Ethnic Studies

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Program Description

Ethnic Studies provides a learning space for students to examine the role of power and how it shapes race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual identity, ability, age, citizenship, spiritual belief and language. It provides critical lens to interrogate and contextualize contemporary social issues and ways communities of color express resistance. By taking one of our courses, students become more knowledgeable of the social and political issues in our country and empowered to become culturally competent and civically engaged change agents.

Professor Arnetta Villela-Smith

The Program

Ethnic Studies is a comparative and interdisciplinary field of critical race studies that centers on the experiences and contributions of people of Indigenous, African, Latinx, and Asian descent. Our courses provide students opportunities to deepen their understandings of colonial-constructed ideologies and systems and examine how they shape the experiences of communities of color.

Using a range of materials produced by authors and creators of color, queer scholars and other minoritized voices, we deeply examine power and how it influences the processes whereby social identities and categories of difference are (re)produced, supported, resisted, inhabited, embraced, and transformed across time and geographic space. In this examination, we also center the rich history of knowledge-making and culture-making within spaces of color and explore the innovative ways in which communities of color express forms of resistance and strategize in their liberation movements.

By familiarizing students with a range of methodological tools for the study of social and cultural life, while prioritizing the voices and perspectives of marginalized individuals and minoritized communities, we open up an intellectual space within which the term "ethnic" in "ethnic studies" is both critically deconstructed and strategically affirmed.

Career Outlook

The study of Ethnic Studies provides a broad base of knowledge and skills that can be applied to a wide range of careers including:

  • Arts 
  • Business and marketing 
  • Community development and organizing 
  • Government and politics 
  • International relations 
  • Journalism and media 
  • Law
  • Psychology and counseling
  • Public health and medicine
  • Social work
  • Teaching and education at all levels 

Looking for a list of classes offered this semester?

Check out the current class schedule.

All Courses

ETHN 101 Latin American and Indigenous Peoples History and Culture (3 units)

Study of the historical and cultural presence of Native Americans/Indians and Latino[a] Americans in the United States. We will study the general background of two of America's oldest ethnic groups and examine issues that show racial and ethnic stereotypes as well as how these images create an ethnic identity.

ETHN 103 Asian Americans and US Institutions (3 units)

An examination of US institutions (education, political, economic, religious, and family) and the racial construction of Asian American identity. Special focus on migration to the United States, the development of Asian ethnic communities, the model minority stereotype, anti Asian violence, and the history of political activism and organizing in exploring the experiences of Asian Americans.

ETHN 107 Introduction to Native American Studies (3 units)

An introduction to the study of Native American histories, experiences, intellectual traditions, and forms of artistic expression. Students engage with texts that confront the structural genocide underlying the construction of the U.S. settler state, and explore Native practices of resistance, resilience, and regeneration. Course materials include fiction, poetry, spoken word, and other creative texts, as well as historical and archival studies.

ETHN 108 Race, Gender, and Power in America (3 units)

Exploration in the intersections of race, racism, gender, and nation by a re-examination of U.S. history through a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lens. A particular focus on whiteness, colonization, slavery, immigration, decolonization, self-determination, and resistance movements.

ETHN 109 Borders and Crossings (3 units)

Examines how the U.S. processes of racial formation and gendering are related to multiple transnational circulations – circulations of commodities, bodies, labor, capital, knowledge, and culture. We interrogate the material and ideological work of borders – particularly nation-state borders, but also the borders and boundaries of racial and ethnic categories, gendered and sexualized identities, languages, forms of labor, and disciplinary categories of knowledge. Also explored are the many ways in which such borders are variously resisted, contested, transgressed, transcended, and transformed over time.

ETHN 142 Filipina/o/x Community Issues (3 units)

An introduction to understanding contemporary social issues of Filipina/o/x Americans. Uses an interdisciplinary approach of Ethnic Studies to explore the effects of: Spanish and American colonialism; diaspora; assimilation, and decolonization.

Rod Daus-Magbual

Professor Rod Daus-Magbual

Dr. Rod Daus-Magbual (he/him) comes from an immigrant family who came from Canada via the Philippines to the United States in the early 1980s. Through his family's experiences, he understands what resiliency means and how to apply it in his own life. Heavily influenced by Ethnic Studies, he realized how history shapes identity and how understanding the stories of the oppressed has informed his motivation to serve the community.

Dr. Magbual received his Education Doctorate at the University of San Francisco. He also has played an integral role in mentoring hundreds of students to become teachers and leaders through their participation in the Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP). He teaches because he is passionate about social justice and believes in his students.

Dr. Rod learned from his students and their families that they share similar experiences. They expressed narratives of holding down multiple jobs, going to school, and supporting their family. For many, the struggle has become unbearable. He listened to stories of students which led him to successfully run as a Daly City Council member and ultimately to the role of Mayor Rod in addition to Dr. Rod and Professor Rod.

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A. Villela-Smith

Professor Arnetta Villela-Smith

A. Villela-Smith (she/her) is a non-binary Black queer multimedia performer, producer, educator, activist, and DJ. In 2015, she graduated with her master's degree in Ethnic Studies at SF State. Since, she has been teaching comparative ethnic and Black Studies for the past six years.

A's previous research centered on Black queer media. She looked at how film and television constructed Black female masculinity and how that representation informs the lived-experiences of Black masculine of center cisgendered women.

A has also engaged in constructing Black queer representation. Her TV series Dyke Central (2012), centered the experience of a Black masculine of center lesbian living in and navigating through Oakland queer scene.

As a performance artist, A engages in theatrical storytelling through multimedia and drag performance.

Check out more about Professor Villela-Smith

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The Ethnic Studies Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are currently under construction.

Office Information

Location: Building 1
Email: socialsci-creativearts@smccd.edu
Phone: (650) 738-4122

Spring 2023 Courses  |  Fall 2022 Courses

Type Status Title Days Time Instructor
Online Class IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 103 - 47753 - Asian American US Institutions
ETHN 103 Asian Americans and US Institutions

An examination of US institutions (education, political, economic, religious, and family) and the racial construction of Asian American identity. Special focus on migration to the United States, the development of Asian ethnic communities, the model minority stereotype, anti Asian violence, and the history of political activism and organizing in exploring the experiences of Asian Americans.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
TBA Daus - Magbual, R
Online Class IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 103 - 48123 - Asian American US Institutions
ETHN 103 Asian Americans and US Institutions

An examination of US institutions (education, political, economic, religious, and family) and the racial construction of Asian American identity. Special focus on migration to the United States, the development of Asian ethnic communities, the model minority stereotype, anti Asian violence, and the history of political activism and organizing in exploring the experiences of Asian Americans.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
TBA Villela-Smith, A
Day Class   IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 103 - 48122 - Asian American US Institutions
ETHN 103 Asian Americans and US Institutions

An examination of US institutions (education, political, economic, religious, and family) and the racial construction of Asian American identity. Special focus on migration to the United States, the development of Asian ethnic communities, the model minority stereotype, anti Asian violence, and the history of political activism and organizing in exploring the experiences of Asian Americans.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
M W 11:10am-12:25pm Daus - Magbual, R
Day Class   IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 108 - 47867 - Race, Gender &Power in America
ETHN 108 Race, Gender, and Power in America

Exploration in the intersections of race, racism, gender, and nation by a re-examination of U.S. history through a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lens. A particular focus on whiteness, colonization, slavery, immigration, decolonization, self-determination, and resistance movements.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
C-ID: SJS 110
M W 12:35pm-1:50pm Villela-Smith, A
Online Class IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 108 - 47756 - Race, Gender, Power in America
ETHN 108 Race, Gender, and Power in America

Exploration in the intersections of race, racism, gender, and nation by a re-examination of U.S. history through a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lens. A particular focus on whiteness, colonization, slavery, immigration, decolonization, self-determination, and resistance movements.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
C-ID: SJS 110
TBA Villela-Smith, A
Online Class OPEN for Waitlist ETHN 108 - 47831 - Race, Gender, Power in America
ETHN 108 Race, Gender, and Power in America

Exploration in the intersections of race, racism, gender, and nation by a re-examination of U.S. history through a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lens. A particular focus on whiteness, colonization, slavery, immigration, decolonization, self-determination, and resistance movements.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
C-ID: SJS 110
TBA Villela-Smith, A
Online Class OPEN for Waitlist ETHN 108 - 48281 - Race, Gender, Power in America
ETHN 108 Race, Gender, and Power in America

Exploration in the intersections of race, racism, gender, and nation by a re-examination of U.S. history through a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lens. A particular focus on whiteness, colonization, slavery, immigration, decolonization, self-determination, and resistance movements.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
C-ID: SJS 110
TBA Villela-Smith, A
Day Class   IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 108 - 48132 - Race, Gender, Power in America
ETHN 108 Race, Gender, and Power in America

Exploration in the intersections of race, racism, gender, and nation by a re-examination of U.S. history through a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) lens. A particular focus on whiteness, colonization, slavery, immigration, decolonization, self-determination, and resistance movements.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Letter Grade Only
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area F)
C-ID: SJS 110
T Th 11:10am-12:25pm Villela-Smith, A
Day Class   IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 142 - 47758 - Filipina/o/x Comm Issues KABA
ETHN 142 Filipina/o/x Community Issues

An introduction to understanding contemporary social issues of Filipina/o/x Americans. Uses an interdisciplinary approach of Ethnic Studies to explore the effects of: Spanish and American colonialism; diaspora; assimilation, and decolonization.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Grade Option (Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass)
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9D3, 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area D; Area F), UC (IGETC Area 4)
T Th 12:35pm-1:50pm Daus - Magbual, R
Day Class   IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 142 - 47759 - Filipina/o/x Comm Issues KABA
ETHN 142 Filipina/o/x Community Issues

An introduction to understanding contemporary social issues of Filipina/o/x Americans. Uses an interdisciplinary approach of Ethnic Studies to explore the effects of: Spanish and American colonialism; diaspora; assimilation, and decolonization.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Grade Option (Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass)
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9D3, 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area D; Area F), UC (IGETC Area 4)
T Th 12:35pm-1:50pm Daus - Magbual, R
Online Class IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 142 - 48124 - Filipina/o/x Community Issues
ETHN 142 Filipina/o/x Community Issues

An introduction to understanding contemporary social issues of Filipina/o/x Americans. Uses an interdisciplinary approach of Ethnic Studies to explore the effects of: Spanish and American colonialism; diaspora; assimilation, and decolonization.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Grade Option (Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass)
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9D3, 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area D; Area F), UC (IGETC Area 4)
TBA Daus - Magbual, R
Day Class   IN
PROGRESS
ETHN 142 - 48194 - Filipina/o/x Community Issues
ETHN 142 Filipina/o/x Community Issues

An introduction to understanding contemporary social issues of Filipina/o/x Americans. Uses an interdisciplinary approach of Ethnic Studies to explore the effects of: Spanish and American colonialism; diaspora; assimilation, and decolonization.

Units: 3
Degree Credit
Grade Option (Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass)
  • Lecture hours/semester: 48-54
  • Homework hours/semester: 96-108
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
AA/AS Degree Requirements: Area 9D3, 9F
Transfer Credit: CSU (CSU GE Area D; Area F), UC (IGETC Area 4)
T Th 12:35pm-1:50pm Daus - Magbual, R

Primary Contact

Social Science Creative Arts
Social Science Creative Arts (Account for Social Sci/Creative Arts)
Social Science|Creative Arts-Division Office
socialsci-creativearts@smccd.edu
More details »

Department Faculty

Roderick Magbual
Roderick Magbual (Instructor )
Social Science|Creative Arts-Ethnic Studies
magbualr@smccd.edu More details »
Arnetta Villela-Smith
Arnetta Villela-Smith (Instructor)
Social Science|Creative Arts-Ethnic Studies
villelasmitha@smccd.edu More details »

Dean and Division Assistant

Danni Redding Lapuz
Danni Redding Lapuz (Dean)
Social Science|Creative Arts-Division Office
reddinglapuzd@smccd.edu More details »
Angelica Mendoza
Angelica Mendoza (Division Assistant (Detail))
Social Science|Creative Arts-Division Office
mendozaa@smccd.edu More details »