The Department of Politics offers the Track in Race and Identity for Politics concentrators seeking a deeper understanding of the politics of race and identity. Completion of the Track attests to a student having successfully taken a range of courses examining the role of race and identity in politics. The Track offers courses dealing with moral, ethical, and legal issues relating to race and identity in the United States and around the world, such as hate speech, discrimination, and civil rights. The Track also encompasses courses in international relations and comparative politics focusing on human rights, ethnic conflict, and social movements.
This Track is suitable for students interested in all Politics subfields, including Political Theory, American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, and Methods. Currently, the widest array of courses in the Track is available in the subfield of American Politics. As with other Department Tracks, students enrolled in the Race and Identity Track must still fulfill other requirements for Politics concentrators, including the Distribution requirement (a primary field, a secondary field, and a tertiary field). A single course can simultaneously satisfy a Distribution requirement and count towards the Track.
The Track in Race and Identity has the following course requirements:
- Core Course. All students in the Track must take POL 344/AAS 344 (Race and Politics in the United States).
- Other Courses. Students must complete three other courses dealing with themes of race and identity, in addition to the Core Course and the six other departmental courses required for the Politics concentration. A menu of courses that can be taken toward completion of the Race and Identity Track is provided below. [New departmental courses that meet the requirements for this Track will be added to the Track as listed on the webpage, as applicable.]
- POL 316 Civil Liberties
- POL 319 Anti-Discrimination Law (new, Spring 2023)
- POL 339 The Politics of Crime and Punishment
- SPI 331/SOC 312/AFS 317/POL 343 Race and Public Policy
- POL 356 Comparative Ethnic Conflict
- POL 360 Social Movements and Revolutions
- POL 380 Human Rights
- POL 386 Violent Politics
- POL 405/CHV 406 The Ethics of Borders and Migration
- POL 417/CHV 417 Colonialism and Historic Injustice
- POL 422/GSS 422 Gender and American Politics
- SPI 337/POL 424 Black Politics and Public Policy in the U.S.
- POL 477/CHV 477/JRN 477 Expressive Rights and Wrongs: Speech, Offense, and Commemoration
NOTE: The Department will consider requests for other courses to apply towards the Track on a case-by-case basis with a caveat that students may seek approval for only one non-Politics course to count as satisfying a requirement for the Track. To seek such approval, students must complete the Cognate Approval Application and send a current syllabus to the Cognate Approval Advisor along with the Race and Identity Track Advisor for review, no later than the last day of classes within the semester that the course is offered during junior and senior years. The only exception is during the Spring semester of senior year when the cognate application deadline is the second Friday of classes.
Students in the Track must write a senior thesis that incorporates themes relating to race and identity. Students should meet with the Race and Identity Track advisor during the fall semester of their senior year to confirm the suitability of their thesis topic for the Track. On or before the thesis draft deadline, the suitability of the thesis must be certified by the Race and Identity Track advisor.
All students who declare their concentration in Politics are eligible to pursue this track and should inform the Undergraduate Program Manager of their intention to pursue it upon declaring the concentration in April of their sophomore year, and no later than February 1 of their junior year.
Questions regarding the Track in Race and Identity should be directed to Prof. LaFleur Stephens-Dougan.
Please note: The degree will read A.B. in Politics and unlike University Certificates, the departmental track will not appear on the transcript. Concentrators who successfully complete the program’s requirements will receive a departmental attestation on Class Day.