I endeavor to create a class for my students that will inspire and motivate them to create projects that extend the life of the sociology we learn in class, to the world beyond our class.
Whether that class is in a physical room or online (because The ‘Rona), I have tried my very best to set up a learning process for students to be able to create.
This summer was no different. In my SOC 461 (Ethnic Relations: International Comparisons) summer course, we discussed how race is a social construction that has global consequences. We took up the issues of the novel coronavirus and its affects on Asians and Asian Americans. We engaged with the uprisings to value and defend Black Lives in the US as police violence claimed the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, among others. We thought through how these racial narratives had local, national and global consequences. And more importantly, the class tackled how their own race narratives or ideas on race is shaped by international currents on race and ethnicity.
My students chose from a range of projects to demonstrate the concepts and theories they learned in the class and I couldn’t have been more proud of what my brilliant students produced.
A few students produced fascinating videos as medial analysis.
Charlene Maravilla really took to examining her race narrative as Asian American and looked at Asian American representations in the media, its impacts in the US and globally. And more importantly, how it shapes self-formation for Asian Americans.
Carla Naylor did a fascinating project on Jewish representation in popular media and introduced us to the idea of Ashkenormativity as a form of homogenizing the myriad of Jewish ethnicities from all over the world.
Another medium of final project students can choose are blog projects hosted on SFSU ePortfolio.
Mina Hernandez’s projectengaging with the international movement to echo Black Lives Matters activism in the United States was a timely and urgent reckoning about how state violence is not just an American problem, but one that is experience across the globe. And on the basis of the construction of racial and ethnic difference.
Kayleigh Mestrovich’s projecton historicizing anti-Black racism in the US navigates the ways in which anti-Black racism is in the rubric of American history and contemporary American racial order.
Even if teaching summer session right after a pretty brutal Spring semester didn’t seem like the best idea, I am energized from my students amazing projects!