The Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley offers undergraduate majors and minors in Asian American Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Native American Studies, and a PhD in Ethnic Studies. Our 15 ladder-rank faculty members represent a range of disciplinary backgrounds from the humanities and social sciences. Most focus on one ethno-racial group or geographic area, but many have comparative foci, and all members of the faculty seek to provide collectively a comparative framework for understanding both the specificities and the differences among the situations of racially-marginalized groups in the US and beyond.
Several of our faculty members also emphasize the intersections of race with gender, sexuality, and class. All of our faculty members are committed to fostering an interdisciplinary method that expands the kinds of primary sources, as well as the kinds of research questions, one would work with in any of the traditional disciplines. Our students regularly work at nuanced readings of cultural texts (broadly understood to include literature, art, music and other forms of expression) and at the same time seek to situate those texts–and their readings–in the context of struggles over power and structural inequality.
Visitors to this website should consult the individual faculty pages for more information about research foci, but there are a number of broad themes that are strongly represented among faculty interests. These include transnational processes such as diaspora, immigration, border-making and territoriality, and refugees; political economy and colonial/postcolonial/neocolonial histories; resistance, intellectuals, and social movements; law and racial subjectivities; and race and spatiality.
Welcome from the Chair
On behalf of the faculty and staff of Ethnic Studies, I am pleased to welcome
virtual visitors to our Department. Both our website and our Department aim to be
"user friendly." This means that we aim to foster a humane and supportive
environment for exploring challenging and critical questions about the society,
both national and global, in which we live. We put our people first–students, faculty,
and staff–but we also aim for the highest standard of academic excellence in our work.
Both of those goals–a nurturing place to work and study, and outstanding achievements
in study, teaching, and scholarship–are Berkeley traditions that we are proud of.
—Catherine Ceniza Choy