Global Studies as a field and department are deeply committed to racial justice in our scholarship and our society, within the context of our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion—and beyond. We have been engaged as individuals and as an academic unit in racial justice research and pedagogy for many years.
Following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (among many others) and the activism of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, the Division of Social Sciences encouraged all Social Sciences departments to submit Racial Justice Action Plans for building a more equitable and inclusive climate, curriculum, and training programs. The Racial Justice Action Plan was drafted after extensive discussions with the faculty by Professors Alison Brysk and Satyajit Singh, the Chair and Vice Chair in 2020-21. Below is a brief history and description of our plan as well as some of our accomplishments thus far. The full plan is available here. As time goes on, we will continue to update the action plan to reflect inclusivity and justice needs in our department and the greater community.
Global Studies’ faculty, graduates, and undergraduates represent a rich spectrum of diverse origins, experiences, and perspectives. Global Studies has deep faculty investments in racial justice work and racial justice is central to our intellectual agenda. Our long-standing engagement includes significant research, teaching, graduate and undergraduate mentoring, and community engagement by all of our faculty on issues of human rights, economic inequality, environmental justice, and cultural diversity—which are each associated with one of our core curricular pillars of Global Governance and Human Rights, Global Political Economy and Environment, and Global Cultures and Religion. Over the years, we have developed an extensive curriculum that attends to questions of diversity, race, and the “global racial perspective”—led by our UC Presidential Post-Doc Faculty Nadège T. Clitandre and Esther Lezra, who have also served as Diversity Officers and advisors to our graduate program and others. In the past 10 years, we have hired additional faculty who center or engage racial justice issues in their courses. We have taken further measures since our program review in 2018, including a year-long series of meetings with graduate students, a recruitment in Global Race and Inequality and another in Global Migration, increased collaborations with area and ethnic studies programs on racial justice themed events such as racial violence in Brazil, as well as sponsorship of graduate research and events with diversity and racial justice themes every year through the Society for Global Scholars (SGS), a graduate-student led organization created by M.A. and Ph.D. students in our department. Responding to graduate students’ expressed needs, we have engaged in extensive pedagogical and mentoring efforts that include diversifying our courses in Methods and Logic of Inquiry; strengthening advisor roles; increased opportunities for grads to teach independent courses as Teaching Associates; increased support for our grads to prepare outside fellowships--which more have received; increased referrals to central campus and Grad Division programs for writing and peer review; and some faculty co-authorships.
Racial Justice Required Courses
Two courses on Racial Justice were added to our undergraduate core curriculum in 2022 to support the broader departmental commitment to centering racial justice issues in the undergraduate curriculum, which will also be continued through the incorporation of racial justice into existing core and elective courses.
Global Studies 140: Global Racial Justice: This undergraduate course presents global, comparative, and interdisciplinary perspectives on studies of race and justice. Topics include global construction and dissemination of racialized inequality; comparative history of political, social, and economic inequalities linked to race and ethnicity; intersectional critiques of global inequality; global racialization of poverty and racialization of other global socioeconomic processes such as labor, migration, and environmental injustice.
Global Studies 210: Global Racial Justice:
This graduate course critically examines the origins and reproduction of racialized inequality/oppression and counter-movements for racial justice from a global, comparative-historical and interdisciplinary perspective. Relevant topics include debates about the relationship between capitalism and race, ethnicity and indigeneity; comparative history of political, social, and economic inequalities linked to race, caste and ethnicity; intersectional critiques of global inequality; global racialization of poverty and racialization of other global socioeconomic processes such as labor, migration, and environmental injustice. The course further explores how movements from below worldwide have shaped an intersectional theory and practice of racial justice
Please see this list of Global Studies courses that incorporate themes of race and inclusion.