Critical Ethnic Studies Courses

CES 200 Argument with the Given (key concepts)

This course is a survey course; consequently a wide breadth of topics (some in greater depth than others) will be covered. Through an interdisciplinary process, the primary consists of developing a sophisticated understanding of the central themes, and key concepts, in the field of Critical Ethnic Studies. Students will pursue that understanding via an interdisciplinary process. The secondary goal will be to acquire and build the skills necessary to pursue further learning in Critical Ethnic Studies; these include identifying your own research agenda (obsessions and desires), stocking your analytical tool kit (bibliographic skills, critical thinking, and the identification of knowledge demands), and lighting your intellectual fire (interest in the field).

CES 240 Language: The Colonial and Imperial Difference

CES 240 is an interdisciplinary survey course designed to introduce the student to the study of language and power. The primary objective in this class will be to assert linguistic rights and to interrogate the politics of language use, and language thought, in light of colonization, imperialism and the transit of empire. We will consider the geo- political ideas and practices of literacy, language revitalization, translation and identity. These explorations will serve as a means to counter the monologism, monoculture, and monolingualism often invoked in nationalist projects. These ideas are grounded in the narratives and vocabularies particular to racial and colonial projects. Consequently, each student will be asked to develop their own creative understanding (linguistically speaking) of the field (language and the meta-linguistics of power). Accomplishing this will require fluency and immersion in a practice of meta-linguistics that explores the inter-relationship between the language of the academy and the language of social- cultural community relevance. Critical Ethnic Studies requires scholarship capable of countering the false binary between activism and intellectualism—that process is grounded in language.

CES 260 Insurgency, Solidarity, and Coloniality of Power

CES 260 is an interdisciplinary survey course designed to engage students in the study of power. The primary focus will be on instances of continuity and insurgency, between and among world indigenous, national and transnational subjects. Embedded in this practice will be the assertion of epistemic rights, and simultaneous world views, and the varied and landed responses made to world systems of racialization and colonization. We will engage history and narrative through the power of storytelling and the critical fictions of conquest and enslavement. Most important, we will ask: what alternatives to modernity/coloniality can we conceive of through practices of insurgency and solidarity? How can we restore relations that have been severed, or disfigured, by these same world systems, as well as our wide-ranging responses to them?

CES 298 Independent Study

CES 300 Body, Land, and Labor

In this course, students will consider the questions of how racialized bodies, gendered bodies, and able/disable bodies play a crucial role in understanding present realities in the U.S. and around the globe. Using different case studies from the Americas, students will examine the interconnection between performance of identity, embodiment, natural resources, geographies, and unfree labor. Paying particular attention to social movements in times of a global pandemic. Student will develop projects to incorporate their embodied experiences with the land and explore topics of resistance in social movements such as land sovereignty and/or labor rights.

CES 340 Plant Communication/Kinship

In this course, students learn about the theories of ontology and the “ontological turn” to understand human and “other-than-human” being interactions. In this course, students explore non-Western concepts of kinship. The course will prioritize plant and human interactions. Student will examine how communities make sense of multispecies relations, reflect on their own relationship with plants, challenge topics such as personhood, understand the division between science/culture and discuss issues of food scarcity, food sovereignty, food justice, and land pedagogy.Prerequisite: Must have taken CES-200, CES-240, or CES-260, or with Instructor Permission.

CES/ANSO 410 Missionaries to Pilgrims: Diasporic Retu

This course explores the synergistic relationship between Africa and its diaspora through an analysis of return voyages. From 19th century formerly enslaves Africans who returned home after emancipation to contemporary religious and ethnic pilgrims seeking connection with their African ethnicity and or spirituality; the meeting space between the diaspora and Africa represents a contested terrain. Because Africa and the diaspora are ideological and political constructs, the class will engage the ways these constructions are negotiated and deployed across space and time. We will pay particular attention to questions of belonging, identity, and place and moments of miscommunication as Africa seeks to claim its diaspora and the diaspora makes claims on AfricaPrerequisite: 300-level ANSO course


CES 490 Senior Colloquium

The Critical Ethnic Studies Senior Colloquium, 1-unit course collaboratively shaped by the CES faculty and senior majors. The colloquium will focus on the planning and executing of an intellectual social-political project that contributes to the CES program, to the larger community, and to the field of Critical Ethnic Studies. The Critical Ethnic Studies Senior cohort will decide the form and content project, in collaboration and consultation with CES faculty, who will provide leadership and organizational support. Infused in the project and the work of the course are professional development, collaborative scholarly work, and learning community development.
Prerequisite: Must be a CES Major

CES 593 Senior Integrated Project

Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Integrated Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Senior Integrated Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details.