Support us Ethnic Studies Newsletter


Prof. Medak-Saltzman wins Ford fellowship

April 8, 2015

Professor Danika Medak-Saltzman has won a prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Read More...

Prof. Aldama wins BFA Award

April 6, 2015

Professor Arturo Aldama has won the BFA Faculty Recognition Award, to honor his service to the CU community. Read More...

Interview on 1965

February 3, 2015

Dr. Rabaka discusses the significance of 1965 to the Civil Rights Movement Read More...


Ethnic Studies Spotlights

Summer and Fall 2016 Courses

Please check out our fantastic selection of courses for Summer 2016 (classes available for Maymester, A Term and B Term) and Fall 2016. With the variety of topics available, everyone will be sure to find some interesting choices.

Rivera Scholarship

The Dr. George Rivera Social Justice Scholarship will be awarded annually to an Ethnic Studies major or minor who demonstrates a commitment to justice, community, and diversity. It honors the long and inspiring legacy of advocacy on behalf of faculty and students of color established by Professor Rivera over many years at CU Boulder. The scholarship was kickstarted by a generous gift from Ethnic Studies Professor Joanne Belknap, whose dedication to social justice was sparked when she took a class with Professor Rivera! We hope that the Rivera Scholarship will grow to endowed status, so please consider honoring Dr. Rivera and supporting worthy students with a donation, no matter how larger or small! Your donation can be made with a single click here.

Our New Space

The Department of Ethnic Studies has moved back into a new and improved Ketchum! Our building has received a total renovation that includes a new floorplan, brighter lumination, energy efficiency, climate control, and modern technology. Please drop by our department office suite in Ketchum 184 and say hello.

Message from the Chair

The Department of Ethnic Studies is a dynamic unit dedicated to studying and teaching about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and power in national and transnational contexts. We're proud to be growing and providing new opportunities to students.

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the department. Professor Joanne Belknap joins us as a full-time core faculty member. A widely-published scholar and teacher who specializes in crime and gender, especially the incarceration of, and violence against, women and girls, Dr. Belknap has served as President of the American Society of Criminology, on state advisory boards for female offenders and women in prison, and on the U.S. Attorney General's Violence Against Women Committee. She builds our strength in critical justice studies and the interdisciplinary study of criminalization and carcerality. Dr. Douglas Ishii is an inaugural Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow. Coming to us from the University of Maryland, where he earned his Ph.D. in American Studies, he is interested in U.S. popular culture, comparative ethnic studies, Asian American media, arts-based activism for social justice, class in U.S. culture. He is currently revising his book manuscript, Dissembling Diversities, which examines how panethnic Asian American arts activism has been shaped by the divergent influences of the 1960s and '70s Yellow Power movement and hegemonic racial management discourses such as liberal multiculturalism and diversity.

In addition, Assistant Professors Clint Carroll and Angelica Lawson, who joined the department last year but were at the University of Minnesota for one final year, have arrived in Boulder. Dr. Carroll specializes in American Indian environmental policy, ecology, and environmental health and is the author of Roots of Our Renewal: Ethnobotany and Cherokee Environmental Governance (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). Dr. Lawson, who is jointly appointed in the Film Studies Program, conducts research and teaches on American Indian film and literature. Professors Carroll and Lawson greatly strengthen our coverage of Native American and Indigenous studies area.

Four new graduate students begin the Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies in Fall 2015: Wayne Freeman, Deanne Grant, Amani Husain, and Raul Melgoza. Their collective interests in Chicana/o and Native American studies, gender and queer studies, and comparative racialization are sure to invigorate the undergraduate students they teach, their fellow graduate students, and the faculty with whom they work.

Finally, we are excited to announce the Dr. George Rivera Social Justice Scholarship. Thanks to generous donations, the Rivera Scholarship will be used each year to support an Ethnic Studies major or minor who is dedicated to social justice.

If you would like to contribute to the continued growth of our department and the scholarship it produces, or help enrich opportunities for our students, please consider clicking on the "Support Us" button at the upper-left corner of this page.

Daryl Joji Maeda, Chair

Ph.D. Program

Our Ph.D. program in Comparative Ethnic Studies is entering its third year. This innovative and streamlined program is designed to provide students with broad training that enables them to research and analyze the intersectional and relational workings of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality in national and transnational contexts.  It provides flexibility for students to pursue their individual research interests, while ensuring that they are grounded in both the foundational and cutting-edge theories in ethnic studies.

Our department envisions ethnic studies as a field of study that prioritizes transnational, decolonial, indigenous and queer frameworks that interrogate the relational nature of race and its attendant categories, particularly gender, sexuality and nation.  However, we believe that rigorous comparative and relational analyses can only grow out of deep groundings in the particular areas of Africana, Asian American, Chicana and Chicano, and Native American/Indigenous studies.  Methodologically and theoretically, our faculty members possess training and expertise in interdisciplinary fields including ethnic studies, women’s and gender studies, cultural studies, literary and film studies, border studies, American studies, criminology, and environmental studies, as well as traditional disciplines including anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology.

We seek students who are driven to pursue projects that advance the field of ethnic studies, are motivated to map out individualized courses of study, and have demonstrated abilities to comprehend and apply theories, conduct original research, analyze data, and write effectively. Financial support will be available in the form of teaching assistantships and fellowships for especially qualified applicants.  The deadline to apply is December 1, 2016 for students who wish to enroll in Fall 2017.