For a list of all 2020-2021 graduate (200-level) courses, visit the Ethnic Studies courses page.

For the most up-to-date course descriptions, visit

Ethnic Studies Graduate Courses

ETST 200: History of Ideas in Ethnic Studies

Examines the foundational ideas critical for understanding the historical evolution of race and ethnic issues in the United States and within international relations. Prepares graduate students to conceptualize multidisciplinary and comparative ethnic studies research.

ETST 201: Sociocultural Theories in Ethnic Studies

Examines theoretical approaches to the study of race and ethnicity in the United States. Assesses the relative strengths and weaknesses of key theoretical paradigms. Perspectives may include symbolic interaction, phenomenology, class analysis, sovereignty, literary criticism, feminism, psychoanalysis, racial formation, critical race theory, postmodernism, and global or transnational.

ETST 203: Research Methodologies in Ethnic Studies

Examines some of the foundational theories and methodologies employed in the field of ethnic studies. Provides basic knowledge in designing and implementing a research project utilizing multiple methodologies.

ETST 204: Critical Race Perspectives in Latino Education 

Examines the social, economic, and political factors that impact contemporary Latino/a education. Explores alternative epistemologies that challenge traditional modes of schooling as well as alternative pedagogies – both in and outside public school classrooms – that are rooted in community-based knowledge.

ETST 205: Feminism, Race, and the Politics of Knowledge 

Explores how race and gender are produced and institutionalized in U.S. social arrangements, emphasizing the social construction of race and gender in science, culture, and the law. Surveys a collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century scientific and legal texts alongside feminist of color writings that analyze the relationship between knowledge, empowerment, and social justice.

ETST 215: Asylum Policy and Migrant Detention 

Covers the politics of asylum and migrant detention practices in the United States in a global perspective. Includes knowledge on asylum and detention regime through both the lens of global political economy, critical race theory, and through practical engagement with refugee and migrant organizations/legal practitioners.

ETST 221: Race, Gender, Law and Equal Protection

Examines the interrelationships among law, race, gender, equal protection doctrine, and the state. Addresses contemporary theoretical challenges to concepts such as critical legal studies, critical race theory, “LatCrit,” and feminist jurisprudence.

ETST 222: Intersectionalities

Examines the theory of intersectionality in a transnational framework and historical perspective. Addresses problematics of social identity construction and the body. Considers analyses in relation to people of color and issues of race, sex, economic oppression, homophobia, transgender possibilities, ageism, militarization, nationalism, and globalization. Focuses on collective strategies of resistance and revolution.

ETST 223: Chicana/o Expressive Culture: Theory and Practice

Examines Chicana/o cultural studies theories while tracing the history of diverse communities and expressive cultures from Spanish colonial period through the turn of the twenty-first century. Assesses the role of popular culture in Mexican American life. Explores the Chicanas/os’ impact upon the development of popular culture and academia in American society.

ETST 224: Race and State Violence

Engages critical social theories of race. Focuses on state-mediated technologies of power and domination.  Emphasizes analyses of race, racism, and white supremacy that conceptualize their historical constitution of statecraft and nation-building processes.

ETST 225: Imperialism, Colonialism, Racism: Global Perspectives

Charts a critical interdisciplinary genealogy of imperialism, colonialism, and racism within the global context of capitalist modernity. Explores the characteristics of imperialism, colonialism, and racism, as well as their relation to each other and to nationalism, decolonization, and globalization. Addresses how these complex articulations have been theorized.

ETST 226: Cultural Politics and Production

Consider the discursive and expressive cultural forms produced by racialized subjects. Covers a range of literatures, music, dance, song, and performance forms; the works of individuals and collectives; and social movements.

ETST 227: Anticolonialism and Its Aftermath

Examines anticolonialist political thought in the context of contemporaneous and subsequent critical work in interdisciplinary fields. Engages these thoughts through frameworks of critical race studies, feminist thought, queer studies, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies. Discusses relevance of anticolonialist theorizations and insights to contemporary social and political problems.

ETST 228: Race, Law, and Educational Policy

Explores how law and race shape educational policies, as well as how educational policies and practices shape race and law. Examines how decisions made at the federal, state, and local levels influence public education opportunities and access.

ETST 230: Gramscian Thought & Subaltern Struggles

Covers Antonio Gramsci’s primary writings as well as select texts by scholars that have applied his theoretical insights to the study of struggles between subaltern groups and states in multiple contexts. Includes the application of Gramscian theory and methods to advanced projects in the social sciences and humanities.

ETST 231: Racial Capitalism and the Black Radical Tradition

Examines race as a structural mechanism and ideological terrain that manifests inequalities foundational to capitalism. Explores radical traditions of resistance, revolt, abolition, and survival that have emerged from (Queer) Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Emphasizes on the state, political economy, and cultural studies.

ETST 243 (E-Z): Special Topics in Ethnic Studies

A critical analysis of current theory and research in special areas of Ethnic Studies. Covers a single topic not addressed in a regular course. Topics vary from quarter to quarter.

ETST 243E: White Reconstruction 

Examines the political agendas, socio-historical assumptions, and mundane structures of racial violence that constitute the announcement and canonization of a post-civil rights period occurring after the 1960s.

ETST 243F: Race, Utopia, the Human in SciFi 

Explores through an afro-futurist lens how the concepts of utopia and of human life (collective and individual) have been imagined and practiced in science fiction literature and music.

ETST 243G: Racial and Racial-Colonial Genocide 

Attempts to generate a radical conceptualization and theorization of racial genocide as a historically continuous, distended apparatus of social determination and systemic violence.

ETST 244: Borders, Borderlands and Chicano/a Studies

Examines the borderlands as a site of social and political negotiation over space and within cultural studies. Topics include race, gender, activism, and culture.

ETST 245: Theories in Chicana/o Studies

Introduction to the historical development of theoretical paradigms and models in Chicana/o studies. Covers 1960s protest literature, critical race theory, Chicana feminist theory, “LatCrit,” and cultural citizenship. Addresses critical evaluation and application of these paradigms in order to understand the experiences of Chicanas/os and other subordinated communities.

ETST 246: Chicano Historiography

Surveys approaches and genres in the field of Chicano history from classic works to “cutting edge” topics. Analyzes methods employed, as well as theoretical underpinnings.

ETST 247: Policy and Politics: Grass Roots versus Coercive State

Provides a current examination of the status of Chicana(o)/Latina(o) politics from both a grass roots and coercive state perspective. Examines divergent theoretical approaches within the contexts of liberal capitalism, pluralist versus elite theory, and identity politics.

ETST 248: Race and Critical Educational Policy

Examines a set of diverse, discipline-based conceptual perspectives and analytic frameworks used to interpret policy purposes, processes, contents, and outcomes. Focuses on the political dimensions of education policy issues. Also explores the conceptual frameworks and skills required in studying politics and exercising leadership in organizational settings.

ETST 249: Race and Critical Educational Politics

Focuses on the political dimensions of education policy issues, processes, and choices pertaining to governmental arrangements, community contexts, and interest group pressure. Provides conceptual frameworks and perspectives that examine political decision making. Utilizes case studies of educational policy making in educational institutions at the local and state levels.

ETST 254: Asian American Cultural Critique and Theory

Examines major critical developments, interventions, and issues in Asian American cultural critique and theory. Charts the historical development of the field of Asian American literary and cultural studies. Interrogates the contexts and constraints of the field’s institutional formation and recognition.

ETST 255: Critical Issues in Asian American Studies

Examines and seeks to develop a critical appreciation of research literature on Asians in America and to develop alternative interpretations of the Asian American experience. Topics include Asian American history, economic, political, social, and psychological issues.

ETST 256: Critical Issues in Asian Pacific American Ethnic Studies

Examines contemporary issues facing Asian Pacific American communities. Students engage in active research in these communities.

ETST 289: Colloquium in Ethnic Studies

Lectures and discussions by students, faculty, and invited scholars on selected topics.

ETST 405: Ethnic Studies Proseminar on Professionalization

Covers a broad range of topics related to academic professionalization. Addresses issues pertaining to the dissertation, publishing, professional activity, and the process of getting tenure. Also covers issues related to teaching at the university level.