Five-College Course Catalogue

UMass Mount Holyoke Hampshire Amherst Smith
The Social Construction of Whiteness and Women: WOMST 397L The Psychology of Racism: PSYCH 213 Human Biological Variation: NS 0123 Seminar On Race and Nation In the U.S.-Mexican Borderland: HIST 87 Seminar: Melodrama, Horror, and Cultural Theory: ENG 396
Race, Gender, and Social Class (SBD): SOCIOL 106 Whiteness and the Construction of Identity (first-year seminar): EDUC 109 Culture and Biology: NS 0254 The Social Psychology of Race: PSYC 44 Approaches to Visual Representation (C): Negotiating Difference in Image and Space: ARH 101
**See below for a more thorough description of some UMASS courses. Race, Class, Culture, and Gender in the Classroom: EDUC 205     Race and Public Policy in the United States: PPL 250
Race/Ethnicity Dialogue: EDUC 397L Effective Antiracist Classroom Practices for All Students: EDUC 414     Colloquia in Writing: Diversity, Community, and the Complexities of Difference: ENG 118
  Gender, Race, and Science: WOMST 235      
  Political Economy of "Race" in the U.S.: ECON 306      
  Seminar: Race Representation on the American Stage: THEAT 350      
  Interdisciplinary Seminar Gender, Race, and Science: WOMST 333      

**So you've looked around the website. You've read the essays, seen the images, but what now? We recommend that you incorporate an analysis of whiteness into your studies. One way to do this is by taking classes that talk about whiteness in very specific, analytical terms.

>For starters, the UMass sociology department offers Soc 106-2N with Professor S. Model. It's titled, Race, Gender, Class and Ethnicity.

One of the more interesting things I could find with this course's syllabus was that students are required to write a paper on one of three books. One of these book choices was "Honky" by Dalton Conley. Linked to the professor's web site was a page explaining the book as well as an interview with the author.

The explanation provided background on Conley; in his book, he tells his story of how he grew up in a predominantly black and Hispanic area of Manhattan's Lower East Side and dealt with racialized injustices.

The link also questions Conley on his thoughts on the impact of race in America. Conley responds in this interview with: "Overt expression of racism is corrosive to everyone, but the unspoken structural inequalities benefit whites. Just look at the job market. Ask anyone 'How did you get your last job?' They didn't just blindly answer an ad - they had connections…The way we get jobs through connections makes sense, because an employer would tend to trust a person they had previously heard about. Whites are more likely to recommend a white person to a potential employer. The way we get jobs, even if it isn't openly or even consciously racist, does perpetuate racism to the benefit of white America."

>Also in the UMass sociology department is a class not currently listed in the department's online course catalog. I took the class, Soc 340 taught by Professor Mike Lewis, in fall semester 2001. It was called Race Relations, and I recommend you keep an eye out for it to see if it surfaces once more.

The premise of the class is to answer: What accounts for the heart of social injustice in current American society? Is it a) racial prejudice, b) class inequalities, or c) class inequalities that are the result of racial prejudice? Through journal entries and then a final paper, you discuss your opinions and back them up with historical examples.

Whiteness plays a key role in this class during lectures that describe how European immigrants became considered white. Also covered in detail is the rational behind reparations for slavery. Lewis's detailed breakdown of the economics of white and black people of the south during slavery, in the years right after slavery, in the decades to follow, and all of its ripple effects on today's society all over the country are put into the clearest terms I have ever heard. He also goes into a bit of history about certain times when white political administrations did attempt to look into paying reparations and the opposition they faced.

This is a completely what you make of it class, and while basic knowledge obtained during it proved useful during taking Social Construction of Whiteness and Women, I find my hindsight reflections are much more insightful now. My recommendation would be to take this course as a capstone, where you could put all your research on race relations in America, leaving nothing left unsaid about whiteness' role in all of it, into one paper.

>The class affiliated with this site is the above-mentioned Social Construction of Whiteness and Women, taught during spring semesters at UMass by Professor Arlene Avakian. The course is probably best taken in conjunction with Professor Alex Deschamps's class Theorizing Black Feminisms, also taught during the spring. Both classes are part of the UMass women's studies department.

>In the UMass anthropology department, Professor Enoch Page teaches The Anthropology of Whiteness. Page looks at how whiteness can be dismantled and in whose interests. The origins of whiteness are discussed, as well as asking a fundamental question, as described in the class' descriptive blurb: Is whiteness an antonym, synonym, or metonym of multicultural diversity?

>The UMass German department and Professor Susan Cocalis offer during spring semesters the class From the Grimms to Disney, which looks at the fairy tales. Again, it's up to you to pull out certain aspects of these tales, but whiteness is always prevalent to the discussion. Through your work in the class, you can begin to shatter the silence surrounding whiteness.

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