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Multi-Ethnic Studies

Multiethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers a broad course of study of ethnicity in the United States and the larger world. To meet the challenges and opportunities of diversity in an increasingly multicultural and multiethnic society, the program provides students with an understanding of the rich history of ethnic and racial diversity from multiple perspectives. The minor helps students prepare for an increasingly diversified workplace and a globalized economy by encouraging them to develop an awareness of and appreciation for their ethnic experiences as part of the greater human experience.

Contact Coordinator Keith D. Leonard, Department of Literature, for more information.

Why Minor In Multi-Ethnic Studies?

American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.” - James Baldwin

One of the most distinctive characteristics of American University students is their political awareness and relentless activism. Our campus brings together students from all over the country and the world, and builds bridges of understanding.

In addition to celebrating this global diversity, Multi-Ethnic Studies encourages conversations about our communalities and the misunderstandings sometimes caused by our differences. With respect, seriousness and substance, students and faculty will pursue a safe and rigorous intellectual space where students can explore their experiences, perspectives and cultures and deal frankly and studiously with the social, historical and cultural consequences of our differences.

An interdisciplinary program, Multi-Ethnic Studies offers a broad course of study of ethnicity in the United States and the larger world through engagement with the material and the disciplinary concerns of anthropology, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, religion, and literature. This Minor not only provides you with an understanding of the rich history of ethnic and racial diversity from multiple perspectives, then, but it also provides you the tools and knowledge necessary to address issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality and inequality concretely and intelligently.

Multi-Ethnic Studies is for everyone. No matter your major or your future plans, the program will provide intellectual skills and cultural knowledge that will benefit you. The minor and undergraduate certificate helps students prepare for an increasingly diversified workplace and a globalized economy by encouraging them to develop an awareness of and appreciation for ethnic cultures. Challenged to think critically and urged to write persuasively and thoughtfully, students in the minor will enhance their capacity for innovative analysis and creative problem solving.

Thus, Multi-Ethnic Studies is not only intellectually innovative, academically rigorous and socially meaningful but also necessary for our common humanity.

Faculty Spotlight

Professor Keith Leonard probes questions of ethnicity in his new book Fettered Genius: The African American Bardic Poet from Slavery to Civil Rights.

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