Comparative Ethnic Studies uses interdisciplinary and cross-cultural comparative methods to provide diverse perspectives that challenge monolithic thinking about the formation of identities and societies. It reveals silenced and marginalized voices from different frames of cultural reference and seem silenced while others seem amplified in local, national, and global contexts. This program specifically explores and compares the experiences of American ethnic groups (such as African Americans, Latin@s, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Euro- Americans) at the local and national level. At the same time, it pushes students to think globally and reach beyond American borders. It prepares students to better understand the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and religion in the experiences of all groups and individuals, including those with privilege and power. Comparative Ethnic Studies creates a complex, self-reflexive, inclusive, and interactive model for critical thinking and social change. By developing students’ awareness of human interconnection, social inequality, and cultural diversity, Comparative Ethnic Studies promotes human interactions for social justice in the 21st century.
To prepare for the Comparative Ethnic Studies Minor, we recommend that high school students take American ethnic literature, social studies, and history.