Formulations:
Interdisciplinarity and Knowledge Production in Ethnic Studies

[Theories of Ethnic Studies]

Ethnic Studies 200B                                                                          Ross Frank

Winter 2014                                                                                       Office:   SSB 227

Tuesday 1:00 – 3:50PM, SSB 103                                                     Phone:   534-6646

                                                                                                            rfrank@ucsd.edu


Course Description:

The Department of Ethnic Studies’ Vision Statement calls for our engagement in “the fundamental theoretical and political questions regarding the critical conceptualization of social categories, particularly race, indigeneity, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and nation.” This class focuses on how to rethink these questions in a comparative, relational, and interdisciplinary fashion; an epistemology that concerns itself with disciplinarity, representation, and knowledge production.  Moving away from the invisibility-to-visibility model, which structures visibility as the penultimate goal, our task calls attention to the “minority” as unstable, unrepresentable, and unbelonging subjects who make transparent and thus destabilize the ideological investments of institutionally sanctioned disciplines.  The course uses model studies to explore how comparative and relational problems are posed as research projects, how research questions are constructed, and how they employ theory to frame the project and to establish what is at stake in the research.


Organization:

Weekly seminar assignments:

1.     Discussion:  attendance and active participation in the group discussions of the reading during the seminar meetings. 

 

2.     Response:  beginning Week 2, each week you are not presenting post a 600-900 word (2-3 page) response to the week’s reading to the TED blog by 8PM Monday evening.  Read the posted responses after 8PM Monday evening.;

 

3.     Presentation:  co-lead two seminar discussions during the quarter;

 

4.     Synthesis:  write two 4-5 page papers each covering the assigned reading for a week in which you presented.  Synthesis papers are due at the beginning of class the week after your presentation and allow you to reflect on the seminar discussion and previous readings;

 

5.     Journal:  an assignment in reading and analyzing Journals of use to Ethnic Studies scholarship (each person will present once (15 minutes), instructions distributed separately);

 

6.     Job Talks & Colloquium:  jointly lead a brief discussion about a selected presenter in the seminar following the presentation.

 


Guidelines for Response Papers and Seminar Presentations

For each week’s reading, your response or presentation, and discussion should focus on how book-length studies generate and structure new knowledge relevant to Ethnic Studies.  We are seeking to understand how others formulate their ideas into published research of significance to Ethnic Studies to help to think about how to crafting our own projects.

 

           How are comparative and relational problems posed as research projects?

           What are the research questions and how are they constructed?

           How does the work employ theory to frame the project?

 How does the work employ theory to establish what is at stake?

 


Assigned books

NOTE:  Please plan on purchasing or arranging for library copies.

Jodi A. Byrd.  Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

Lisa Cacho. Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected.  New York: New York University Press, 2012.

Fatima El-Tayeb. European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

Roderick Ferguson.  Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique.  University of Minnesota Press, 2004.  *

Avery Gordon. Ghostly Matters : Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.   *

Dayo Gore.  Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War.  New York: New York University Press, 2012.

Ann McClintock.  Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest.  London: Routledge, 1995. *

Denise Silva.  Toward a Global Idea of Race.   University of Minnesota Press, 2007.  *

Diana Taylor.  The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

 

*readings from the Ethnic Studies Graduate Reading List


 


The Journey:

 

Assigned books available at UCSD Bookstore.

 

Week 1 — January 7:  Introduction to the course

 

Week 2 — January 14:  Marks and Traces: The Methodology of Haunting

Avery Gordon. Ghostly Matters : Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. 

 

Week 3 — January 21:  Hegemony, Neoliberalism, and the State

Lisa Cacho. Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected.  New York: New York University Press, 2012.

 

Week 4 — January 28:  The Postcolonial: Feminism, Marxism, and Psychoanalysis

Ann McClintock.  Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest.  London: Routledge, 1995.

 

Week 5 — February 4:  Queering Sociology: Queer of Color and the Critique of Liberal Capitalism

Roderick Ferguson.  Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004.

 

Week 6 — February 11:  Historical Narrative, Race, and Ideology

Dayo Gore.  Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War.  New York: New York University Press, 2012. 

 

Week 7 — February 18:  Media and Culture:  Racialization and the Old World

Fatima El-Tayeb. European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

 

Week 8 — February 25:  Performance Studies: The Archive and the Repertoire

Diana Taylor.  The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2003. 

 

Week 9   March 4:  Indigenous Studies and Ethnic Studies

Jodi A. Byrd.  Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011. 

 

Week 10 — March 11:  Racial Knowledge: The “Racial” in Post-Enlightenment Conditions

Denise Silva.  Toward a Global Idea of Race.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. 

 


© 2014, Ross Frank