructed and strategically affirmed.