Academic Catalog

Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity

Belisa Gonzalez, Professor and Director

The Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (CSCRE) was founded in 1999 with the mission to develop a curriculum focused on the experiences of Black, Latino/a/x, Asian and Asian American, and Native American and Indigenous peoples, who are often minoritized, underrepresented, or misrepresented in the U.S. as well as in the normative curriculum. While the Center's courses take the U.S. as the primary site for engaging race, many of these courses also problematize borders and binaries (inside/outside, self/other, black/white, local/global) as a way to explore the interconnections between the global majority and white society as well as between the U.S. and the diaspora.

The CSCRE is home to the Race, Power, and Resistance major and four interdisciplinary minors (African Diaspora Studies, Asian American Studies, Latino/a/x Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies). The Center also fosters dialogues on issues pertaining to race through extra-curricular programming, notably its year-long Discussion Series, which brings speakers, artists, organizers, and performers to Ithaca over the fall and spring semesters.

Race, Power, and Resistance Major

The goal of the B.A. in Race, Power, and Resistance is to provide students with an opportunity to study concepts, methodologies, and histories related to race, power, and resistance from an interdisciplinary and intersectional perspective. This major has an unapologetic focus on race and power inequalities in the U.S. and the diaspora. It is enhanced by a rich array of interdisciplinary course offerings that is unified by a coherent conceptual core. The Race, Power, and Resistance major has an integrated experiential learning component and a flexible design that allows students to explore different departments, disciplines, and schools.


  1. Attain a working knowledge of key concepts, debates, and methodologies within the field of race and ethnic studies.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of major historical developments of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian communities in the U.S. and in their respective diasporas.
  3. Understand how structural racism operates both historically and in the contemporary moment in relation to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian communities in the U.S. and in the respective diasporas.
  4. Articulate how race, ethnicity, and indigeneity intersect with other factors such as gender, gender expression, class, sexuality, religion, and nationhood.
  5. Express how racial and ethnic minoritized individuals and communities have organized to resist, survive, and thrive.

CSCRE Minors

Like the Race, Power, and Resistance major, the four minors cover a broad range of issues, from the historically constructed and contested nature of individual identities, to issues of cultural and historical representation, social justice, resistance, creative endeavors and struggles for racial redress. The overall objective of each minor, in addition to its focus on the collective and heterogeneous experiences of members of these communities, is to encourage, allow, and facilitate a study of the self in relation to the other.

CSCR 10600 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies (LA)

Introductory survey of the major topics and methodologies involved in studying the roots and routes of the African diaspora. Investigation of the physical and cultural movements between Africa and the Americas. Topics include the prominence of Africa in global history; the movement of African people (both voluntary and forced migrations); the enslavement of African peoples in the Americas; cultural aesthetics and identities; colonialism; and resistance. Employs an interdisciplinary approach drawing from disciplines in history, politics, cultural studies, social policy, and sociology. (F,S,Y)
Attributes: 1, AN3, CNSL, DV, G, SS
3 Credits

CSCR 10700 Introduction to Latino/a/x Studies (LA)

This interdisciplinary course explores the varied experiences of Latino/a/x people in the United States, past and present. Drawing from the disciplines of history, anthropology, literature, women's studies, and ethnic studies, it examines the historical roots of Latino/a/x, Chicano/a, Puerto Rican, Cuban-American, Central, and South American peoples. In particular, it will focus on notions of family, gender, class, race, political economy, language, and sexual identity in relation to public policy and Latino/as' struggles for place and power. Its approach is historical and comparative and it emphasizes the multiplicity of Latino/a/x experiences as well as the strategic deployment of the term Latino/a/x. (F,S,Y)
Attributes: AN3, CNSL, DV, H, HU, LAEL, LAGC
3 Credits

CSCR 10900 Introduction to Native American Indigenous Studies (LA)

Offers an interdisciplinary survey and introduction to the field of Native American Indigenous Studies. Focuses on how past and present Native American experiences both in the United States and with its colonial pre-cursors have shaped this pan-ethnic group’s identity, cultures, political power, and ways of life. Examines approaches to Native American Indigenous Studies and the way Native Americans have navigated their relationship to others historically and today. (F,S,Y)
Attributes: AN3, CNSL, DV, SO, SS, TIDE, TPJ
3 Credits

CSCR 11000 Introduction to Asian American Studies (LA)

Offers a critical introduction to Asian American Studies. Focuses on Asian migrations to the U.S., especially in response to labor demands in the 18th -21st centuries. Examines the ways these migrations and subsequent generations of Asian Americans have shaped the economy, racial hierarchies/power, notions of citizenship and cultural belonging, and movements for freedom and autonomy. Discusses the structure and systems of race in the United States as they apply to Asians within a broader context. (F,S,Y)
Attributes: AN3, CNSL, DV, HM, SO, SS, TIDE, TPJ
3 Credits

CSCR 12000 U.S. Civil Rights Seminar (LA)

The primary goal of the course is to introduce students to the history, philosophies, and practices of the civil rights movement in the United States, with a particular focus on the work and writings of Martin Luther King Jr. By utilizing readings, class discussions, and a visit to significant historical landmarks of the movement, students will develop an understanding of the differing approaches to social change and their strategic use within different parts of the modern day civil rights era. In addition, students will build an academic foundation for the required civil rights tour to be held during fall break. The seminar is open to Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar Program participants only. For more information scholars should review the program requirements. Prerequisites: None. 1 Credit. (F, Y)
Attributes: SS
1 Credit

CSCR 12300 Introduction to Culture, Race & Ethnicity Concepts (LA)

Introduces students to key concepts in culture, race, and ethnicity studies. Drawing from cultural studies, comparative ethnic studies, and gender and sexuality studies, it investigates how racial and ethnic identity politics shape institutional and social policies, cultural expressions and aesthetics, and resistance movements. Particular attention will be paid to the ways communities of color have negotiated oppression, generated knowledge, and secured dignity and self-determination. (F,S,Y)
Attributes: AN3, CNSL, DV, H, LMSP, LSCO, SO, SS, TIDE, TPJ
3 Credits

CSCR 14500 Politics of Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Culture (LA)

Explores the impact of race on both individual identities and on the life opportunities afforded to different racial groups in the United States. Focuses on understanding how identity and race are socially and politically constructed in order to devise an anti-racist politics that cuts across racial and cultural differences. Cross-listed with POLT 14500. Counts as a political theory course for politics majors. (F,Y)
Attributes: HM, SO, SS, TIDE, TPJ
3 Credits

CSCR 21100 American Gangster: Social Portrayals of Gangs (LA)

Analyzes the social portrayals of American gangsters in films, with an emphasis on deconstructing portrayals of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Examines the social, political, and economic factors involved in the emergence of criminal organizations (mafias, prison gangs, street gangs, and violent motorcycle clubs) in the United States. Investigates an array of multi-ethnic and multi-racial gangsters, with a significant focus on Latinos in the U.S. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 21500 Asian Americans Speak Out: Resisting Mainstream History (LA)

Introduces students to oral history methodologies and theories within the trajectory of Asian American studies. Critically interrogates what constitutes history and the knowledge that is produced through it. Examines how and why this stake in oral history methodology emerges as a strategy for survival, the incorporation of once neglected accounts into academic narratives, and the challenge posed by this institutionalization to contemporary scholars in Asian American studies. (Y)
Attributes: AAPP, AASE, AN3, DV, SO, TIDE, TPJ
3 Credits

CSCR 22000 Case Studies in Global Justice (LA)

This seminar will introduce students in the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar Program to the study of social justice in an international and comparative context. In general the seminar is designed to engage scholars in analysis, discussion, writing, and action that will contribute to the development of global citizens who have the skills, perspectives, and motivation to work effectively for social justice. Each seminar will examine a particular case study while utilizing the work of Martin Luther King Jr. The seminar also provides the academic framework that explores the nexus between race, migration, and social justice. Through both individual and group work students will work to draw conclusions and life lessons from their international research and experiences. This seminar may be taken for 0 or and is open to Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar Program participants only. For more information scholars should review the program requirements. Prerequisites: CSCR 12000 or CSCR 12100. (F, Y)
Attributes: SS
0-1 Credits

CSCR 23400 Black Cinema: Exploring the Black Image in Film (LA)

Explores the image of Black people in film in a social and historical context. Examines the role of the Black director and Black cinema conventions. Introduces students to visual and textual reading methods used in Black studies and ethnic studies. Topics include, but are not limited to, spectatorship, music videos, Caribbean and Black British cinema, afrofuturism, the Black romantic narrative, racial conflict, and blaxploitation. (Y)
Attributes: ADCI, ADSE, WGSI
3 Credits

CSCR 23700 Policing the Borderlands: Power, Policy, and Justice (LA)

Examines the history of the US-Mexico Borderlands, with a special focus on power, policy, and justice. Investigates how state policy from the colonial period to the present has shaped people’s sense of community and national identification, and how peoples of multiple cultures and shifting national affiliations have historically negotiated power, policy, and justice in this region. Considers how power and justice are manifested in state policy and contested through acts of resistance and violence. Topics explored include policies associated to citizenship, statehood, immigration, sovereignty, education, crime, and enforcement. Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 24200 Miscegenation and Racial Binaries (LA)

Introduction to the history, policies, laws, language, and cultural mores around interracial marriage and biracialness beyond racial binaries. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. (IRR)
Attributes: ADPP, ADSE, NAPP, NASE, SS
3 Credits

CSCR 25000 Hip-Hop Cultures (LA)

Examines the historical, political, racial, economic, and social importance of hip-hop as a cultural movement. Particular attention is given to hip-hop's main tenets (writ'ing, b-boy'ing, dj'ing, and mc'ing); the political economy of racialized representations; and the legacy and agency of cultural expressions. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 25600 The Politics of Whiteness (LA)

Examines the emergence of whiteness as a category that determines the distribution of rights and privileges including voting rights, property rights, and the right to own one’s own body. Explores the politics of whiteness in relation to culture, ideology, sexuality, social movements, and cross-racial alliances. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. (F,Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 26100 Watching Race in American Media (LA)

Explores how representations of racial and ethnic identities in U.S. film, television, and music influence the construction of political, racial, and gender identities nationally. Investigates how cultural representations of race, ethnicity, and gender are central to the development of U.S. mass culture and consumerism, nationalism, citizenship, and social movements. Particular attention is given to the role of black and Latino/a culture and music in developing strategies of resistance to oppression. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 30500 Practicum in Social Change: Urban Mentorship Initiative (NLA)

An academic mentorship program that offers students the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary coursework and field-based service-learning aimed at supporting underserved youth in their pursuit of higher education. Course includes required participation in a two-day trip (Friday to Saturday) to a partner school. This is a cross-listed course; students cannot receive credit for both SOCI 30500 and CSCR 30500. (F,Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 30700 Race and Colonialism (LA)

This course engages colonialism as a set of racial and material practices that shaped the identities of the colonizers and the colonized as much as it did the global political economy. Three themes in particular will guide our engagement: the racial overtones and undertones of the colonial encounter, especially as embodied in the ideas of discovery, barbarism, and progress; the psychological dynamics of the relationship between the colonizers and the colonized; and the politics of oppression and liberation. Cross-listed with POLT 32300. Prerequisites: Junior standing. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 32400 Critical Race Theories (LA)

Explores the realities and consequences of using race as a category of analysis and identity in the United States and/or in the diasporas of Black, Latino/a/x, Asian and indigenous peoples. Includes the study of settler colonialism, systemic racism, intersectionality, history of racial formations, racial/ethnic identities and hierarchies, and whiteness. Examines the foundations and assumptions of various critical race theories significant to the fields of indigenous studies and/or race and ethnicity studies. Prerequisites: One CSCR course. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 35000-35012 Selected Topics in Culture, Race and Ethnicity (LA)

Selected topics in culture, race, and ethnicity will be considered with a narrow focus and considerable depth. This course may be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Prerequisites: Junior standing. (IRR).
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

CSCR 35100 Race and Sexual Politics (LA)

Explores how dominant representations of racialized sexuality, femininity, and masculinity in U.S. culture and politics influence systems of inequality. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between constructions of race and sexual politics, social policy shifts in welfare reform, the prison industrial complex, and intimate justice. Focus on antiracist feminist resistance and reproductive justice. Prerequisites: Junior standing. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 35200 Punishment, Prisons, and Democracy (LA)

This course explores dominant definitions of crime, punishment, and democratic justice in the United States and their relationship to imprisonment. The course begins by examining the historical and ideological roots of the U.S. prison system from slavery to the convict lease system. Focusing on the post-civil rights era, we consider how deindustrialization, the war on drugs, and shifts in policing, welfare policy, sentencing laws, and global militarism have redefined notions of U.S. justice and democracy. The course is attentive to the ways the prison industrial complex disproportionately affects people of color. Prerequisites: Junior standing. (Y)
3 Credits

CSCR 37400 Latino/a/x Resistance Movements (LA)

Focuses on the historical relationships between Latino/a/x people and other racial/ethnic groups in the US and Latin America with special emphasis on social movements and grassroots efforts for social justice from post-WWII to the present. Central theoretical questions revolve around why resistance movements rise and fall, and how the politics of Latino/a/x resistance within the United States have historically evolved. Examines collective Latino/a/x agency and community attempts to shape their own political and social destiny by teaching students archival research methods. Students review archival materials from Latino/a/x organizations to ask what constitutes history-making. Interrogates how grassroots movements use alternative historical archives and cultural objects to create counter-narratives of resistance. Prerequisites: One CSCR course or one course designated for the Latin American Studies minor (LAEL attribute). (S,Y)
Attributes: LAEL, LSPL, LXME, NAPL
3 Credits

CSCR 38000 Research in Culture, Race, and Ethnicity Studies (LA)

Engages students in research on a selected topic, theme, or community-engaged project related to issues of indigeneity, race, and/or ethnicity. Project is determined by the instructor or co-created by student participants. Students consider the ethical dimensions of research, learn methodological approaches and practice applying research methods that are commonly used in indigenous studies and/or ethnic studies. Potential research methods may include, but are not limited to, community-driven research methods; social science qualitative methods like interviewing & coding; ethnographic methods; oral history; textual analysis methods; and/or archival research methods. Prerequisites: At least one CSCR course. (IRR)
3 Credits

CSCR 43300 Education, Oppression, and Liberation (LA)

Interrogates the educational experiences of oppressed people in the African Diaspora. A historical overview of the schools, pedagogies, and curriculums developed for Black/Brown students including the political, social, economic, and cultural manifestations of "Black education." Additionally, the course examines how educational institutions have been, and can be, used for individual, group, and global liberation. Prerequisites: Three courses in the liberal arts or permission of instructor. (IRR)
Attributes: 1, ADPL, ADSE, G, SS
3 Credits

CSCR 43400 Capstone Seminar in Race, Power, and Resistance (LA)

Capstone seminar serving as the culminating experience for Race, Power, and Resistance majors. Draws on the skills and concepts developed through previous coursework in the major and the ICC curriculum to synthesize various theories, knowledges, and methods in indigenous, race and ethnic studies. Features intensive examination of comparative and relational race and ethnic studies, particularly how different racially/ethnically oppressed groups are positioned relative to each another and within racial hierarchies. Students integrate studies in the major and their ICC coursework through a research project focused on the comparative and relational dimensions of racial/ethnic oppression and resistance. Prerequisites: CSCR 32400; CSCR 21500, CSCR 23400, CSCR 37400, or CSCR 38000. (IRR)
3 Credits

CSCR 43500 Black Radical Traditions (LA)

Examines Black radical philosophies ranging from slavery to the present. Traces shifts and continuities in how Black philosophers have contended with barriers to freedom and emancipation, with a focus on political figures like Harriet Jacobs, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, C.L.R. James, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, James Baldwin, Angela Y. Davis and Audre Lorde. Explores these writers’ engagement with abolition, existentialism, desegregation, decolonization, and the intersectionalities of race, gender and sexuality, while situating the Black radical tradition within the broader history of U.S. thought, culture and politics. (S,IRR)
Attributes: ADCI, ADSE, DV, HU, WGS, WGS3, WGSI
3 Credits

CSCR 45000 Selected Topics in Culture, Race and Ethnicity (LA)

Selected topics in culture, race, and ethnicity will be considered with a narrow focus, in-depth analysis, and advanced research and writing. This course may be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Prerequisites: CSCR 12300, one 200-level CSCR course, and one 300-level CSCR course. (IRR).
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

CSCR 47800 Las Americas: Globalizing Latino/a Studies (LA)

Historicizes economic, political, and cultural processes in the Americas during the 20th century by focusing on U.S. Latinos/as in relation to globalization. Emphasis on transnational social movements, migration and borders; state formation and international organizations; human rights; labor organizing; counterinsurgency; and regional, non-U.S. centered, inter-American relationships. This is a capstone course designed as a discussion/reading/research-intensive seminar. Prerequisites: One course in CSCR at 300 level or higher. (S,Y)
Attributes: HU, LSCI, LXME
3 Credits

CSCR 49800 Internship: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (NLA)

The internship provides a structured intensive learning experience in an organization dedicated to research, planning, policymaking, or service provision in an area related to culture, race, and ethnicity. Supervision is provided by an on-site professional preceptor. Students are required to submit periodic written field reports, as well as a final internship experience report. Prerequisites: Junior standing or above and permission of instructor. 1 to (F-S, Y)\.
1-6 Credits

CSCR 49900 Independent Study: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (LA)

Intensive study of the theoretical and empirical relationships between culture, race, and ethnicity. These projects will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor, and will require a comprehensive research paper and/or project. A proposal for the topic and specific plans must be approved by the dean's office of the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies. Prerequisites: Junior standing or above, and permission of instructor. (F-S,Y)
1-4 Credits