Dr. Sara Diaz
WGST 303: The *isms: Race, Class, and Gender
Which Came First?
The House You Lived In
• Do some investigating and then critically reflect on how the physical
place you called home is connected to larger social institutions and
historical events, especially as they relate to race, class, and gender.
• How did your family come to live in that house? Did they rent or own?
• Who lived there prior to your family?
• Who were the original inhabitants of that neighborhood and region? Did you
live in a place that was once legally segregated (do a little research)? Who
were the people who built your house?
• What social institutions supported your family's ability to reside in that
place? Did someone in your family history (grandparents, great-
grandparents) receive an FHA or VA loan? Did your grandparents, or great-
grandparents benefit from the GI bill?
• What privileges allowed you to live in that place as opposed to others? OR
What oppression relegated you to living in that place as opposed to others?
• Who was missing in your community and why?
• Treat questions as a place to start thinking about how race, class and
gender relate to your childhood home.
Nuts and Bolts
• Paper due Sunday 3/1 at midnight on blackboard
• Your paper should not simply answer the questions asked but weave
them together to form a cohesive narrative
• Use at least three readings from the first 7 weeks of class.
• Make sure to put yourself in conversation with them by engaging
with the authors' central arguments and key terms (like meritocracy,
American Dream, color blindness, etc).
• The paper should be no less than 4 and no more than 6 pages,
double-spaced, with typical margins.
• Give your paper a creative title.