cover photo credit Randy Sarvis
Recently there has been interest in having a major for topics related to gender studies, African American studies, and Latin American studies. Because of the small number of students interested in the topic, Wilmington College decided to put it all into one minor: Race, Gender, and Ethnicity Studies.
Ursula McTaggart, the professor teaching the Intro course, says, “Initially, we saw that as a negative thing. However, now that I am teaching this class, I feel so lucky that we are forced to discuss race, gender, and ethnicity rather than just limiting ourselves to one topic.”
This semester the introduction course was offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:40 to 11:10. So far in the course the students have studied many oppressed groups including the theories behind LGBTQ, African Americans, Immigrants, and Women. The books required for the course include a course pack made by the professor: Intersectionality by Patrick Grzanka, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and Revolt of the Cockroach People by Oscar Acosta. All of these books will provide the theories and examples the students need to learn about the histories of the oppressed groups of our society.
“These histories of oppression interlock so much that being forced to consider all three topics ends up being a positive thing. ” – Ursula McTaggart
“These histories of oppression interlock so much that being forced to consider all three topics ends up being a positive thing. I love this class! It has probably been my favorite class that I’ve ever had the chance to teach because it feels so important and meaningful to make sure that students know the history of oppression and resistance to oppression in our culture,” Ursula continues.
If students are interested, EN251: Topics in the Literature of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity, is offered next semester and every even number spring semester. EN251 is taught by Ursula McTaggart and Laura Struve and helps with requirements for general education and ‘W’ courses. To take the course students do not have to declare the minor, but just have interest in what will be discussed. If students would rather take the introduction course first, it is offered every fall, and while Ursula will be the main coordinator of the class, other professors might teach it as well.
“I would recommend this class to anyone that asked and tell them that although the class can be tough at times, Ursula helps make the material interesting.” – WC student
“I have found that taking ID134 and learning about all the oppressed groups in our society, really opened my eyes to the struggles that many groups face,” shares a student in the class. “Before this class, I had no idea that racism was still so prevalent in our culture. I would recommend this class to anyone that asked and tell them that although the class can be tough at times, Ursula helps make the material interesting.”
For the people interested in declaring Race, Gender, and Ethnicity studies as their minor, Ursula says, “I’m happy to help any interested student through the Self-Designed Major process.”