Introduction to Ethnic Studies:

Immigration and the Transformation of American Life

Ethnic Studies 1B, Winter Quarter, 2011


Ross Frank                                                                                                          Office:  SSB 227

MWF  1:00-1:50 PM                                                                                        Office Hours:

Peterson 108                                                                                                                   Mon. 2-4PM

E-mail:                                                                                                                               Fri. 2-3PM                                                                       Phone:  858-534-6646


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701253  A01 M            2:00P-2:50P                  HSS 2154           Seth San Juan



701254  A02 M            3:00P-3:50P                   HSS 2154           Kit Myers



710033  A11 W            10:00A-10:50 A           HSS 2154          Seth San Juan



701256  A04 W            11:00A-11:50A             Solís 111             Marilisa Navarro



701257  A05 W            Noon-12:50P                HSS 2154           Marilisa Navarro



701259  A07 F              9:00A-9:50A                 HSS 2154           Kit Myers



701260  A08 F              10:00A-10:50A             HSS 2154           Christina Carney



701261  A09 F              11:00A-11:50A             HSS 2154           Christina Carney



701258  A06 F              Noon-12:50P                PCYNH 120     Stevie Ruiz



701262  A10 F              2:00P-2:50P                   PCYNH 120     Stevie Ruiz





This course examines the history of immigration and settlement to the United States and introduces students to the diverse ethnic background that makes up American life. In addition to surveying the major waves of immigrant settlers to the U.S., we will focus on basic questions of immigration, assimilation, citizenship, community formation, transnationalism, and changes in U.S. society. We will examine the impact of immigrants on the ideologies and institutions that structure our communities and society, and intertwined struggles for social justice and equality.



All students must attend lectures and discussion sections, and read the assigned materials in order to complete this course.  The discussion sections are designed to encourage your active engagement with the course material.  Discussion grades will depend on your attendance and constructive participation.  You have a responsibility to create an environment conducive to learning in section and during lectures, in accord with the UCSD Principles of Community: principles.htm




The following required books have been ordered for the course and are available at the UCSD Bookstore in Price Center:


Alvarez, Luis. The Power of the Zoot: Youth Culture and Resistance During World War II.  Berkeley. CA: University of California Press, 2008.


Deloria, Philip Joseph. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2004.


Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects : Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.


Upton Sinclair,  The Jungle. (ordered edition recommended)


Ethnic Studies 1B Virtual Reader for this course will be posted for ETHN 1B on Web-CT, or available on electronic reserves (E-Reserves) through the UCSD library website (, at least two weeks prior to their assigned due date.


Copies of the required books have been placed on 2-hour library reserve. 




Section Attendance and Participation                                                          20%

Midterm Examination (in class): January 21  (3rd Week)                      20%

Midterm Paper (due in class): February 4  (5th Week)                         25%

Final Examination: March 16, 11:30-2:30  (Finals Week)                      35%


Section Attendance and Participation:  Attendance is mandatory for the section in which you are officially enrolled. Absence from more than one section meeting will result in a failing section grade.  You are responsible for keeping up with and digesting the reading materials each week so that you can fully participate in your section discussions. Discussions will cover all materials introduced in lecture and section.


Your section grade will be based on regular involvement in the weekly discussion section meeting as assigned by your Graduate Teaching Assistant.  During each meeting, your T.A. will facilitate class participation, clarify questions you may have about class materials, and assign collaborative activities designed to help deepen an understanding of the course.  You will be evaluated on the basis of your completion of any in-section assignments, collaborative involvement in class discussions, and for thoughtful and quality participation.


Midterm and Final Examinations:  Both the midterm and final exams will be written in-class tests requiring mastery of the course readings and all material presented in lectures and section discussions.  The use of Bluebooks is required.


Midterm Paper:  This essay (5-6 page, double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman) will cover Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle.  Suggested essay prompts will be supplied after the in-class midterm.


Policy on Late Papers and Make-up Assignments:  Excepting emergencies, late papers will lose a full letter grade and will not be accepted more than 24 hours after they are due.  Exams and assignments cannot be made-up.


Note: You must complete all course requirements in order to earn a passing grade for the course.


General Grading Standards:

A = Superior performance; meets assignment requirements, and demonstrates exceptional execution of those requirements (meaning that your work exceeds the ordinary effort and execution); reflects outstanding insight and depth; grammatically and stylistically excellent; would be considered a model example of assignment completion.

B = Good, solid performance; meets assignment requirements, and demonstrates competent execution of those requirements; reflects insight and depth; grammatically and stylistically strong; may have one or more problem areas.

C = Average performance; meets assignment requirements, minimally; grammatically and stylistically adequate; may have two or more problem areas; papers have more than two factual, typographical, or grammatical errors per page.

D = Below average performance; does not meet minimal assignment requirements; has several fundamental problem areas; has several errors throughout the paper.

F = Inferior performance; does not meet assignment requirements; not deserving of credit.





Students who wish to successfully complete this course must regularly attend lectures. Please arrive promptly and do not leave early from lecture or discussion sections.


Class Conduct

By the very nature of the course topic, there will likely be a wide range of opinions.  A good classroom environment should stimulate you to think for yourself, challenge paradigms, and raise critical questions.  You are responsible for reading and engaging the assigned course materials.  Please keep in mind that we must also engage each other in a respectful and considerate discussion in the classroom. These ground rules are reflected in the UCSD Principles of Community to which we are all expected to adhere:  Abusive and harsh language, intimidation, and personal attacks will not be tolerated.


With the exception of students with a documented need for accommodation, laptop computers cannot be used in lecture or section.  Students with permission to take notes on their laptops must mute all sounds, disable their wireless connections, and sit in the front two rows of class.  Otherwise, your portable electronic device (PDA/Smartphone/iPod/iPad/etc.) cannot leave your bag when you are in the classroom.  It must be out of reach and invisible.  If your cell phone rings out loud twice in the course of the quarter, you will receive a failing participation grade.  If you are observed going online, instant messaging, or text messaging with your computer/PDA/iPod/etc. in class after a first warning, you will receive a failing participation grade. If you are observed using an electronic device during a quiz or exam, you will automatically fail this class.


Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is a serious violation, whether intentional or inadvertent. All work submitted in this course must be your own and original. The use of sources such as ideas, quotations, paraphrases, or anything written by someone else must be properly acknowledged and cited. Plagiarism occurs when you use someone else’s words without attribution; it includes using portions of a previously published work or website in a paper without citing the source, submitting a paper written for another course, submitting a paper written by someone else, and using the ideas of someone else without attribution. If you have questions about the proper citation of sources, please discuss them with your instructors or consult Charles Lipson's Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004). Students found guilty of plagiarism will be disciplined to the full extent of university policy and their case forwarded to the dean of their college. Students found cheating on an exam or quiz will receive a failing grade in the course and be reported to the dean of their college for disciplinary action. Each student is expected to be familiar with UCSD's Policy on Integrity of Scholarship, available at:



If you have a documented disability needing accommodations in this course, please inform me and bring a notification letter outlining your approved accommodations.  I will make all reasonable efforts to assist you. You may also seek assistance or information from the Office for Students with Disabilities, 858-534-4382.  If, as a result of a disability, you cannot accept the content or terms of this syllabus, you must notify me in writing within one week of receipt of syllabus.





The reading(s) under each week heading should be read before the Friday class meeting.  In many cases your TA will ask that specific readings be completed before your weekly discussion section meeting.  Bring the weekly readings and be prepared to discuss during each class. 


WEEK 1                                                                    Colonial Violence

                  READING:               Steinberg, "The Ignominious Origins of Ethnic Pluralism in America," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                                                         Daniels, Roger. "Coming to America: A history of immigration and ethnicity in American life", ES IB Virtual Reader.

                                                         Joe Feagin. "Old poison in new bottles," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                  JANUARY 3             Introduction

                  JANUARY 5             European Expansion and the Colony

                  JANUARY 7             Colonial Systems, Race and Ethnicity


WEEK 2                                                     Regimes of Labor

                  READING:               Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places, 1-51.

                                                        Takaki. "The giddy multitude: The hidden origins of slavery,"ES IB Virtual Reader.

                                                         Takaki, "Emigrants From Erin," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                                                         Primary Sources: "Race19thC." ES IB Virtual Reader.

                  JANUARY 10           Violence, Race & Space: Democracy, Indian Removal and Western Labor

                  JANUARY 12           19th Century Migrations

                  JANUARY 14           Plymouth Rock, Statue of Liberty, and the Melting Pot


WEEK 3                                                     Immigration and Racial Politics

                  READING:               Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places,52-108.

                                                         Williams. "American Imperialism and the Indians," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                                                         Primary Sources: "Imperialism." ES IB Virtual Reader.

                  JANUARY 17           NO CLASS – Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

                  JANUARY 19           Popular Culture and Ethnic Identity

                  JANUARY 21           MIDTERM EXAM, PART 1


WEEK 4                                                     Rise of the Racial State

                  READING:               Upton Sinclair, The Jungle.

                                                         Czitrom, "Underworlds and Underdogs:  Big Tom Sullivan and Metropolitan Politics in New York, 1889-1913," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                  JANUARY 24           Relational Racial Logic

                  JANUARY 26           Labor, Self-activity, and Immigrant Radicalism

                  JANUARY 28           Immigrant Organization and Politics


WEEK 5                                                     Embodied Race

                                                                 READING:                           Ngai, Impossible Subjects, 1-55.

                                                         Primary Sources: Brandenburg, Dixon, & "Race & Radicals 1919." ES IB Virtual Reader.

                                                         De Genova and Ramos-Zayas, "Introduction: Latino Crossings." ES IB Virtual Reader.

                  JANUARY 31           Ethnic Conflict, Popular Culture, and Americanization

                  FEBRUARY 2           Ethnic Inclusion by Racial Exclusion

                  FEBRUARY 4           MIDTERM EXAM, PART 2 (due in class)


WEEK 6                                                     Projects of Americanization

                  READING:               Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places,136-182.

                                   Alvarez, The Power of the Zoot, 1-41.

                  FEBRUARY 7           Education, Racial Ideology, and Empire

                  FEBRUARY 9           Cutting the Immigrant Flow

                  FEBRUARY 11        The Culture of Unity and Redemptive Outsiders


WEEK 7                                                     Transforming Race and Culture

                                                 Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects, 93-166.

                                                         Alvarez, The Power of the Zoot, 75-112.

                  FEBRUARY 14        Guest Lecture:  Luis Alvarez

                  FEBRUARY 16        Refiguring Ethnicity in the Postwar Period

                  FEBRUARY 18        Cold War, Consumerism, and Ethnic Memory


WEEK 8                                                     Citizenship and Cultural Identity

                  READING:               Alvarez, The Power of the Zoot, 113-152.

                                                      Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects, 169-224.

                  FEBRUARY 21        NO CLASS – President's Day Holiday

                  FEBRUARY 23        Civil Rights and Altering the Immigrant Flow

                  FEBRUARY 25        Ethnicity and Cultural Agency


WEEK 9                                                     Activism and the Transnational

                  READING:               Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects, 227-270.

                                                         Alvarez, The Power of the Zoot, 155-199, 235-244.

                                                         Portes and Rumbaut, "Who they are and why they come," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                  FEBRUARY 28        Transnational Capital and Global Migration

                  MARCH 2                 New Politics of Ethnicity

                  MARCH 4                 Intersectional Organizing


WEEK 10                                     Beyond Inclusion and Assimilation

                  READING:               Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places, 224-240.

                                                         Lubiano, Wahneema, "Talking About the State and Imaging Alliances," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                                                         Hing. "Epilogue: Two Americas," ES IB Virtual Reader.

                  MARCH 7                 Economic Restructuring and Cultural Fragmentation

                  MARCH 9                 Immigration, Law, and the Future

                  MARCH 11               Beyond Assimilation


Wednesday, MARCH 16         FINAL EXAM            11:30 AM – 2:30 PM (please confirm)



Majoring or Minoring in Ethnic Studies at UCSD

Many students take an ethnic studies course because the topic is of great interest or because of a need to fulfill a social science, non-contiguous, or other college requirement. Often students have taken three or four classes out of "interest" yet have no information about the major or minor and don't realize how close they are to a major, a minor, or even a double major. An ethnic studies major is excellent preparation for a career in law, public policy, government and politics, journalism, education, public health, social work, international relations, and many other careers. If you would like information about the ethnic studies major or minor at UCSD, please contact Yolanda Escamilla, Ethnic Studies Department Undergraduate Advisor, at 858-534-3277 or