Browse Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access by Series/Report

    Rhetoric 105, Principles of Composition, Race & the University, Instr. Kristin McCann: This course entailed continual negotiation of three primary focuses: academic writing, introduction to ethnographic research methodologies, and critical inquiry into issues of race and representation. I approached this course as a semester-long conversation with students, the texts with which we engaged, and the kairos of the physical and ideological spaces in which we were immersed. I encouraged students to draw upon their expertise as current UIUC undergraduates and to consider their stake in the university’s narratives. Students were, of course, not expected to produce a complete ‘ethnography’; rather, to consider what combination of ethnographic research methodologies might be most useful to their specific essays and research projects and what issues they deemed most exigent for their inquiries. Students also had the opportunity to present at the bi-annual EUI conference, alongside other EUI undergraduate and graduate students. The course syllabus is available at: [6]
    Rhetoric 105/Principles of Composition introduces students to the practices of research-based writing for academic audiences, such as formulating a researchable question, locating sources, constructing an argument, drafting, revising, and editing. This course uses writing, reading, observing, and critical thinking to develop scholarly curiosity. To do this, instructors focus on: deepening research skills, developing students’ abilities to read and respond to difficult texts, and, most importantly, helping students through the writing process in a social, collaborative, revision-focused environment. This particular section of Rhetoric 105 was focused around the theme of “Exploring Student Communities at the University of Illinois.” The assignments and discussions asked students to explore their own experiences as students and consider how various student communities shape our campus culture and identities as students. Over the course of the semester students formulated research questions about a particular campus community and answered them by doing semester-long ethnographic research (observations, interviews, archive analysis, and surveys), including a short video presentation. The kinds of writing studies and conducted were formulated around reflections on these communities. [9]
    Rhetoric 233 (Principles of Composition) is an intermediate expository writing course where students refine their skills in critical reading, argumentation, revision, anticipating audience, and editing. In this course, students explored the relationships between language, culture and identity, as well as examined the ways that writers understand their surrounding cultures, contexts, and audiences (and what that means for their writing). They explored how writers use language to not only express themselves or their ideas, but also to do something—act politically, resist dominant structures, express agency, enact change, etc. As part of the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), a major part of this course was to produce an in-depth research project, where students chose some aspect of language, culture, and community/identity to study on the University. They engaged in ethnographic research methods, which included collecting data, observing and participating in their chosen culture, recording their findings, and analyzing what they collected and recorded. [5]
    Soo Ah Kwon, Instructor [7]
    Sport and Modern Society [5]
    Spring 2013; Brenda Farnell, Instructor; ANTH 399 [8]
    Students were encouraged to make their work public so that their research subjects, fellow students and Syracuse community participants, would be able to comment and provide feedback on their research. The IDEALS on-line archive would enable this process to be recorded for future students in the hope that they will build on present student research. The archiving of “scholarship in action” research for ANT 300 may help Syracuse University better understands the learning outcomes of “scholarship in action” initiatives. [8]
    Synthia Sydnor, Instructor [5]
    The course also introduced students to ethnographic methods. The bulk of this class was devoted to students’ own ethnographic projects on a Syracuse University “Scholarship in Action” endeavor although it was possible to carry out research on other areas if students presented a good case for doing so. A wide variety of social practices and learning processes were expected to become part of what students researched. [8]
    The Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI) includes several universities and community colleges located in the state of Illinois. All of these schools are public. Syracuse University is the first non-Illinois and first private university to join the group. This class joined an inter-campus learning community in which many classes from several schools (most, however, are located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) explore their universities and colleges ethnographically. In order to explore Syracuse University ethnographically, we needed to think about what “the university” is, what “ethnography” is, and what “scholarship in action” is. Broadly, we explored the university as a composite of prose, numerical, and visual narratives. [7]
    The Ethnography of the University: Studying Scholarship in Action was designed to introduce undergraduate students to ethnographic methodologies, institutional analysis, and the research publication process. Students conducted ethnographic studies of Syracuse University Scholarship in Action projects of their choosing and had the opportunity to produce their results on the web. All the steps in the research process, from the formation of research questions to the creation of final research papers, was produced on-line at a collaborative website, Moodle, that has been created at the University of Illinois to facilitate undergraduate ethnography of the university projects. This project is titled the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI). [8]
    The readings should introduce you both to aspects of contemporary social and cultural life in East Asia (alas, Taiwan is missing) and to the trends of the field, namely the ways in which scholars are going about the business of ethnographic representation. Over the last few years something new is happening at the U of I and many other U.S. universities: an explosion in the number of East Asian (foremost PRC Chinese and South Korean) citizen undergrads. In a word, our very back yard is home to many students who can teach us a great deal about social life in contemporary East Asia (and about our university). So, a part of this course will be your research – in 3-4 person teams – on these students, and our university. [1]
    There are three main components to this course: reading, composition, research. Readings focused on issues related to ‘difference’ and higher education, and the composing students did for this class included in-class writing, reading responses, and essays that build toward a research project of students’ choosing. This course drew upon students’ expertise as current U of I students and provided a space for them to ‘inquire into’--to ask questions about—spaces they encounter on a daily basis. Throughout this course, we considered what the university ‘is’ and regarded ‘difference’ as an area of inquiry within the university’s narratives. Another area of concentration was “ethnography,” and students gained practice in the basic skills of ethnographic research—i.e., observation, interviewing, artifact analysis. Such practice was built into various assignments/students’ own research project. [6]
    This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary critical whiteness studies literature and addresses concepts such as white privilege, white racial identity development, and white anti-racism. It also focuses on various qualitative research methods that scholars use in the empirical investigation of whiteness. Throughout the course, we will consider the ways in which the various content and methods may apply to understanding whiteness at predominantly white universities. [13]
    This course took an in-depth look at some of the residents from Latin America who live in the Urbana-Champaign community. In this intensive eight-week course, students worked to capture, interpret, and present the stories of Latin Americans living, working, and studying at the U of I. Through oral histories, students explored Latin Americans’ memories of their home countries, their current ties to home, and their lives here in Urbana-Champaign. We considered what can be learned from these stories, and thought about how we might use them to educate others in our community about Latin America today. Each student was responsible for planning, researching, and conducting one audio-recorded oral-history interview with a U of I faculty, staff or student who is of Latin American origin. Through these oral histories we focused on 1) the interviewees’ descriptions/memories of their place of origin, 2) how they come to the U of I, and 3) whether and how the U of I figures into their transnational stories. The collective goal for the course was to build a small collection of audio-recorded oral histories that future students and teachers can use to develop K-12 educational materials about Latin America through the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. [8]
    This course was designed to provide students with critical understanding of issues of diversity in higher education. There are multiple dimensions to diversity, far too complicated to cover in one course. Therefore, the goal of this seminar was to provide a general introduction to theory, research, and practices related to diversity issues. While this course was designed to focus on race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality, there was intentional flexibility for this course to consider other forms of diversity that are valuable to participants. By the end of the course, students were expected to recognize and discuss major issues involving diversity in higher education from both micro (students, faculty, administrators) and macro levels (institutional and federal policies); consider, from both historical and contemporary perspectives, the politics of diversity in campus climates, including the role of privilege and the impact of discrimination; identify critical issues and develop an analysis grounded in research literature; develop/sharpen understanding of the writing process and research skills. [7]
    This section of Rhetoric 104 centered on a particular theme, Race and the University as a part of the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI). [5]
    Under the title of “Writing and Language in the University,” this course centers on two interrelated topics: language, including variations in dialects and registers and the ideologies surrounding those variations; and academic writing, including its many genres and disciplinary differences. As we read, write, and talk about these topics, we explore how writing and language can vary and what makes us consider a way of speaking “standard” or a way of writing are more “correct” or “appropriate” in university contexts than others. We then move on to apply these concepts to our campus by exploring how writing and language are used at UIUC. Each student identifies a specific aspect of writing and/or language at UIUC to focus on for their in-depth research project. They might, for example, look at the range of writing genres used within their major; compare and contrast the academic writing expectations of different teachers, classes, or majors; explore the speech or writing experiences of a particular language or cultural group on campus; or examine current trends in student language use such as texting or slang. In their research, they pull from a wide range of scholarly sources including advanced academic articles and books as well as their own original ethnographic research (interviews, observations, surveys, and/or analyses of University texts). At the close of the course, they not only will have produced a polished final research project, but they will also have the option to share their research with the wider university community through presentation and/or online publication. As part of the EUI (Ethnography of the University Initiative), this class gives them the opportunity to create original scholarly research based on their firsthand experience with people, texts, and places on campus. [10]
    What is a body? Is there such a thing as “the” body? How are bodies produced? What do they represent? Who gets to represent them? In this course we examine bodies in history, in particular cultural contexts, in international and national forums. Readings vary widely to include anthropological, historical, psychological and sociological perspectives. Our assigned projects focused on exercise, health and sport practices in general and on the University of Illinois campus in particular. This course is connected to the Ethnography of the University Initiative. [5]
    When did Muslims arrive in the Americas? What is the history of Muslim immigrants in the United States? This course was an introduction to the study of Muslims in the United States. In examining the multiple racial, cultural, and national groups that make-up this diverse community, students questioned what it means to be Muslim in America. The course began with the first contact between Islam and America in the “Age of Discovery” and the African slave trade to think through the roots of Islam and its role in the contemporary moment. In this moment students also examined how indigenous Americans, referred to as American Indians, are conceptualized in relation to the Muslims of Europe and simultaneously racialized. In historicizing Islam students examined the communities who first arrived as crypto-Muslims to understand the place of Latinos in American Islam. Second, students examined African American Islam in its myriad formations. These two examples were then used comparatively to understand how the historical narrative of African American and Latino Muslims is related to newer immigrant populations. In large part, students surveyed Arab American and South Asian American Muslim communities particularly in urban contexts. These later two populations grew through large immigrant waves in the 19th century and the late twentieth century, particularly after 1965. In addition to the multi-racial and comparative perspective, this course examined intra-religious (sectarian) and interfaith differences and dialogues. This material was explored through an interdisciplinary approach focusing on the scholarship mainly from anthropology, history, sociology, religious studies, and ethnic studies. For many of class discussions this course used Chicago as an ethnographic site to explore the complex make-up and history of Muslim America. [20]