Racism & Sexism in the U.S.

Racism/Sexism In The U.S., AACS 150 and WS150

This course examines systems of oppression and liberation struggles. Racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism are the major issues addressed. Laws, historical documents, academic articles, narratives, statistics, films, and personal experiences are used to interrogate oppressive systems.



The course will:
--Clarify and analyze the nature of historical and contemporary racist, sexist, heterosexist, and classist practices and attitudes in the U.S.
--Critically consider a variety of theoretical explanations for institutional racism, sexism, and heterosexism, and will explore the difference between individual prejudices and institutionalized systems of oppression.
--Investigate the major documents that have determined the de jure and de facto status of women, people of color, and other oppressed people.
--Explore the connections among all forms of oppressions.
--Consider the domestic and global manifestations of the systems of oppression.
--Study liberation struggles and solutions to racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, and other "isms."
--Require written and oral presentations which demonstrate critical thinking.
--Encourage cooperative learning.
--Utilize technology for good pedagogical practices.


Students will:
--show knowledge of past and present racist, sexist, heterosexist, and classist practices and attitudes in the U.S. in an essay or exam.
--explain several theoretical explanations for racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism and will explain the difference between individual prejudices and systems of oppression in an essay or exam.
--discuss some of the legal and social realities that have determined the status of women, people of color, and other oppressed people in an essay or exam.
--articulate the connections between systems of oppression in an essay or exam.
--present current events showing the domestic and global manifestations of the systems of oppression.
--demonstrate knowledge of liberation struggles and solutions for ending the social problems caused by systems of oppression in a classroom presentation.
--critically write about and discuss the issues addressed in this course in an essay or exam.
--work cooperatively with others in small class discussions groups and on a collaborative project.
--exhibit the ability to use technology for better learning.


-- Course overview, introductions, definitions of systems of oppression
-- History of people of color, women, LGBT people and other oppressed people in the U.S.
-- Social construction of gender, race, class, and sexuality
-- Feminism
-- Economics
-- Oppressed racial and ethnic groups and immigrants
-- Racism, heterosexism, and sexism
-- Ableism, aeism, religious and political oppression and other oppressions
-- Intersections of oppression
-- Violence as a system of social control
-- Global issues
-- Resistance to systems of oppression and imagining change: feminism, civil rights, LGBT rights, and other liberation struggles


--Small group discussions
--Plenary discussions
--Experiential activities such as role plays
--Guest speakers
--Reading logs
--Research papers
--Group projects
--Individual projects
--Service learning projects

Grades will be determined by evaluations of the course requirements. For example, weekly reader-response logs could count for 1/3 of the grade; midterm and final essays or exams could count for 1/3 of the grade; and group, individual, or collaborative projects cold count for 1/3 of the grade.


--Anderson, Margaret L. and Patricia Hill Collins. Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology. Wadsworth (most recent edition).
--Cyrus , Virginia . Experienceing Race, Class and Gender in the United States . Mayfield (most recent edition).
--McClean, Vernon , ed. Solutions for the New Millennium: Race, Class, and Gender . Kendall/Hunt (most recent edition)
--Rosenblum, Karen E. and Toni-Michelle C. Travis. The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, and Sexual Orientation. McGraw-Hill. (most recent edition).
--Rothenberg, Paula , Race, Class and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study, St. Martin's (most recent edition)
-- Other race, class and gender anthologies and supportive texts


Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community
A Century of Women
Connie and Ruthie: Every Room in the House (lesbian relationship)
The Date Rape Backlash
Defending Our Lives
Dreamworlds: Desire/Sex/Power in Rock
Dreamworlds 2: Desire/Sex/Power in Music
Dying to Be Thin
Ethnic Notions
Eyes on the Prize
Fast Food Women
Hate.com (Extremists on the Internet)
If These Walls Could Talk, Part I (3 abortion stories)
If These Walls Could Talk, Part II (3 lesbian stories)
Killing Us Softly 3 (the newest version of the series)
Ku Klux Klan
Let's Get Real
Out at Work
Rape Is
The Shadow of Hate (overview of U.S. history)
Sisters and Daughters Betrayed (global trafficking)
The Status of Latina Women
True Colors (20 minutes; two men—one black and one white—treated very differently in a variety of settings)
Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness
Still Killing Us Softly
Stories of Lesbian and Gay Youth
The Times of Harvey Milk
The Way Home (women speak out about diversity and prejudice)
When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories
Women of Hope


-- Asian Women United of California (Ed.) (1989). Making waves: An anthology of writings by and about Asian American women. Boston: Beacon Press
-- Barbach, L.G. (1976). For yourself: The fulfillment of female sexuality. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
-- Bass, E. and L. Davis (1988). The courage to heal: A guide for women survivors of child sexual abuse. New York: Harper and Row.
-- Bell , L.A. and D. Blumenfeld (Eds.), (1995). Overcoming racism and sexism. Boston: Rowan & Littlefield Publishers.
-- Bernal, M. (1987). Black Athena: The Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization, Volume I: The fabrication of ancient Greece 1785-1985. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
_________ (1991). Black Athena: The Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization, Volume II: The archeological and documentary evidence. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
-- Bolen, J.S. (1984). Goddess in every women: a new psychology of women. New York: Harper and Row.
-- Boston Women's Health Collective. (1992). The new our bodies, ourselves: A book by and for women. New York: Simon and Schuster.
-- Bulkin, E., M. B. Pratt, and B. Smith. (1984). Yours in the struggle: Three feminist perspectives on anti-Semitism and racism. New York: Long Haul Press.
-- Castillo-Speed, L. (Ed.), (1995). Latina : Women’s voices from the borderlands. New York: Simon & Schuster.
-- Chileya, F. (1995). Don’t believe the hype: Fighting cultural misinformation about African-Americans. New York: Penguin.
-- Collins, P.H. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. Boston: Urwin Hyman.
-- Collins, S. (1996). Let them eat ketchup! The politics of poverty and inequality. New York: Monthly Review Press.
-- Crawford, S. H. (1996). Beyond dolls and guns: 101 ways to help children avoid gender bias. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
-- Duberman, M. B., M. Vincus, and C. Chauncy, Jr. (eds.), (1989). Hidden from history: Reclaiming the gay & lesbian past. New York: New American Library.
-- Ehrenreich, B. and A. R. Hochschild. (2003). Global woman: Nannies, maids, and sex workers in the new economy. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
-- Evans, S. M. (1997). Born for liberty: A history of women in America. New York: Simon & Schuster.
__________ (2003). Tidal wave: How women changed America at century’s end. New York: Simon & Schuster.
-- Faderman, L. (1991). Odd girls and twilight lovers: A history of lesbian life in twentieth-century America. New York: Columbia University Press.
-- Faludi, S. (1991). Backlash: The undeclared war against American women. New York: Doubleday.
________(1999). Stiffed: The betrayal of the American man. New York: William Morrow and Company.
-- Fausto-Sterling, A. (1985). Myths of gender: Biological theories about women and men. New York: Basic Books.
_______________ (2000). Sexing the body: Gender politics and the construction of sexuality. New York: Basic Books.
-- Feagin, J. R. and H. Vera. (1995). White racism. New York: Routledge.
-- Feinberg, L. (1996). Transgender warriors: Making history from Joan of Arc to RuPaul. Boston: Beacon Press.
-- Ford, C. W. (1994). We can all get along: 50 steps you can take to help end racism. New York: Dell Publishing.
-- Freedman, E. B. (2002). No turning back: The history of feminism and the future of women. New York: Random House.
-- Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.
-- Giovanni, N. (1994). Racism 101. New York: William Morrow.
-- Gooding-Williams, R. (Ed.). (1993). Reading Rodney King: Reading urban uprising. New York: Routledge.
-- Griffiths , S. (Ed.), (1996 ). Beyond the glass ceiling: Forty women whose ideas shape the modern world. New York: Manchester University Press.
-- Guglielmo, J. and S. Salerno (Eds.). (2003). Are Italians white? How race is made in America. New York: Routledge.
-- Heron, A. (Ed.).(1994). Two teenagers in twenty: Writings by gay and lesbian youth. Boston: Alyson Publications.
-- Hooks, b. (1981). Ain't a woman: Black women and feminism. Boston: South End Press.
________(1984). Feminist theory: from margin to center. Boston: South End Press.
________(1992). Black looks: Race and representation. Boston: South End Press.
________ (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.
________ (1996). Reel to reel: Race, sex and class at the movies. New York: Routledge.
________ (2000). Feminism is for everybody: Passionate politics. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.
________ (2000). Where we stand: Class matters. New York: Routledge.
-- Hutchins, L. and L. Kaahumanu (Eds.), (1991). Bi any other name: Bisexual people speak out. Boston: Alyson Publications.
-- Johnson, Allan G. (2005). Privilege, power and difference. McGraw-Hill, second edition).
-- Kanellos, N. (1994). The Hispanic almanac: From Columbus to corporate America. Detroit: Visible Ink.
-- Loeb, P. R. (2004). The impossible will take a little while: A citizen’s guide to hope in a time of fear. New York: Basic Books.
-- Loewen, J. (1995). Lies my teacher told me: Everything your American history textbook got wrong. New York: Simon & Schuster.
-- Lorber, J. (1994). Paradoxes of gender. New haven, CT: Yale University Press.
-- Marcus, E. (1999). Is it a choice? Answers to 300 of the most frequently asked questions about gay and lesbian people. New York: HarperSanFrancisco.
-- Miller, B. (1995). Returning to Seneca Falls: The first woman’s rights convention & its meaning for men and women today. Hudson, NY: Lindesfarne Press.
-- Miller, J.B. (1976). Toward a new psychology of women. Boston: Beacon Press. Millman, Marcia (1980).
-- Miller, N. (1995). Out of the past: Gay and lesbian history from 1869 to the present. New York: Random House.
-- Miedzian, M. (1991). Boys will be boys: Breaking the link between masculinity and violence. New York: Doubleday.
-- Moraga , C. and G. Anzaldua. (Eds.) (1981). This bridge called my back: Writings by radical women of color. New York: Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press.
-- Morgan, R. (1996). Sisterhood is global: The international women’s movement anthology. New York: The Feminist Press.
-- Nagel, J. (2003). Race, ethnicity, and sexuality: Intimate intersections, forbidden frontiers. New York: Oxford University Press.
-- Pharr , S. (1997). Homophobia: A weapon of sexism. Berkeley: Chardon Press.
-- Reinfelder, M. (Ed.), (1996). From Amazon to Zami: Towards a global lesbian feminism. London: Cassell.
-- Rothenberg, P.S. (2002). White privilege: Essential readings on the other side of racism. New York: Worth Publishers.
-- Ryan, W. (1976). Blaming the victim. New York: Random House.
-- Scanzoni, L. D. and V. R. Mollenkott. (1994 ). Is the homosexual thy neighbor? A positive Christian response. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.
-- Schneir, M. (Ed.), (1994 ). Feminism in our time: The essential writings: World War II to the present. New York: Random House.
-- Segrest, M. (1994). Memoir of a race traitor. Boston: South End Press.
-- Sheffield , C. (1995). “Sexual terrorism.” In Jo Freeman (Ed): Women: A feminist perspective. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co.
__________(1994)."Hate-violence in the U.S.," in Paula Rothenberg (ed.), Race, class, and gender in the United States: An integrated study (2nd edition, 1992 and 3rd edition, 1994) NY: St. Martin's Press.
-- Shor, I. (Ed.), (1987). Freire for the classroom: A sourcebook for liberatory teaching. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
-- Smith, B. (2000). The truth that never hurts: Writings on race, gender, and freedom. New York: Routledge.
-- Steinem, G. (1992). Revolution from within: A book of self-esteem. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co.
-- Sumrall, A. C. and D. Taylor (Eds.), (1992). Sexual harassment: Women speak out. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press.
-- Takaki, R. (1993). A different mirror: A history of multicultural America. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
-- Tatum, B. D. (1999). “Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?” And other conversations about race. New York: Basic Books.
-- West, C. (1993). Race matters. Boston: Beacon Press.
-- Wolf, N. (1991). The beauty myth: How images of beauty are used against women. New York: Doubleday.
-- Zinn, H. (1980). A people’s history of the United States. New York: HarperCollins.



Dr. Arlene Holpp Scala, August 2000


Dr. Arlene Holpp Scala, May 2006