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RIGS Graduate Minor

The RIGS graduate minor gives students a grounding in the critical and comparative study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity, as well as the interrogation of significant social categories of power and inequality, namely race, ethnicity, indigeneity, gender, sexuality, class, sovereignty, and diaspora. This interdisciplinary minor foregrounds a transnational and comparative framework to analyze multiple forms of social difference and their interactions in relation to one another. While the focus is on the United States, given the minor’s attention to the making of social categories and borders, the analytical lens and purview of the minor will be transnational in scale and scope.

Anchored in analyses and understanding of power relations, structural inequality, and social justice through a relational and multidisciplinary approach, RIGS seminars focus on the various interlinked processes that constitute the categories and groups in the first place, instead of taking for granted the a priori existence of separate groups, communities, experiences, and identities. This approach is at the vanguard of comparative race, ethnicity, and indigeneity, which is moving away from juxtaposing discrete groups and toward theorizing mutual constitution. Accordingly, this graduate minor privileges intersectionality, interdisciplinary, transnationalism, comparison, and relationality. What distinguishes this graduate minor is its conceptual and theoretical approach, which makes this program complementary to existing graduate degree programs at UMN, especially those with a strong disciplinary orientation.

To complete the minor students must take:

  1. one core required proseminar on critical and comparative race, ethnicity, and indigeneity (3cr); 
  2. an interdisciplinary methodology course (3cr);
  3. two electives in a range of disciplines that engage with race, ethnicity, and indigeneity (6cr total).

The RIGS graduate minor strengthens student work in their major field of study as minors will learn how to best integrate critical and comparative race, ethnicity, and indigeneity into their existing work as well as how to complement their research to include multiple indigenous and critical race methodologies.

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