Syllabus for Race and Ethnicity in the USA

Ras och etnicitet i USA


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5EN714
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: English G1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2008-11-13
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Languages
  • Revised: 2012-09-19
  • Revised by: The Board of the Department of English
  • Applies from: week 01, 2013
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements and English 6 or English B
  • Responsible department: Department of English

Decisions and guidelines

The syllabus was adopted by the Board of the Faculty of Languages 2008-11-13.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the component students will
- be able to account for the historical developments regarding race and ethnicity in the US
- be able to show good familiarity with the various minorities in today's US and their background
- be able to show good understanding of the relations between minority groups and the majority population in the US
- be able to account for how race and ethnicity have helped form the American identity.


The component deals with the debate about which factor, race or ethnicity, is more important in describing today's US society. Issues taken up include are the different minority groups, the relationship between minorities and the majority culture, affirmative action for minorities, and what it means to be an American in the early 21st century.


Lectures and group instruction.

Active participation in course seminars is obligatory. In cases of absence students will be given the opportunity to complete an extra assignment within the framework of the course period.


Examination is done both orally and in writing and by continuous assessment. Grades used are either Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

Students who do not achieve a passing grade on the regular examination will have another opportunity to take the examination within a reasonable period of time after the regular examination.

Students who fail a certain examination twice have the right upon request, following consultation with the head of department, to have another examiner appointed.

Transitional provisions

For transitional regulations in the case of changes in the syllabus, please contact the student adviser.

Other directives

For admission to the course American studies B1 another 22.5 credits from American Studies A1 are required. The course cannot be counted toward a degree together with the course American Studies A1

If the syllabus or course reading for a component has been changed, students have a right to be examined under the original syllabus and course reading on two occasions during the following semester. Normally this right then expires. Otherwise there are no limitations on the number of examination opportunities.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 27, 2021

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Alexander, Michelle The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness

    Rev. ed.: New York: New Press, cop. 2012

    Selected chapters.

    Find in the library


  • Bayor, Ronald H. Race and ethnicity in America : a concise history

    New York: Columbia University Press, 2003

    Find in the library


  • Cox, Karen L. No Common Ground : Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice [Elektronisk resurs]


    Selected chapters.

    Find in the library


  • Jacobson, Matthew Frye Whiteness of a different color : European immigrants and the alchemy of race

    Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998

    Selected chapters.

    Find in the library


  • Goffman, Alice On the run : fugitive life in an American city

    Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014

    Find in the library


Equal Justice Initiative, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror (3rd ed., 2017): Selected chapters.

Scanned material and online resources.

Reading list revisions