Diversity and Inclusion

A selection of Political Science classes on race, ethnicity, and other social identities

The following selection of Political Science classes on race, ethnicity, and other social identities may be of interest to our students:

POLI SCI/CHICLA  231 — Politics in Multi-Cultural Societies | Race, ethnicity, and religion as political factors; cultural pluralism, politics, and policy in the United States and selected other multi-cultural politics.

POLI SCI/​CHICLA/​HISTORY/​LACIS  268 — The U. S. & Latin America from the Colonial Era to the Present: A Critical Survey | A critical examination of US-Latin American relations from the colonial era to the present, tracing the emergence and evolution of the United States as a hemispheric and global power and its political and economic impact on Latin America. Primary attention will be focused on US relations with Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, but other Latin American countries will figure prominently during certain episodes.

POLI SCI/AFRICAN/AFROAMER/HISTORY  297 — African and African-American Linkages: An Introduction | Analysis of retention of African elements in African-American oral, written, and material culture. Social, cultural, and political issues regarding race, self-definition, and self-determination in both Africa and North America will be examined.

POLI SCI/CHICLA  302 — Mexican-American Politics | This class examines the major problems and issues in Mexican-American politics since World War II. An emphasis will be placed on the ways in which race, class and culture have structured politics for the Mexican origin people.

POLI SCI 304 — The Political Economy of Race in the United States | Race in relation to American economic development. Problems of racial minorities in the American political and economic system.

POLI SCI 335 — Social Identities | An introduction to theories and empirical work on social identities, focusing in particular on definitions and measurement. It has three main goals: First, examine various definitions of social identities and different types of identities (ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, class, and religion). Second, look at techniques and strategies that have been developed to measure identities (content and discourse analysis, surveys, interviews and ethnography, censuses). Third, examine empirical works on identities from a variety of geographical areas and methodological perspectives.

POLI SCI 349 — Global Access to Justice | Lawyers are present in all countries, but their roles vary tremendously. In some countries, lawyers are greatly respected and are seen as making an important contribution by representing their clients and participating in the political process. In other countries, lawyers are viewed as less essential, perhaps even as a nuisance. Study lawyers in many different countries in an effort to explain the variation in their status and the consequent impact on citizens’ access to justice.

POLI SCI/CHICLA/HISTORY/LACIS  355 — Labor in the Americas: U.S. & Mexico in Comparative & Historical Perspective | Provides a critical examination of the history of labor and working people in the Americas, from the colonial era to the present. It focuses on the experience of the United States and Mexico, offering a comparative perspective on their distinct but also shared (and increasingly linked) histories. The seminar proceeds chronologically, highlighting major episodes in the evolution of labor systems in the two countries, beginning with the colonial labor systems implemented by the Spanish and British empires following the European conquest of the Western Hemisphere. Among other topics, we will examine the pivotal role of slavery and other forms of forced labor, the impact of the industrial revolution, the emergence and expansion of corporate capitalism and the labor unrest it provoked in the post-civil war U.S., the role of labor in the Mexican Revolution and its aftermath, the impact of the Great Depression and labor incorporation on the post-WWII social and political order of both countries, the breakdown of that order and the move to neo-liberalism in the 1970s and 1980s, and the emergence of an increasingly integrated North American production system and its consequences for labor and working people on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

POLI SCI 416 — Community Power and Grass Roots Politics | Introduces students involved in volunteer or community activism in the Madison area to the literature on political power and community organizing. Conduct field research and write an analysis of activities.

POLI SCI/GEN&WS  429 — Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective | Examines the gendered nature of political institutions around the world, including implications of women’s exclusions from public life in a global context; the obstacles to women’s greater participation; how women have gained greater voice in political leadership in some countries; and the differences women make in the political arena. 

POLI SCI/INTL ST  434 — The Politics of Human Rights | Examines the origins and development of human rights in international politics. The course discusses what human rights are, international human rights movements, the international search for justice after mass crimes, and international humanitarian intervention.

POLI SCI/GEN&WS  435 — Politics of Gender and Women’s Rights in the Middle East | Explores the intertwined relationship between gender and politics in contemporary Middle East and North Africa. Situates the region’s historical, socio-political, and cultural context that have particularly contributed to shaping the current discourse on gender in the Arab World. Explores – both theoretically and empirically – the role of Arab women in influencing the political processes across the Middle East. Examines real-world examples of Middle Eastern women from different parts of the region who have succeeded to challenge the status quo and push for genuine change.

POLI SCI/GEN&WS  469 — Women and Politics | Changing political roles, status, attitudes, and behaviors of women in contemporary society and of the political implications of changing female/male relationships.

POLI SCI 481 — Honors Seminar on Race and Politics in the United States | This course examines the sources and policy implications of racial division in American politics by analyzing a range of issues, such as affirmative action in the workplace and in higher education, the use of black majority districts as a means of enhancing representation of minority interests in Congress, differences in public opinion between whites and blacks, and issues concerning multi-racial and ethnic tensions. We will examine the historical background of race relations and the current policy debates, with a focus on trying to find common-ground solutions. The goal of this seminar is to stimulate critical thinking on this important issue, causing students to think about race and politics in new ways.

POLI SCI/AFROAMER  519 — African American Political Theory | Explores a range of theories that African Americans have drawn upon to cope with and ameliorate their political circumstances in the United States within the specific parameters of political theory.

POLI SCI 814 — Social Identities: Definition and Measurement | Analyzes the concept of social identities with a focus on definition, comparison, and measurement. Explores a range of theories as well as methodological techniques for measurement. Examines classic works on race, ethnic, national, class, gender, and religious identities.

POLI SCI 825 — Race and Politics in the United States | Analysis of the role of race, class and ethnicity in the political process. Evaluation of theories from political science, economics and sociology. Topics may include policy analysis, political organizations, immigration, political behavior and culture.

POLI SCI 846 — Racial and Ethnic Diversity: Causes and Effects | Focuses on the causes and effects of racial and ethnic diversity in a range of contexts across different countries. Includes the following topics: 1) definitions of diversity and how ethnic and racial diversity is measured; 2) the causes of diversity including migrations and state actions such as ethnic cleansing and colonialism, and later processes of immigration and segregation; 3) the effects of diversity or segregation, including on social relations, conflict, public good provision, and political behavior; and the effects of ethnic and racial diversity in organizations; and 4) considers ways of increasing diversity including affirmative action and quotas, and the effectiveness of diversity training. Readings will include cases studies from different countries and different time periods and will include a range of different racial and ethnic groups around the world.

POLI SCI 854 — Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict | Comparative analysis of nationalism, national identity, and ethnicity and their impact on domestic and international conflict. Examines relationship between nationality, citizenship, and minority rights; territoriality and identity, contemporary religious nationalism; relationship between globalization and nationalism.

POLI SCI/GEN&WS  933 — Feminist Political Theory | Focuses on how specific schools of feminist thought redefine the political, spanning historical and contemporary feminist political theory.

Race-Focused Graduate Courses in Other Departments

The following race-focused graduate courses outside of the of the Department of Political Science may be of interest to our graduate students:

ELPA 863: Race, Class, and Educational Inequality | Critically examines race and class inequality in education, including the importance of race and class at multiple levels of analysis, including the classroom and school, as well as the family, neighborhood, and community. | Syllabus

HISTORY 943: Race and Nationalism: Comparative and Theoretical PerspectivesGraduate seminar on historical intersections of race and nationalisms. Explores questions of the origin of race and nationalisms, the position and status of a variety of nationalisms and anti-colonial nationalisms; and the contemporary debates over postmodernism, postindustrialism, postcolonialism, and multiculturalism. | Syllabus

JOURN 824: Race, Ethnicity and Media | This course examines key theoretical and empirical readings in the area of race/ethnicity and media. | Syllabus

PSYCH 711 (Prejudice Development) and 930 (Prejudice Reduction) | Current topics in psychology course. This course will explore the emergence and development of prejudice across the lifespan. | Syllabus

SOC 901: The Sociology of W.E.B. Du Bois | Seminar course, topics in current sociology. W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was one of the founders of American Sociology. This seminar surveys his life’s work. It centers on a close reading of original texts. Syllabus

SOC 922: Researching Race: Current Questions and Controversies | Seminar course, race and ethnic relations. This seminar is envisioned as a “thinkshop” for students who are engaged in or plan to undertake original research on race.Syllabus

Department of Political Science Diversity and Equity Committee

The Diversity and Equity Committee’s purpose is to build capacity within the Political Science Department to engage effectively in supporting equity and inclusion, contributing positively toward a climate that values and includes all voices. Our goal is to create a work environment that promotes awareness and acceptance of individual differences, fosters mutual respect, and enables students, staff, and faculty to achieve their highest potential.

Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Committee Chair
Nils Ringe, Professor, ringe@wisc.edu
Committee Members
Cassie Chulick, Undergraduate Advisor, cassie.chulick@wisc.edu
Aleisha Lachette, Graduate Student, lachette@wisc.edu
Faye Lux, Department Administrator, flux@wisc.edu
Kathy Kramer, Professor, kathy.cramer@wisc.edu
Clint Rooker, Graduate Student, jcrooker@wisc.edu
Marwa Shalaby, Assistant Professor, marwa.shalaby@wisc.edu