Professors: Cyndy García-Weyandt, Amelia Katanski (Co-Director), and Shanna Salinas (Co-Director)
Critical Ethnic Studies interrogates the production of knowledge. CES Majors are required to theorize from multiple, and simultaneous, narratives of silenced peoples and epistemologies. Critical Ethnic Studies untangles and analyzes colonial and racial projects that attempt to govern the relationship between people and land.
Critical Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary field and process of engagement. The field seeks to change the logic governing the academy, and does not accept an uncomplicated grafting of content onto a universal idea. This change is realized through the relentless pursuit of multiple means of engagement. These processes invert, rethink, and displace universalities. Central to the field is a refusal to consume the other. Critical Ethnic Studies requires that scholars go beyond themselves, and devise conversations that move beyond voyeurism and consumption.
Eight units are required.
**WGS 390 will count as an elective only if taught by Dr. Fong. All other iterations of this course will have to be approved by the CES Director.
Courses that fit into the major will be designated CES courses under course type. The elective lists will continue to develop. For a list of current electives please consult the Critical Ethnic Studies website.
Argument with the Given
This course is a survey course; consequently a wide breadth of topics will be covered. The primary work will consist of developing a sophisticated understanding of central themes, and key concepts, in the field of Critical Ethnic Studies. Students will pursue that understanding via an interdisciplinary process. The secondary goal will be to acquire and build the skills necessary to pursue further learning in Critical Ethnic Studies; these include identifying your own research agenda (obsessions and desires), stocking your analytical tool kit (bibliographic skills, critical thinking, and the identification of knowledge demands), and lighting your intellectual fire (interest in the field).
Applied Practice in Mexico
Language: The Colonial & Imperial Difference
This course is an interdisciplinary survey course designed to introduce students to the study of language and power. Our primary objective will be to assert linguistic rights and interrogate the politics of language use, and language thought, in light of colonization, imperialism and the transit of empire. We will consider ideas and practices of literacy, language revitalization, translation and identity. These explorations will serve as a means to counter the monologism, monoculture, and monolingualism often invoked in nationalist projects.
Insurgency, Solidarity and Coloniality Of Power
This course is an interdisciplinary survey course designed to engage students in the study of power. The primary focus will be on instances of continuity and insurgency, between and among world indigenous, national, and transnational subjects. Embedded in this practice will be the assertion of epistemic rights, and simultaneous world views, and the varied and landed responses made to world systems of racialization and colonization. We will engage history and narrative through the power of storytelling and the critical fictions of conquest and enslavement. Most important, we will ask: what alternatives to modernity/coloniality can we conceive of through practices of insurgency and solidarity? How can we restore relations that have been severed, or disfigured, by these same world systems, as well as our wide-ranging responses to them?
Applied Practice Experience
This course is deigned to follow alternative epistemologies, ontologies, and methodologies that aim to help students in the development of research designs with emphasis in social change. The main goal is to understand how academic research as a tool, serves BIPOC communities change social conditions such as racism, social injustices, inequalities, and accessibility through community-based and experiential learning. The main goal of this course is to uplift, make visible, and use research as a platform for the voices of resistance, resilience, survivance, heroism, activism, achievement, and cultural expressions
One of the following courses: CES-200, CES-240, or CES-260
Body, Land, and Labor
In this course, students will consider the questions of how racialized bodies, gendered bodies, and able/disable bodies play a crucial role in understanding present realities in the U.S. and around the globe. Using different case studies from the Americas, students will examine the interconnection between performance of identity, embodiment, natural resources, geographies, and unfree labor, with particular attention to social movements in times of a global pandemic. Student will develop projects to incorporate their embodied experiences with the land and explore topics of resistance in social movements such as land sovereignty and/or labor rights.
Healing Justice: Women, Healers, & Community
In this course, students explore how healing justice as a framework and movement aims to revive ancestral healing practices and generate new approaches centering on BIPOC's health and "spirituality." In the efforts of addressing generational trauma inflected by violence and oppression, we explore how this framework responds to the demands of communities to the lack of access to quality healing services and health care. We examine multiple traditions of healing that have been essential in the holistic well-being of communities recorded across cultures. Students raise important questions about access to holistic healing practices, centering on traditional healing, and collective healing.
Must have taken CES-200, CES-240, or CES-260
In this course, students learn about the theories of ontology and the "ontological turn" to understand human and "other-than-human" being interactions. In this course, students explore non-Western concepts of kinship. The course will prioritize plant and human interactions. Student will examine how communities make sense of multispecies relations, reflect on their own relationship with plants, challenge topics such as personhood, understand the division between science/culture and discuss issues of food scarcity, food sovereignty, food justice, and land pedagogy.
Must have taken CES-200, CES-240, or CES-260, or with Instructor Permission. Must be taken concurrently with CES-395L.
Plant Communication/Kinship Lab
This lab will add training in Traditional Environmental Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society (ISTS) as a form of scientific practice. Students will gain training in observation, data collection, alternative methods, and decolonial methods to understand how Native communities conceive the environment as an extension of kin. Students will use the lab space to enter in relation with plants via ethical experimentation that follows Indigenous protocols and principles of coexistence, foster a diverse and inclusive learning environment in which all bodies are important, including the bodies of more-than-human beings, practice decolonial methods such as the arts and performances, and learn how Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities rely on the teachings of plants to confront environmental problems such as climate change.
Missionaries to Pilgrims: Diasporic Retu
This course explores the synergistic relationship between Africa and its diaspora through an analysis of return voyages. From 19th century formerly enslaves Africans who returned home after emancipation to contemporary religious and ethnic pilgrims seeking connection with their African ethnicity and or spirituality; the meeting space between the diaspora and Africa represents a contested terrain. Because Africa and the diaspora are ideological and political constructs, the class will engage the ways these constructions are negotiated and deployed across space and time. We will pay particular attention to questions of belonging, identity, and place and moments of miscommunication as Africa seeks to claim its diaspora and the diaspora makes claims on Africa
300-level ANSO course
CES Senior Colloquium
The Critical Ethnic Studies Senior Colloquium, 1-unit course collaboratively shaped by the CES faculty and senior majors. The colloquium will focus on the planning and executing of an intellectual social-political project that contributes to the CES program, to the larger community, and to the field of Critical Ethnic Studies. The Critical Ethnic Studies Senior cohort will decide the form and content of the project, in collaboration and consultation with CES faculty, who will provide leadership and organizational support. Infused in the project and the work of the course are professional development, collaborative scholarly work, and learning community development.
Must be a CES Major
Senior Integrated Project
Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Integrated Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Senior Integrated Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details.