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Theorizing Race and Ethnicity

ENGL 590.401
M 3-6

Our readings will move through a series of theoretical lenses for understanding race and ethnicity in the twentieth century. We will consider the following major movements: ethnicity theory and social scientific theories of marginality, along with the rise of multiculturalism; racial formation and marxist readings of racism; the framework of imperialism and colonialism in theorizing race; race in the context of diaspora studies; and poststructuralist and psychoanalytic approaches to race which have emerged with the ascent of cultural studies. Assignments include two short papers (10 pages) that apply these theories to a literary text and an in-class presentation.