Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
Wednesday, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Professor: Nazia Kazi
Office Hours: By appointment
The United States is commonly understood as a “nation of immigrants.” Yet, the experiences of various
immigrant groups are far from uniform; race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other factors radically shape the
realities of immigrant lives. In this class, we will explore the formations of racial and ethnic categories in the
U.S., examining the connections between immigration policy and racialization/ethnicization of various groups.
The main objectives of this course are as follows:
To develop an understanding of race/ethnicity as a social construct
To recognize the ways race and ethnicity are related to power and material inequalities
To explore the relationship between race and ethnicity
To connect the history of U.S. immigration to the construction of race and the formation of ethnic
To explore and critically engage topics such as “the melting pot” or “multiculturalism”
To consider inflection points such as The Wars on Terror/Drugs/Poverty and their connections to race
To understand contemporary features of U.S. racism such as colorblindness, unmarked whiteness, and
Students should expect to gain a historical perspective on racial inequality, stratification, the strategic uses of
‘ethnicity’ in policy and discourse, and the politics of U.S. immigration policy.
Articles will be posted on the course Blackboard page. Students are responsible for obtaining readings from
Blackboard at the beginning of the semester.
Students’ final grades will be based on one in-class presentation, 7 pop quizzes, a midterm exam, and a final
project. Attendance and completion of the readings before class are essential. It is imperative that students speak
up during class. Students are asked not to use a laptop during class without permission from the professor.
Pop quizzes will be given at the beginning of class and cannot be made up if missed. You may miss 2 of the 7
pop quizzes without penalty.
Students will be required to complete a group presentation in class during the semester. Each group will give a
12 minute group presentation related to the course readings for the week. I will distribute presentation guidelines
in class. You may not “make up” for a missed presentation – the day you are scheduled to present, you must
All students will take a midterm exam in class on November 21st, 2012. The exam will be a combination of
multiple choice and short-answer questions. All students will take a final exam, also a combination of multiple
choice and short answer questions (date to be announced). No make-up tests will be given for the midterm or
The professor reserves the right to alter the syllabus over the course of the semester.
The course grades will be as follows:
20% = Pop quizzes
20% = Presentation
20% = Midterm
40% = Final Exam
Introduction to Race, Ethnicity, Immigration
9/5/12: Race and Racism in the U.S.
Angier, N. 2000. “Do Races Differ? Not Really, DNA Shows.” NY Times.
Malcolm X. 1964. “The Ballot or the Bullet.” You Tube.
Keller, Mitch. 2006. “The Scandal at the Zoo.” NY Times.
Thomson, A.C. 2009. “Katrina’s Hidden Race War.” The Nation.
9/12/12: New Racism: Colorblindness, Whiteness, and Post-Racial America
“White History Year Resumes.” 2003. The Onion.
Larew, J. “Why are droves of unqualified kids getting into our colleges?”
Redding, M. “Invisibility/Hypervisibility: The Paradox of Normative Whiteness.”
“Tim Wise on White Privilege.” YouTube (ChallengingMedia)
9/19/12: The Intersection of Race and Gender
Roberts, D. 1995. “Race, Gender & the Value of a Mother’s Work.” Soc. Pol.
Raily, J. and Begos, K. “Still Hiding: Woman Sterilized at 14 Carries Load of Shame.”
9/26/2012: NO CLASSES SCHEDULED
10/3/12: Understanding Ethnicity
Zinn, H. “Persons of Mean and Vile Condition.” A People’s History of the US.
Singh, N. “An American Tragedy.” The New Yorker.
10/10/12: NO CLASS – MONDAY SCHEDULE
10/17/12: Ethnicity and Cultural Racism
Chen, M. “Ethnic Studies Ruling Escalates Arizona Schools Struggle.” Huffington Post.
Kelley, Robin D.G. “Looking Backward.” Yo Mama’s Dysfunktional.
10/24/12: Mobility and Unstable Categories
Di Angelo, R. 2006. “My Class Didn’t Trump My Race.” Multicultural Perspectives.
Mos Def. 1999. “Mr. Nigga.” You Tube.
Bageant, J. Deer Hunting With Jesus. (selections)
10/31/12: Myths of the Underclass and Model Minorities
Takaki, R. “The Myth of the Model Minority.” Strangers from a Different Shore.
Fadiman, A. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Selections.
Sen, R. “Not Senseless, Not Random.” Colorlines.
11/7/12: The History of Immigration in the U.S. & Midterm Review
“My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” NY Times.
Lopez, I. Haney. “White By Law.” Selections.
DREAM Act Debate. Democracynow.org
11/21/12: MIDTERM EXAM
11/28/12: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration after the War on Terror
CNN’s “Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door.” YouTube.
Tariq Ramadan vs. Moustafa Bayoumi, Islamic Center Debate. Democracy Now.
Aidi, H. “Jihadis in the Hood: Race, Urban Islam, and the War on Terror.” Mid.E. Rep.
Wessler, S.F. 2012.
12/5/12: Imperialism: U.S. Race/Ethnicity/Immigration and Settler Colonialism
Wright, K. 2011. “The Ability to Kill Osama bin Laden Does Not Make America
Fiasco, Lupe. “American Terrorist.”
Immortal Technique. “The 4th Branch.”
12/12/12: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration: Concluding Thoughts & Final Exam Review
Solomon, A. 2011. “Why I'm Just Saying No to The Help.” Colorlines.
Hing, J. 2011. “31 Million U.S. Kids Live in Poverty as Racial Inequality
Peart, N. “Why is the NYPD after Me?” NY Times.