Lecture Schedule: Tuesday and Thursday | 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Faculty: Vilma Ortiz | Sociology, Coordinator
Scot Brown | History
Mishuana Goeman | Gender Studies
Valerie Matsumoto | History and Asian American Studies
Brenda Stevenson | History
Librarian: Renee Romero | Powell Library
Writing Consultant: Peggy Davis | Writing Programs
Inquiry Specialist: Sofie Jackson

Cluster 20 - RaceHow can a nation as racially diverse as the United States and a state as ethnically varied as California nurture a sense of unity and community? Looking at social and cultural themes that shape contemporary American life, students explore questions such as, “What is the role of race in society today?” and “How are racial stereotypes produced and sometimes challenged in popular culture?” The cluster engages students in active dialogue and debate to teach them to be culturally fluent in the new multiethnic complexities that have displaced the outdated black-white paradigm of U.S. race relations.

What are the Benefits?

  • Satisfy 4 GEs requirements
  • Satisfy Writing II requirement
  • 18 units toward degree
  • College Honors units including Honors Collegium
  • Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

Writing II and Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of the yearlong cluster, students will fulfill the Writing II requirement and satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 2 in Foundations of Society & Culture (1 in Historical Analysis; 1 in Social Analysis)
  • 2 in Foundations of the Arts & Humanities (1 in Literary and Cultural Analysis; 1 in Visual and Performance Arts Analysis and Practice)

Diversity Requirement

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy the Diversity course requirement

Unlike most classes, this will be a class that I will never forget and will use over the rest of my life.  The lessons you learn from this class are amazing, and leave you talking about it with your friends (even those who are not taking the class)!Course Format

In lectures and discussion sections during the fall and winter quarters, students examine race as a social and cultural category that shapes contemporary American life.

Students also study race as a “lived” experience and a contested terrain through some of the following activities:

  • Student debates on topics such as affirmative action and immigration;
  • A race, place, and consciousness assignment where, instead of studying others, students study themselves by observing and participating in the activities of a place (sports event, club, store, mall, restaurant, etc.) where they are ethnically and/or racially conspicuous;
  • An analysis of historical cartoons and the implications for understanding race, immigration, and citizenship; and
  • Dinners with cluster faculty coupled with movie screenings.

Spring Seminars

During spring quarter, students choose a seminar that allows them to explore a particular topic in greater depth. Previous seminar titles have included:

  • Beaches, Bombs, and Bikinis: Race and U.S. Empire in Pacific
  • Black Lives Intersect
  • Decolonizing Queer
  • Diversity, Immigration, and Democracy
  • Exploring Southeast Asian Refugee Experience Through Film and Literature
  • How Race Gets Under Our Skin: Sociology of Race, Health, and Biomedicine
  • Indigenous Racialization: Diasporic Indigenous Perspectives
  • Japanese American and Contemporary Mass Incarceration
  • Latinx Feminist Thought
  • Mixed Race Stories
  • Perspectives on Chicana and Chicano Education
  • Rebellion, Romance, and Other Interracial Encounters in Modern Los Angeles
  • Standing Together against Racism
  • Touch of Danger: Rebellion, Romance, and Other Interracial Encounters in Los Angeles
  • Viewing Paradigms of Race through Film
  • Visualizing Race in Contemporary U.S. Fiction