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Additional courses

The following list features a sample of undergraduate courses related to the study of race. To suggest additional courses to be included on this list, please contact Landy Elliott.
  • All
  • African & African-American Studies
  • Arts of the Moving Image
  • Asian Middle Eastern Studies
  • Biology
  • Computational Media, Arts & Cultures
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Documentary Studies
  • Environment
  • Ethics
  • Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
  • Global Health
  • History
  • Human Rights
  • International Comparative Studies
  • Latino/a Studies in the Global South
  • Literature
  • Political Science
  • Public Policy
  • Public Policy Studies
  • Religion
  • Science & Society
  • Sociology
  • Theater
  • Visual and Media Studies
  • Writing

World of Gaming: Art, Theory, Technology, and Business of a Multi-Billion Dollar Global Industry

Nayoung Aimee KwonAMES 455SSpring 2019 Course synopsis:Interdisciplinary and transnational exploration into the multi-billion dollar global gaming industry through social and theoretical lens. Asks what are the possibilities and pitfalls of gaming in our societies? Examines local and global cases, through art, storytelling, theory, design, technology, business, and gamer and fan communities. Select social and theoretical […]

Topics in North American History

Thavolia GlymphHISTORY 790S The department offers a series of rotating courses, covering the history and historiography of various aspects of North American History. Written work is confined to methodological, conceptual, or historiographic essays. Topics vary

Sociology of Racism in America

Eduardo de Silva or Tyson Haywood BrownSOCIOL215, AAAS246, LSGS316, RIGHTS215Fall 2019 Examines social history of major racial groups in the US and relationships to contemporary standing. Discusses central concepts sociologists use to analyze racial matters. Central theme: “racism” is not mere “prejudice,” “ignorance,” or “intolerance,” but a comprehensive historical system of racial domination organized around […]

Refugees, Rights, Resettlement

Suzanne ShanahanETHICS199FS/SOCIOL178FS/RIGHTS178FSFall 2019 35 million refugees and internally displaced persons in the world. A comparative historical overview of international refugee policy and law dealing with this growing population. Students will grapple with the ethical challenges posed by humanitarian intervention on behalf of refugees and the often unintended consequences of such policies. Students examine case studies […]

Reckoning with a Hierarchy of Human Value Across U.S. History

Donald TaylorPPS 302DSpring 2020 This course posits the existence of a Hierarchy of Human Value across United States history that has most commonly been marked by race. I do not ask you to take my word for this, but want you to discover for yourself what you think about this assertion. Obviously a hierarchy of […]

Racial/Ethnic Minorities in American Politics

Ashley E. JardinaAAAS 257Fall 2020 This course focuses on the continued significance of race and ethnicity in the United States, paying careful attention to the way in which institutions, political actors, and historical factors influence the circumstances and experiences of racial and ethnic minorities. In particular, it provides an overview of challenges, controversies, and political […]


Lee Baker CULANTH 535SFall 2019 The paradox of racial inequality in societies that articulate principles of equality, democratic freedom, and justice for all.

Race, Genomics, and Society

Charmaine RoyalAAAS 261D/SCISOC 258D/GLHLTH 258D/CULANTH 261D/BIOLOGY 261D/RIGHTS 261DFall 2019 The field of genetics has been at the forefront of discourse concerning the concept of “race” in humans. This course explores human origins, human variation, human identity, and human health through a broad range of enduring and emerging themes and challenging questions related to race and […]

Performance and Citizenship in Asian America

Esther K. LeeTHEATER 252FS/Immigration and Citizenship Focus ClusterFall 2020 The course examines the relationship between performance and citizenship with case studies drawn from Asian American history. Performancehas been central to the formation and expression of citizenship since the beginning of US history, and for Asian Americans, who are stereotyped as “perpetual foreigners,” the experience of […]

Nature, Culture and Gender

Saskia CornesGSF 366Spring 2020 The course will examine human identity through a consideration of its boundaries. Do women view nature differently than men? What are the limits of the human in the context of the Anthropocene, an era defined by overwhelming human influence on the planet? What role can feminist and queer theory can play […]

Moments in Black (Radical) Theory: Ferguson, #RhodesMustFall, Silent Sam, #MeToo

Anne-Maria B. Makhulu & Joseph WintersAAAS 503SFall 2019 From #BlackLivesMatter to #RhodesMustFall, from the demonstrations against the Silent Sam monument to the endeavor to remove Julian Carr’s name from the history department building at Duke University, we have witnessed a global/local resurgence of political activism and energy in the “streets” and on college campuses. In […]

Martin Luther King and the Prophetic Tradition

Omid SafiAMES317/RELIGION234/AAAS249/PUBPOL253/RIGHTS249Spring 2020 Perhaps more than any other figure in 20th century America, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is usually presented as an iconic solitary figure who floats above history and represents the fulfillment of the American “Dream.”This course charts a different path, insisting that King has to be read as a situated historical figure […]

Introduction to Public History (UNC)

Anne Mitchell WhisnantHistory 671Spring 2020 This course introduces selected topics in the history, theory, and practice of public history.Public history encompasses historical work that is conducted or encountered in public settings; is fundamentally engaged with public audiences or communities; addresses itself explicitly to current public issues or problems; or mediates between the specialized knowledge of […]

Immigrant Dreams/US Realities

Gunther PeckHISTORY 352/PUBPOL 220/RIGHTS 352Fall 2018 Immigrants and immigration policy in the United States from 1850 to the present, with focus on origins and power of immigrant exclusion during three waves of migration: Northern European and Asian migrations between 1850 and 1880, Eastern European, Latin American, and Asian migrations, 1880-1920, and Latin American, African, and […]

Identity and Linguistic Rights in the Spanish Speaking Americas

Liliana ParedesRIGHTS 409SSpring 2019 This course brings together the topics of language and human rights, exploring questions of language contact, bilingualism and endangered languages from the perspective of social injustices and human rights. The focus of the course is on how language is used to shape and negotiate identities and how it reflects and sustains […]

Human Rights in the Americas

Robin KirkCultural Anthropology: CULANTH 245SFall 2019 This course introduces students to the history of human rights in Latin America, with a focus on certain regions. We will begin with the Conquest and cover the emergence of independent nation-states; the role of imposed economic policies, including neoliberalism; indigenous protest movements and their relationships to corporate interests; […]

History of Latinxs in the United States

Cecilia MarquezHISTORY 122/GSF 122Spring 2020 This introductory course will cover the social, cultural, and political histories of Latino/as in the United States from 1848to the present including the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Great Depression, WWI/WWII, the creation of Latino/a civil rights organizations, and the civil wars and free trade agreements of the 1980s and […]

History of Inequality

Adam Edward Hollowell, William A. Darity Jr.HISTORY 288Spring 2021 This course familiarizes students with the field of Inequality Studies through examination of the causes and consequences of social inequality throughout history. It addresses theories of group and sub-group social stratification and ways that disparity operates across multiple axes of stigmatized identities.

Historicizing Whiteness

Gunther PeckHISTORY 411S/PUBPOL 411SFall 2016 Examines origins, historical development, and consequences of white racial identity, from the 17th century to the present, beginning with the emergence of white racial grammar among trafficked white servants and so-called “white slaves” to the creation of racialized rights and privileges for white people in Great Britain and the United […]

Global Environmental Justice

Rebecca VidraStudent Instructors: Rachita Gowdu, Isabel Wood, Leah Roffman, Ashley RosenHOUSECS 59.10Fall 2021 The house course aims to provide students with a strong understanding of the connections between environmental justice internationally and within the United States. This course is set up as a series of guest lectures given by prominent academics and environmental justice advocates […]

Global ‘Mixed Race’ Studies: Global Perspectives on ‘Mixed Race’, Citizenship and Immigration

Jayne O. IfekwunigweCULANTH 220FS/ Immigration and Citizenship Focus ClusterFall 2020 By exploring pioneering and controversial writings from both the social and the biological sciences as well as the humanities, this course will situate debates on ‘race’, ‘mixed race’ and social hierarchies within broader global, comparative, and historical contexts. These comparative examples shed light on the […]

Gateway Seminar: Civil Rights and Asian Americans

Sucheta Mazumdar (Course also taught by Susan Bramley Thananopavarn in Writing Program)HISTORY 183S/AMES 187S/RIGHTS 183S/AAAS 133S/ICS 183S/PUBPOL 175SSpring 2020 Study of crucial legal and political moments in the struggle for equal civil rights of minorities, beginning with the laws of Chinese Exclusion, the struggle to define who was “White,” the Asian Immigration Exclusion Acts, the […]

Ethnofuturism: Writing the Future of Race

Susan ThananopavarnWriting 101Spring 2020 Have we arrived at a post-racial future?Many visionaries of the twentieth century predicted a future in which race and ethnic distinctions would be eliminated through technology. Mainstream science fiction in the mid-twentieth century often confirmed this idea or reinforced racial stereotypes in novels, stories, and films. Yet not all speculative fiction […]

Environment and Conflict: The Role of the Environment in Conflict and Peacebuilding

Erika WeinthalENVIRON 216S/PUBPOL 279S/POLSCI 367S/ICS 229S/RIGHTS 229SFall 2018 Environmental and natural resources as a source of conflict and/or peacebuilding between and within nations and states. Analysis of the role of the environment in the conflict cycle and international security. Topics include refugees, climate change, water, and infectious disease. Particular focus on post-conflict and rebuilding in […]

Decolonization: Histories, Meanings, Struggles

Jessica NamakkalICS 335S /Immigration and Citizenship Focus ClusterFall 2020 This course explores decolonization as an historical event, a category of theoretical analysis, and a series of contemporary social movements. Course material will introduce students to the history of decolonization as both idea and event, putting global anti-colonial movements of the twentieth century into conversation with […]

Death, Burial, and Justice in the Americas

Adam RosenblattAAAS 283SSpring 2020 This interdisciplinary course explores the phenomenon of necroviolence: attacks on the dignity, integrity, and memory of the dead. Cases come from the United States, Latin America, and Canada. Topics include the rights of the dead, cultural attitudes towards the dead, and the ambiguous loss experienced by loved ones of the disappeared. […]

Comparative Urban Politics and Policymaking

Kerry L. Haynie, Ralph Bruce LawrenceICS 213S, POLSCI/RIGHTS 235S, PUBPOL 285SFall 2018 A comparative examination and analysis of urban governance in South Africa and the US. Examines potential consequences of persistent racial and class disparities for housing and neighborhoods, public health, education, community infrastructure, and general economic and social development. Specific attention to how the […]

Chinatowns: A Cultural History

Eileen ChowAMES 335/HISTORY 228/AMI 337/ICS 336Fall 2019 Explores the intersection of space and ethnicity through the myriad ways Chinatown has circulated as memory, fantasy, narrative, myth, in the dominant cultural imagination, and how lived realities of overseas Chinese communities, Asian American history, andchanging conceptions of “Chineseness” have productively engaged with real and phantom Chinatowns. Research […]

Black Popular Culture

Mark Anthony NealAAAS 331, VMS 230Spring 2021 The production and circulation of African American popular cultural forms including, but not limited to, popular literature, music, film, television, and art in the twentieth century. The ways in which African American popular culture may reflect the particular values and ethos of African Americans and the larger American […]

Bass Connections: Digital Durham

Victoria Szabo CMAC 758S2017-2018 Bass Connections course. Representing Durham past and present with digital media. Digitize historical and cultural materials, research in archives and public records and present information through various forms including web pages, databases, maps, video and other media. Analysis of social impact of new representations of place and space. Instructor consent required. […]

Asian American Narratives: Literature, History and Activism

Susan ThananopavarnWriting 101Spring 2019 From laws like the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to anti-immigration rhetoric and acts today, Asian Americans have often been understood as “foreigners” in the United States.Asian Americans have resisted this trope through literary, historical, and personal narratives as well as through legal and social activism.This class will examine Asian American experiences […]

Asian American Memoir: Exploring Representation through Life Writing

Susan Thananopavarn Writing 101Fall 2019 What does it mean to be Asian American in the twenty-first century?How are Asians and Asian Americans represented in the media, and how do writers resist and complicate these narratives by telling their own stories?Asian American writers have employed various genres to make meaning of their lives and the lives […]

Archiving and Visualizing Asia

Nayoung Aimee KwonAMES476S, ICS411S, AMI476S, LIT476S, VMS476S, HISTORY446S, DOCST476SFall 2019 Engages students in the practices and theories of archiving, documenting and curating marginal histories. Hands-on research in the archives of Duke’s Rubenstein Special Collections and elsewhere. Examines histories of movements and encounters between the “West” and “Asia.” Teaches original archival research and documentary methods through […]

Arabic Sources on American Slavery

Mbaye Lo and Carl Ernst (UNC)AMES 490S; REL 681 at UNCFall 2019 This course will specifically explore Arabic writings of enslaved Africans, particularly Omar ibn Said ( 1770-1864), who in 1831 wrote an autobiography in Arabic while enslaved in Bladen County, North Carolina.

Anthropology of Race

Lee BakerAAAS 251/CultAnth208/ICS239/RIGHTS 208Spring 2020 Human variation and the historical development of concepts of race; science and scientific racism; folk-concepts of race; and the political and economic causes of racism; ethics of racism.

African American Women and History

Thavolia GlymphHISTORY 349 The history of African American women in the United States. The production of discourses of gender, race, and class discrimination that evolved specifically to confront the presence of African American women first as slaves and later as free women. The ways in which prevalent ideas about race, race relations, and gender coalesced […]