Race and Ethnicity Studies
Race and Ethnicity Studies is an interdisciplinary major devoted to the critical examination of race and ethnicity, with particular emphasis on the social construction of these concepts and their comparative evolutions in different societies. Both inside and outside of the classroom, the program fosters an exchange of ideas about identity, multiculturalism and diversity. Via a multidisciplinary program structure, students examine how various academic disciplines conceive of race and ethnicity and how their approaches differ, incomplement one another. A substantial original research project is required.
Race and Ethnicity Studies (REST) is a program that facilitates your critical analysis of how race and ethnicity intersect with conceptions of gender, nation, religion, sexuality, age and class. Complementing the College's dedication to global awareness and inquiry, the program connects race and ethnicity to the creation of local, national and global systems of inequality.
Your Program of Study
Majoring in REST will enable you to:
- Comprehend the historical formation and evolution of conceptions of race and ethnicity.
- Distinguish different definitions of race and ethnicity across societies and cultures throughout the world.
- Recognize how structures built upon race and ethnicity continue to impact people in individual, community, national and international contexts.
- Understand the relationship between race and ethnicity and conceptions of gender, class and sexuality.
- Examine, through a multidisciplinary program structure, how various academic disciplines conceive of race and ethnicity and how their approaches differ, inform and ultimately complement one another.
- Complete the program by demonstrate your ability to produce a substantial original project concerning race and ethnicity.
The REST major allows both you and members of the Salem faculty from all disciplines to participate in exciting studies together. The REST major encourages the development of courses in areas such as Africana studies, Asian studies, Latin-American studies and Middle Eastern studies, among others. You will have access to a range of faculty members and departmental offerings to support and enhance your REST major.
REST strengthens relationships between the College and a variety of area organizations and educational institutions, meaning that you will have opportunities for special studies, internships and projects with organizations such as Winston-Salem State University, the Winston-Salem Foundation and the International Civil Rights Center/Museum in Greensboro, NC.
Race and Ethnicity Studies Major (B.A.)
The major in race and ethnicity studies requires a three-course core and eight electives, taken from at least four different disciplines.
Race and Ethnicity Studies Courses (REST)
200. Independent Study in Race and Ethnicity Studies One course
Independent study under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. and permission of the coordinator. Independent study may take the form of readings, research or project. Independent study may be taken for a total of four courses, no more than two in any one term.
202. Race and Ethnic Relations One course
A socio-historical analysis of the interaction of racial and ethnic groups and the American environment. This will include the social, economic and political aspects of racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Cross-listed with SOCI 202. Fall.
210. Critical Issues in the History of Race and Ethnicity One course
This course introduces students to the critical analysis of race and ethnicity, with a focus on comprehending theoretical approaches to the study of race and ethnicity prevalent in the United States and throughout the world. Cross-listed with HIST 215. Spring.
220. Special Topics in Race and Ethnicity Studies One course
Intensive investigation of a topic or problem in the study of race and ethnicity. The specific content and methods of study will be announced prior to the beginning of the course.
270. Internship in Race and Ethnicity Studies One course
This course provides an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills learned in coursework to solve problems in a real work setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. May be taken only once for credit toward the REST major. Prerequisite: permission of the coordinator.
290. Honors Independent Study in Race and Ethnicity Studies One course
Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 G.P.A.in the courses constituting the major and permission of the coordinator. Honors Independent Study may be taken for a maximum of two courses.
380. Senior Project in Race and Ethnicity Studies One course
In this course, students will develop a substantial, original research project concerning race and/or ethnicity. Required of majors in their senior year. Juniors may take this course will permission of instructor. Spring.
Dr. Daniel Prosterman
Where are you from?
Chattanooga, TN, via Chicago, via New York.
What were your reasons for choosing Salem?
I’m thrilled to teach at Salem College and play a role in continuing the tradition of excellence in education for which Salem is known. The small classes and dedicated faculty offer an energetic and supportive environment in which all students are encouraged to participate, thereby developing skills that will benefit them throughout their academic and professional careers.
Tell us about your global experiences.
I have traveled to 17 countries and speak four languages (some far better than others). I recently presented my research in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England. I am eager to visit Japan in the future.
What are your areas of special interest within your discipline?
My research investigates the practice of democracy in the United States and throughout the world, with a focus on the ways in which people mobilize to further democracy in their countries. My first book, Defining Democracy: Electoral Reform and the Struggle for Power in New York City, is scheduled to be published by Oxford University Press in 2012.
What is your favorite course to teach?
Critical Issues in the History of Race and Ethnicity. This course includes one of my favorite educational experiences, in which students write an essay that explores the development of their individual identities.
What kind of interaction do you have with your students beyond the classroom?
As director of the Salem Signature General Education Program, I have the opportunity to advise students throughout their academic careers. I also serve as the faculty advisor to Salem’s chapter of CHANGE, direct independent research projects, supervise internships, and guide students through the graduate school application process.
What advice would you give a student thinking about entering your discipline?If you’re looking for an interdisciplinary, liberal arts course of study that will hone your critical thinking skills and help you develop a greater understanding of how conceptions of race and ethnicity impact the world, Race and Ethnicity Studies would be an excellent program for you.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“The great work begins.”—Tony Kushner
Tell us about your favorite books or movies that you would
recommend to students.
- Unbowed by Wangari Maathai
- God’s Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane
- Lost in Translation (2003)
- My Neighbor Totoro (1988) The first two books detail the origins and impact of women’s activism in sub-Saharan Africa. The two films provide masterful depictions of modern Japanese society and culture.
Tell us about your family.
I’m married to a successful children’s book author, and we have a four-year-old daughter, who has been roaming the campus since before she could walk. We also have one cat and an enormous dog.
What do you do for fun when you aren't working?
Learn Japanese with my daughter.
What is your favorite place at Salem?
The classroom, of course!