Course Schedule

Course Schedule

8/25 – Introduction

8/27 – Talking Past each other

Readings before class: Getting Real, #1; Sarah Jackson, “Why I Want to Talk about Race, And Why You Should, Too,”;

Jen Graves, “Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race,”; Watch before class: “Let’s talk about Race”

9/1 – What is Race?

Reading before class: Getting Real, #4;;

In-class film: Race: Power of an Illusion (Part 1)

9/ – Race as Social Construction

Readings before class: Getting Real, #21; Ta-Nehisi Coates, ” What We Mean When We Say ‘Race Is a Social Construct,'”

9/8 – Race as Social Construction – CONTD

9/10 – Racism

Readings before class: Getting Real, #2 & #3; Richard Thompson Ford, “A primer on racism”;; Judith Ellis, “Understanding Racism,”;  

9/15 – Racism

Readings before class: Getting Real #13 & #14, Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations,”; Watch before class: “Can you be motivated by race even if you don’t know it?,”

In-class film: Race: Power of an Illusion (Part 3) 

9/17 – Colorblind Racism

Readings before class: Getting Real, #5 & #6; Monica Williams, “Colorblind ideology is a form of racism,”; “I’m not racist, I’m Colorblind” –; Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Good, Racist People,”;

9/22 – Review

9/24 – Exam #1

9/29 – Privilege

Readings before class: Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”

10/1 — Privilege

Readings before class: Myisha Cherry, “Why privilege is so hard to give up,”; Jamie Utt, “How To Talk To Someone About Privilege Who Doesn’t Know What That Is,”; Esther Armah, “The Other National Conversation: White Privilege,”

10/6 – Native American Mascots

Readings before class: Getting Real, #10

10/8 – Citizenship and privilege

Readings before class: Getting Real, #9; Vani Kannan, “Model Minority” or Potential Terrorist? Affective Economies, Rhetorics of Silence & the Murder of Sunando Sen,”;

10/13 – Stereotypes

Reading: TBA

10/15 – Stereotype Threat

Readings before class: Claude Steele, “Thin Ice: Stereotype Threat and Black College Students,;

10/20 – Model Minority Myth

Readings before class: Getting Real, #8

10/22 – Affirmative Action and the “Reverse Racism Card”

Readings before class: Getting Real, #15 & #22

10/27 – Review

10/29 – Exam #2

11/3 – Criminalizing Black Bodies

Readings before class: Stevenson 3-46

11/5 – Racial Profiling

Reading before class: Getting Real, #7 & 19; Nicholas Peart, “Why Is the N.Y.P.D. After Me?”;; Seth Wesler, “How East Haven, Conn., Became Synonymous With Racial Profiling,”

11/10 – Race and Criminal Justice System

Reading before class: Stevenson, 47-113

In-Class: Stevenson, Ted Talk

11/12 – War on Drugs and New Jim Crow

Reading before class: Stevenson, 113-162

In-Class Film: House We Live In

11/17 – War on Drugs contd

Reading before class: Phillip S. Smith, “Dorm Room Dealers: A Peek into the Drug World of the White and Upwardly Mobile”; Stacey Patton & David Leonard, “If you’re white, that joint probably won’t lead to jail time,”; Michelle Alexander, “The New Jim Crow: How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste,”;

11/19 – Mass Incarceration

Reading before class: Stevenson, 163-203

12/1 – TBA – In-Class Film: TBA

12/3 – Just Mercy

Reading before class: Stevenson, 203-256

12/8 – Imaging Justice: From Baltimore to Fergusson

Readings before class: Stevenson, 257-314; Getting Real #23

12/10 – Review

Final Exam – December 17, 2015 from 10:10-12:10

This syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances and shifts in class needs. If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to check on announcements made in your absence.



  1. I just read the article on “What is Race?” and I found the article very interesting and opinionated most of what was said was being said like they were facts but it was still opinions. I do agree with a lot what was said but they seemed to be more opinions then necessarily facts. Very interesting article with nothing cited, the one thing I did disagree with was on the 8th “fact” it talked about how we took away land from Mexico but thats not how the war actually happened if you look into the actual facts of the war. If you go to this video you can see what actually happened. All in all I did not like the article because it was stating opinions that were pretending to be facts with nothing cited so to me it was very unreliable.


    1. John: The sheet is related to a film we will watch on Tuesday. Through the film you will see the research, and the scholarship that this is referencing. You can also look at the website and see many resources and sources. In terms of #8, as document in film, books like Ron Takaki’s Iron Cages, the authors are noting how the idea of race has been used to rationalize and justify inequalities, colonization, slavery, and imperialism. While we won’t watch Part 2 of Race: Power of Illusion, this episode goes through some of this history, including a discussion of “White Man’s Burden” and “Manifest Destiny.” Check out this short clip –


  2. 09/01/2015 Reading: The Power of an Illusion

    The list of thing we should know about race is interesting. But the way I see it, the list is only there to remind us that humans are still racist. I think racism is a problem, and this list isn’t solving anything because it doesn’t have an initiative. Use number six for example, I feel like it is targeted toward white people. Black people tend to pull the race card because they know that white people have this burden of slavery on their shoulders. The white people can’t do anything either because of the guilt or because it just proves that they dislike black people.
    Number eight caught my eye because is true. But is there still white superiority? It is getting weaker, and white people are scared of losing that power. Donald Trump supports my claim, let me explain. The simple stereotype that Mexicans are stealing “our jobs” is Trump’s defense to get them out of the country. Think about it, an illegal immigrant came to the U.S. with no money. They worked hard to get an education and beat a citizen into being the better pick for a job. If anything, America still practices racism.
    This list is true. And I don’t understand why racism is still a problem. Imagine a place where people don’t judge by looks. There will be so many less conflicts.


    1. Vamsi,
      Keep in mind that slavery did not only happen in the states. As the article described, slavery has happened throughout human history at various locations around the globe. The slave system established here happened to be the first system where slaves shared common physical characteristics. In regards to the “race card,” it can be introduced in many different circumstances that can affect the conversation in a variety of ways. Slavery is only a fraction of the conversation about race. It can be difficult to speak when said “card” is played, but also keep in mind that there is still more to learn about the situation other than the past. The more that is learned about the situation, the better a person becomes at handling that type of conversation.


  3. Vamsi,
    The point Donald Trump is making is not that illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs but that they are stealing jobs of not just Americans but immigrants who are going through the legal system and taking the time to actually work in the U.S.A legally not illegally. I am not a huge Donald Trump supporter either but just stating the facts.


  4. 9/3/15 – Race as Social Construction
    I don’t understand why people have to compare race and intelligence, to me there is no correlation. The message that I got from the reading is that racism is a form of judgement, a judgement based off historical mistakes. For example, its racist to say that all black people are athletic. Some people say that the main reason they are so athletic is because of the genes that were passed on by their ancestors working from the fields. It is also true that race has surpassed the point where we just judge by skin color. Take my previous example, that is a biological reason to think that black people are athletic. Also, there is a huge difference between racism and a stereotype, but they have a strong connection due to people being racist based of stereotype. The last line really hit me because I have a feeling that it is right. I feel like it had a relation to the white superiority from the previous reading.


  5. Just finished reading “Race as a Social Construction” and I found it as a very interesting article. I understand what people are saying when they believe that race has more biological features then just the skin but that is not the case. It is easy to believe that when the culture has made us believe that. Race is a genetic just like blue eyes. The most interesting evidence I found in the article was when the article stated that southerners who were white also made themselves believe that white northerners were a different race. My believe is a little different I do not think that people separate themselves from race back in the slave times but more of culture. I would encourage people to search up WIlliam Ellison so they can get a better understanding of what I mean when I say people back in the slave times separated themselves more on culture. William Ellison was a black slave owner who did a lot of business with white slave owners who saw themselves as an equal with him but saw slaves as lower then them. William Ellison saw the same thing. Nowadays because of what culture has made us believe we do segregate ourselves subconsciously from a separate race. Back in the slave times however I think it was more culture then it necessarily was race. White owners would treat indentured servants the same way. Very interesting to go more in the depths of history especially during the slavery time there is a lot that we do not understand as a culture. But I think the reason why there is still racism today it all goes back to culture.


    1. Culture is a nice tie in to the aspects of race. These differences also play a major role in today’s modern world, but allow this question: How does race play a part in one’s culture and how does it contribute to how people are segregated today?


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