Related Classes

Through course work offered in BGSU's School of Cultural and Critical Studies, you will explore the intersections of race, gender, and culture (and meet a general education requirement too!).   


BGSU 1910

All Finding Your Voice in Social Justice Learning Community students will choose one of the small interactive courses (BGSU 1910) designed specifically for this learning community.

Fall 2020 Course Topics Information Coming Soon!


ETHN 1010

In addition, all students in the community will be enrolled in a section of Introduction to Ethnic Studies (ETHN 1010) which meets the general education (BGP) requirement for Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

Fall 2020 Class Meeting Time/Day Information Coming Soon!

This gateway course to the field of Ethnic Studies introduces students to interdisciplinary analyses of race and ethnicity in the U.S. It explores the social construction and ideologies of race in colonial conquest, slavery, and immigration, and the intersections of race with other hierarchies such as class, gender, and sexuality. The course particularly focuses on the theorizing and lived experiences of people of color (including African Americans, Native Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans) in the U.S., exploring the ways in which marginalized racial/ethnic groups historically have negotiated their disempowerment, as well as addressing contemporary discourses on racial and ethnic issues.

This course takes a critical race theory/critical ethnic studies approach to the study of race and ethnicity, relying upon an understanding of race and ethnicity as socially constructed; race and ethnicity are class- and gender-dependent social institutions with historic origins and real-world effects, with meanings determined and mediated by geographic location and temporality.

Aunt Jemima, Rich Uncle Pennybags, and the Kool-Aid Man: Gender & Race in Advertising

Thursdays, 4:00-4:50 pm
8/23/19-12/13/19
BGSU 1910

Course Description:
This course focuses on identifying and deconstructing stereotypes of race and gender in advertising to help students gain a better understanding of how a media form that almost everyone disregards acts to support and perpetuate real-world racial and gender inequality. By examining how advertising icons and brand mascots have (and have not) changed over the years, students will be able to see when and how brands respond to societal changes. These responses are an indirect statement about what really matters—and to whom.

About the Instructor:
Jessica Birch
Position: Instructor – Ethnic Studies
Email: jebirch@bgsu.edu
Address:  229 Shatzel Hall

Dr. Jessica Birch is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and is an instructor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies: Theory and Cultural Studies, as well as a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, from Purdue University in 2014. Her teaching and research focus on black feminist theory, critical race theory, contemporary popular culture/cultural studies, critical pedagogy, and the intersections among these areas. She has published research on gender, sexuality, race, nationalism, and neoliberalism in contemporary popular culture.

¡Si Se Puede!: Latino/a/x Activism
Thursdays, 4:00-4:50 pm
8/23/19-12/13/19
BGSU 1910
Course Description:
In the late 1960s under the banner of ¡Si Se Puede! (Yes We Can), Mexican and Mexican American farmworkers fought for better wages in California. Those events influenced generations of Latino/a/x, as they struggled for social justice on campuses throughout the United States. This seminar focuses on those struggles by educating students about the historical and contemporary histories of Latino/a/x activism in Northwest Ohio by exploring counter-narratives and archives.  Students will conduct research through the university archives on the histories of social justice activism at Bowling Green State University and in Northwest Ohio.

Luis Moreno


About the Instructor:

Luis Moreno
Position: Lecturer – Ethnic Studies
Email: lmoreno@bgsu.edu
Address:  339 Shatzel Hall

Dr. Luis Moreno is a lecturer in the Department of Ethnic Studies in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies, teaching Latina/o Studies. His research focuses on the intersections of labor, migration, and activism among the Mexican working-class communities in the United States, especially the Southwest & Midwest. 

The Politics of Sex
Thursdays, 4:00-4:50 pm
8/23/19-12/13/19
BGSU 1910
Course Description:
Although some aspects of sex may be “natural,” sex is largely socially constructed.  What counts as sex, how it is practiced, and even how it is experienced changes over time and across cultures. This course explores some of the contemporary politics that shape sex and sexuality at the present moment.  Students will write and curate a course blog about sexual politics at BGSU and our Northwest Ohio community, participate in a service-learning project, and have opportunities to attend field trips and other cultural events.

Sarah Rainey
About the Instructor:

Sarah Rainey-Smithback
Position: Associate Professor – School of Cultural & Critical
Studies/Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Email: sasarah@bgsu.edu
Address:  231 Shatzel Hall

Dr. Rainey-Smithback is an Associate Professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.  Dr. Rainey-Smithback received her PhD from The Ohio State University in Women’s Studies, with a specialization in Sexuality Studies and Disability Studies.  Her first book, Love, Sex, and Disability: The Pleasure of Care examined intimate relationships between people with disabilities and their nondisabled partners.  She has also published on topics related to HIV/AIDS disclosure, lesbian sexuality and families, sexual representation in film, BDSM identity, and is currently working on a book project analyzing the politics of sexual orientation and gender identity in the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Refugees Past and Present
Mondays, 10:30 – 11:20 am
8/27/18-12/14/18
BGSU 1910 1028 73393

Course Description:

This course will focus on refugee migration globally. Students will learn about the origins of the refugee category by the United Nations in the 1940s, as well as the emergence of the refugee category by the US immigration laws. Throughout the course students will learn about various refugee migrations across the globe, particularly to the US. The course will particularly highlight refugee migration and settlement in Ohio.

 
About the Instructor:
VIBHA BHALLA

Position: Associate Professor – Ethnic Studies
Email: vibhab@bgsu.edu
Address: 228 Shatzel Hall

Vibha Bhalla is an immigrant historian who is attempting to introduce students to immigration to Ohio.  My research is based in Detroit and analyzes the ways gender shapes migration and settlement of Asian Indians. In addition, my work also explores the ways local economies intersect with immigrant labor.

Raise a Fist, Take a Knee:
Protest and the Black Athlete
Straight Outta [Your City]

Mondays, 6:00-9:00 pm
8/27/18-10/12/18
BGSU 1910 1089 73888 
 

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 pm
8/27/18-12/14/18
BGSU 1910 1007 73287
 

Course Description:

With the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement over the last five years, the American public has paid renewed attention to the role of African American athletes in political debates. From football players kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem, to LeBron James’s public defense of the right of athletes to speak to the issues of the day, there is a revival of the activist-athlete in a manner that modern sportswriters thought impossible or unlikely only fifteen years ago. Over the last thirty-plus years, social critics feared that the Black professional athlete had “too much to lose” by taking controversial stands, and that the economics of modern sports stifled political voices of both professional and amateur athletes alike. Recently, however, from the WNBA to the NFL, Black athletes have been at the forefront of discussions of the role of race in contemporary American society.
This course will not only examine the current manifestations of political consciousness and action among African American athletes. It will also connect these current issues to the longer history of politics and protest in the Black athletic experience. Particular emphasis will be placed upon post-World War II manifestations of this activism, including but not limited to the impact of the integration of professional sports; the rise of radical Black athletes in the 1960s, culminating in the 1968 Summer Olympics and Muhammad Ali’s antiwar activism; the various challenges raised by college athletes to their position in higher education; and the recent explosion of Black athletic protest at all levels of sports. Opportunities for campus and community engagement will be pursued through the We Are One Team here at BGSU, local activists dealing with issues raised by contemporary Black athletes, and/or outreach to the Toledo Public Schools. The seminar will have a strong emphasis on student discussion of the tactics used by Black athletes to highlight their political causes over the years and the impact of such activism on public discussions of relevant issues. Short response papers to help promote in-class discussion will be encouraged, culminating in a personal reflection upon the political responsibilities of African American athletes.

Course Description:

This course examines how the Rust Belt (aka the Industrial Midwest) is portrayed in mass media and national narratives. Although we will begin by learning about some of the cultural and labor history of the Rust Belt, the main focus is on more recent media representation of events and circumstances within the Rust Belt and among its inhabitants. Events and circumstances discussed will include Flint’s water crisis, the 2016 election, gentrification, hipsters, and segregation, addressing how “urban decay” is both classed and racialized in media representations.
The course will use a problem-posing pedagogical approach to help students hone their critical thinking abilities by learning to listen to (and hear) diverse viewpoints and perspectives; dialoguing to become better able to understand how their own social positions connect to larger structures and institutions; and using the knowledge and understanding gained to be more responsible citizens with insight into cultural rules and biases. Course content will primarily consist of short video clips from news shows, interviews, films, and television shows, along with news articles from mainstream news organizations. Students will also engage with and do research in social media, including YouTube videos, Twitter, and Instagram. There is no textbook for the class. Each unit in the course will begin with a handout on terminology, historical context, and major themes to familiarize students with discussing everyday topics in academically appropriate ways.

tom edge speaking birch teaching1
About the Instructor: About the Instructor:
THOMAS EDGE

Position: Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Cultural and Critical Studies; Lecturer - Ethnic Studies  Email: tjedge@bgsu.edu
Address: 238 Shatzel Hall 

Thomas Edge is a lecturer in the Department of Ethnic Studies, where he has taught since 2011. Dr. Edge earned his Ph.D. from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2008. His teaching experiences include time at Trinity College (Connecticut), Elms College, and Northwestern University. Over the years, Dr. Edge has taught courses on African American history, the Civil Rights Movement, African American film, race and housing, Black leadership in the twentieth century, and Black higher education. At BGSU, he has previously taught 1910 courses on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and on the Black athlete in American history and culture. Dr. Edge has published works on the African American experience in the Journal of Black StudiesWest Virginia HistoryJournal of American Culture, and in the edited volumes The Black Experience in America (edited by Edward Ramsamy and Gayle Tate) and Barack Obama: Political Frontiers and Racial Agency (edited by Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama). 

JESSICA BIRCH

Position: Instructor - Ethnic Studies 
Email: jebirch@bgsu.edu
Address: 239 Shatzel Hall 


Jessica Birch is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and is an instructor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies: Theory and Cultural Studies, as well as a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, from Purdue University in 2014. Her teaching and research focus on black feminist theory, critical race theory, contemporary popular culture/cultural studies, critical pedagogy, and the intersections among these areas. She has published research on gender, sexuality, race, nationalism, and neoliberalism in contemporary popular culture.