Undergraduate Courses

The Winter 2013 LSA Understanding Race Theme Semester features more than 130 related courses. Click here to see the Course Guide.

New courses created specifically for the Understanding Race Theme Semester are discussed below

UC 256
22 Ways to Think About Race

Evelyn Alsultany, American Culture
The idea of race in the United States has a long and complex history. While the United States was founded on principles of freedom and equality, ideas about race were used to justify slavery, segregation, and to legalize inequality. Many point to the civil rights movement in the 1960's as a major turning point in beginning to resolve this contradiction. But to what extent does race continue to shape our social, political, and economic system, our interpersonal relationships, and our personal experiences?


COMP LIT 490-003 / ANTHRCUL 356-001
The Aryan Race: Myths, Truth, and Fiction

Gayle Rubin and Tomoko Masuzawa

  • What is race? Is race a biological fact, or is it a historical construct?
  • Does everyone belong to a race? How does one know?
  • If there is such a thing as “mixed race,” is there a “pure race”?
  • In what ways is the concept of race like, or unlike, the concept of “breed”?
  • How is diversity of race related to diversity in terms of culture, religion, language, and nationality?
  • How does the idea of race inform our sense of origins, origin of ourselves, our kin, origin of a people, of the human species, etc.?

These questions are indeed complex, often contentious, and difficult to resolve. In this team-taught course, we will explore these questions by focusing on a particularly controversial idea: the Aryan race.


AAS 490 and 203

The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies has created a suite of mini courses for the Theme Semester. All of these courses are offered as AAS 490, but they are open to first-year students and up. AAS 203 is also a new course.

Writing 200

The Sweetland Writing Center is offering a special implementation of Writing 200 (sections 003 & 005) on The Rhetoric of Social Blogging: Interactive Writing About Race, Identity and Social Justice.