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Graduate Program in American Ethnic Studies

Plans to launch a graduate program in American Ethnic Studies have suffered a setback. For the time being, a Ph.D. program in American Ethnic Studies will not be established. Instead, a Graduate Certificate program will be created. The proposal for such a Graduate Certificate is currently being prepared for review by the AES faculty and the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences. Formal approval is expected by the end of Fall Quarter 2012, and applications for graduate certification should begin to be accepted sometime in school year 2013-2014 or later.

The purpose of this certificate is to provide graduate and professional students already enrolled in other programs across the University of Washington an opportunity to integrate ethnic studies with coursework and research in their primary discipline or department.

While we don’t know what the future holds in store for us, we still would like to establish a full-fledged graduate program in American Ethnic Studies focusing primarily on the interdisciplinary and systematic study of racial formations (in concepts and practices), highlighting their intersections and divergences with gender, sexuality, class, nation, and empire. Its curricular emphases should be comparative, intersectional, and transnational. Building on and bridging the intellectual and political traditions and literatures of Ethnic Studies and other disciplines, if created, this program will strive to produce knowledge that explains, critiques, and transforms hierarchical relations of power in the shifting geopolitical boundaries of the United States and interconnected locales around the world. At the heart of the program’s mission, however, lies an overarching belief in the critical relevance of higher education to the everyday struggles of ordinary peoples to imagine and realize social justice in the U. S. and the wider world.

For further information or queries, please contact Prof. Rick Bonus at or (206) 543-3929.

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