Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies

July 7, 2020 CRES Committee Statement—Black Lives Matter: CRES, Anti-Racism, and Reconciliation at Reed

About CRES

The program in Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies (CRES) is a community of students and faculty who are interested in the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity, whether through the CRES major, minorcolloquium, or coursesIf you would like to receive announcements about upcoming events and program updates, please subscribe to the CRES students mailing list. Faculty can also subscribe to the CRES faculty mailing list.

The CRES major is intended for students who wish to combine focused study in anthropology, dance, English, history, music, religion, sociology, or theatre with comparative interdivisional work on race and ethnicity. For more information, see Admissions' major profile of CRES. Majors are required to pass CRES 300 as well as their home department qual as juniors; as seniors, they write theses with a focus on comparative race and ethnicity.

The CRES minor is intended for students in any department who wish to engage with with the cross-disciplinary examination of race and ethnicity as well as acquire an understanding of approaches (including theories and methods) to the study of race and/or ethnicity within given disciplines.

The CRES colloquium hosts a series of events centering on the study of race and ethnicity, including Reed faculty research, student theses, and visiting speakers. All Reed community members are welcome! Please check the events sidebar to the right to see when the next CRES colloquium will take place.

All CRES courses examine questions of race and ethnicity for half the semester or more. Many courses also treat specific categories of race and ethnicity as the central object of inquiry and teach approaches (including theories and methods) to the study of race and/or ethnicity within given disciplines.

What makes this a CRES course?

Theatre 276 / CRES 276
Community-Based Performance

Kate Duffly, Professor

This course explores the role of theatre-making in civic change, with a focus on the history of racism and exclusion in Portland. In this course, students will study approaches to theatre that directly engage with local communities, as well as ways the history of theatre can be better understood as being intertwined with and responsive to civic life. In collaboration with local theatre companies and practitioners, students will incorporate their classroom studies on historically relevant theatre practices (such as Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed; the United Farmworkers’ El Teatro Campesino; and the Black Arts Movement) with a firsthand engagement in local community-based groups using theatre for community engagement.

History 334 / CRES 384
Race and the Politics of Decolonization

History 334 / CRES 384
Race and the Politics of Decolonization

Radhika Natarajan, Professor

This course asks, how was the struggle for decolonization in the British Empire shaped by the politics of race? How was human difference theorized and how did imperial racisms constrain the possibilities for freedom in a post-imperial world? To answer these questions we will examine freedom struggles in the British Empire, from the end of World War I to the present day. The course seeks to investigate experience, politics, and ideas. Thus, we will consider the experience of colonialism and the meanings of freedom, the question of how independence was won, and also how decolonization was a project of “world-making” that is, imagining the world beyond the hierarchies of empire. We will decenter the national frameworks of traditional decolonization narratives both by exploring the challenge of diversity within the colony/nation as well as transcolonial and international movements to instantiate freedom. We will consider the legacies of colonial rule that continued after formal independence and the ongoing struggles for decolonization that exist in multiple sites and take multiple forms today. Throughout, we will pay attention to the ways that race and racisms operate through gendered difference.

Sociology 348 / CRES 348
Race, Economy, Policy

Sociology 348 / CRES 348
Race, Economy, Policy

Marc Schneiberg, Professor

An economic sociology of race and ethnicity, this (foundational) course address how the social and institutional structure of the economy, public policies toward key markets and the dynamics they produce shape the fates, life chances, barriers and opportunities faced by African Americans, other etho-racial groups and their communities in the contemporary US. Topics covered include the impact on black communities of the decline of the mass production corporation, the role of networks and white ethnic mobilization in structuring labor markets, and how linkage between housing markets, schools and credit markets within a residentially segregated society foster self-reinforcing cycles of (dis)advantage. Topics also include how African American and other marginalized groups mobilize/create social structures in response to dynamics of segregation and impoverishment, how employing organizations meet demands for equity and inclusion, and how various policies seek to address those issues.

English 333 / CRES 330
Memory and Modernity in the Indian Ocean

English 333 / CRES 330
Memory and Modernity in the Indian Ocean

Kritish Rajbhandari, Professor

This course engages with race and ethnicity in the following ways: through transdisciplinary analysis of literature alongside historical documents and scholarship, this course examines how the categories of race and ethnicity (as well as caste, class and religion) were constructed and contested in the Indian Ocean region particularly in the context of colonialism and Afro-Asian exchange and migrations. It engages with theories of modernity, postcolonialism, and transnationalism, with particular focus on the problems of the relationship between embodiment and community, the production of history, subalternity and gender, and the afterlives of slavery in the Indian Ocean context.