Welcome to the official class site for Dr. Mia Zamora’s Spring 2015 Writing Race & Ethnicity course at Kean University. This is a cross-listed undergraduate (ENG 4030) & graduate (ENG 5155) course in the School of English Studies.
Contrary to many historical and contemporary beliefs, race is not a static, empirically-validated biological construction. Rather, the development of racial (and ethnic) categories—our own and others—is a complex and dynamic socio-rhetorical phenomena.
In other words, race – literally and figuratively – is written.
And so, instead of being a generally accepted material fact, Race – like many texts – has been and continues to be a contested site of meaning, one intrinsically bound to issues of power and dominance.
This is a story. Identity –
a story, told(/written). Race –
a story within a story, passed from lips
and hands, pressed
embodied and lived.
And there are Rules
to stories. Rules,
arbitrarily written, re-written, re-writable, endlessly.
And that’s Rhetoric –
the structure and the function,
the function of the structure,
This is a course about story, the story of the Rhetoric(s) of Race and Ethnicity, and its structure and function in the places we live – home, school, work, the world. This is a course about writing, about the writing and the re-writing of race, of my/your identity.