Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary and comparative concentration that examines the construction of race and ethnicity in social, cultural, historical, political, and economic contexts. Concentrators are required to develop individual programs in consultation with faculty advisors. Each concentrator is required to study the history and experience of more than one group. The focus may be either a United States–based comparative analysis or a United States/international analysis. Each program is to be organized around a set of core courses that help students to identify a set of historical and theoretical questions to be investigated and provide the tools necessary to address those questions.

Each concentrator pursues work in either literature and arts, the humanities, or the social sciences, or some combination of these. The work is to be systematic and well-defined. A faculty advisor works closely with the student to ensure that the work is rigorous and intellectually sound. The primary advisors for ethnic studies concentrators are the members of the Ethnic Studies Executive Committee.


The concentration requires ten courses:

1. ETHN 0500 (Introduction to Ethnic Studies);

2. Two of six core courses:

a. AFRI 0090 or 0100 (An Introduction to Africana Studies)

b. A section of AMCV 1610 as approved by the concentration advisor

c. ANTH 1121 (American Indian Cultures)

d. SOC 1270 (Race, Class and Ethnicity in the Modern World)

e. ANTH 1400 (Race, Culture and Ethnic Politics) or ANTH 1420 (Ethnicity, Race and Gender in the Americas)

f. ENGL 0610D (Introduction to Asian American Literature)

g. Courses taught by core Ethnic Studies faculty may be recognized in consultation with concentration advisor.

3. Three approved courses in ethnic studies that address the student's focus area;

4. Three courses drawn from a list of related courses;

5. ETHN 1900 (Senior Seminar in Ethnic Studies) to be taken in the first semester of the student's final year. The senior seminar is the capstone course and is required of all concentrators.


Candidates for honors must have at least a B+ average in the concentration and be approved by the Concentration Committee. Honors candidates will propose a thesis project to be completed by the end of their final semester. The development of a thesis project will begin during the sixth semester. Honors candidates will have two readers, at least one of whom must be Ethnic Studies core faculty.

Concentrators who choose not to request consideration for honors will be required to complete a major essay or project by the end of their final semester. The essay or project can be the result of major work completed in the senior seminar.

Students seeking information about the Ethnic Studies Program or in need of advising should contact the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (401-863-3080).

Page last reviewed in February, 2010.

Back to Brown University Registrar's Home Page