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At Oregon State University, Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary and comparative study of ethnicity, Indigeneity, race, and racism in the United States and globally. The field was born out of student and community-led social movements and cultural/political struggles of the 1960s. As Ethnic Studies scholars, our research and teaching provide a critical framework for historical comparative understandings of particular racialized and Indigenous groups as well as the relationships among them. We do so through an analysis of the intersections of race with gender, class, sexuality, religion, immigration status and other systems of difference and power -- past and present. As a field of study, we analyze the shifting nature of racisms and the histories of resistance locally, nationally, and transnationally.
Thinking about jobs? No problem. Ethnic Studies graduates find great and meaningful careers in politics, education, health care, ecology, arts, science, writing, journalism, law, business, and much more. And that is just the beginning. Come find out more! See MAIS alum Amanda Ekabutr Promotion to UMass Director of Student-Athlete Development/Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
For David G. Lewis, it frees up time for his groundbreaking work on Oregon Native American history. For Patricia Fifita, it’s reaching “the pinnacle of the academic pathway.” For Luhui Whitebear, it offers ways to honor her mentors by connecting with today’s Indigenous students at Oregon State University.
The three, all of whom have long connections with OSU, recently earned tenure-track appointments as assistant professors in the School of Language, Culture and Society, part of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. The so-called “cluster hire” allows the school to proceed with plans to launch a minor in Indigenous Studies; OSU's Curriculum Council approved those plans in early May.
And, said Susan Bernardin, the director of the School of Language, Culture and Society, that’s just the start: The hire of the three could help pave the way for an Indigenous Studies major at OSU.