Department of Ethnic Studies - College of Letters and Science - University of California, Berkeley



The Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley is committed to the comparative study of racialization and indigeneity within the Americas, as well as between the U.S. and other nations. We seek to understand race and racism as “moving targets” that undergo mutations or evolve, and to recognize the complexities of the intersections of race with gender, class, sexuality, religion, and other systems of difference and axes of power. Our approaches to these issues interrogate the relationship of social structure to those of literary and cultural practices, and in so doing question and challenge traditional disciplinary boundaries and assumptions. In addition to grounding our scholarly work in the concrete situations of people of color, we also use a methodological framing that emphasizes both the structural dimensions of race and racism (social, political, and economic inequalities and struggles against them) and the associated cultural dimensions (literary, artistic, musical and other forms of humanistic expression). Our scholarly concerns are explicitly linked to the development of critical knowleges and are informed by a commitment to social change and decolonization.