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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.
Ethnic Studies began its full operation as a department within the College of Liberal Arts in the fall of 1996 as the result of the hard work of a group of students, staff, and faculty members from numerous disciplines who believed the time had come for such a department at OSU. Now a program within the School of Language, Culture, and Society, Ethnic Studies includes faculty from a number of different academic areas, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of our field.
The Ethnic Studies program aspires to provide an academic opportunity of excellence for critical, multidisciplinary investigation of the intersections race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, and of the articulated concerns of the four major racialized minority groups in the United States: Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Chicanos/Latinos. The program is currently expanding its offerings to include coverage of race and ethnicity in a global context.