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Race & Ethnicity Requirement

Three of our CGIS customized programs offer courses that fulfill LSA’s Race and Ethnicity requirement. Taught by U-M faculty, these courses examine the social constructs of race and ethnicity in the host country, and how they perpetuate inequalities and injustice in ways that may be similar to or different from the US experience. 

Programs which will fulfill this requirement:

Black Paris

Black Paris is a unique, 6 credit program that highlights the African Diaspora in Paris. In the 4 credit course: Paris in Black and White, students will increase their understanding of diversity, multiculturalism, and race through an exploration of the City of Lights impacted by the history of slavery, colonization, exile, and immigration. Students will be challenged to think across disciplinary boundaries while focusing on various representations of the French and English-speaking Black Diaspora in the French capital. Black Paris aims to not only increase our awareness of the history of the presence of people of Afro descent in Paris, but also to make us revisit the concept of ‘Blackness’ from a global stand. Students also take a 2 credit course on Language and Culture in Paris, designed to provide students more breadth on Parisian and French culture, and help students acclimate to daily life in Paris. The program is taught and led by Bénédicte Boisseron, U-M Associate Professor of Afroamerican & African Studies. 

London: Race, Culture, and Community

In one of the world’s most ethnically diverse cities, students along with U-M faculty will explore London, an ever-changing metropolis. This 6-week, 6-credit program is led by two U-M faculty members: The New Face of England: Understanding Cultural Diversity, examines how the ethnic makeup of contemporary Great Britain society challenges the idea of what it means to be a British citizen in the twenty first century. The course will explore the implications of cultural diversity in literature, film, newspapers and popular musical forms to reflect on issues such as integration, identity, violence, race and class. This course credit for this class may be counted towards the Race and Ethnicity (R&E) Requirement. In the Health Equity in Contemporary London: Community Perspectives, students will develop a foundational understanding of the social and historical causes of present-day health inequities in London and surrounding areas, as well as national and city-wide strategies to address these inequities. A variety of excursions in London and Brighton are planned to enhance the learning experience. Past excursions have included visits to theater performances, Brick Lane, the Black Pride Festival, and the British Museum. 

Cuba: Roots, Culture, & Rhythm

Africans have contributed to the cultural landscape of Cuba since the transatlantic slave trade. This 3-week, 3-credit course takes an interdisciplinary approach in examining three areas of focus: The deep roots of Cuban popular music and dance; how the spiritual practices of the Yoruba, Haitian and Congo peoples have contributed to the evolution of musical, dance and art practices of Cubans, especially those of AfroCuban heritage; and how these practices have shaped ideas around race and identity, historically and in the present. As an extension of class sessions, a variety of excursions are planned for the student learning experience in Havana. Some of the excursions will include a visit to Revolution Square, Jose Martí Memorial, Museo de Bellas Artes, Regla, and Casa de Africa with a didactic Afro-Cuban Show. There is a dance component to this program. No prior dance or music experience is required;  however, students are required to engage in the physical component of the course. This program is taught and led by U-M Associate Professor of Dance Robin Wilson. This program will not be running Summer 2022.