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 knowledges and are informed by a commitment to social change and decolonization.



Statement from the Faculty of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

The Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley is founded on commitments to the value of diversity, the fundamental equality of all human beings, and social justice.  We welcome and support all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, national origin or immigration status.  Such inclusivity enriches education for all students by fostering the open dialogue, debate, and breadth of knowledge that facilitate the ability to thrive in an increasingly crosscultural world.  We endeavor to create an environment of civility and respect, and we condemn all forms of bigotry and intolerance.

As scholars and educators, we encourage critical thinking and debate based on facts and evidence, and we value the multiple forms of knowledge represented by diverse cultures and societies.  The free circulation of information is essential to the work of education, and we oppose all efforts to limit critical engagement and the availability of knowledge.

We affirm our commitment to justice, equality, the pursuit of knowledge, and the free exchange of ideas from the widest range of perspectives.  We stand in support of all of our students and their right to attain an education; their safety and wellbeing is our highest concern.  Our doors are open to anyone who is subject to intimidation or oppression, and we offer our department spaces to those in need of solace and support.