“Exploring American Identities” Awarded Provost’s General Education Course Enhancement Grant


The faculty of El Instituto, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Africana Studies Institute, Asian and Asian-American Studies Institute, and American Studies, have developed a new General Education lecture course: “Exploring American Identities: From Theory to Practice.

The aim of the course is to foster meaningful collaboration with students early on in their academic career on the topics of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and disability. The course will also work with the university’s Democracy and Dialogues Initiative, to increase democratic and civic capacity by supporting community dialogues on critical issues, and draw from the experiences of UConn activists-in-residence to create bridges of understanding between groups in CT communities.

In collaboration with CLAS institutes, the Democracy and Dialogues Initiative, and the Activist-in-residence Program, students will explore the social construction of American identities and lead discussions about the impact of those constructions on their lives. Students will learn academic vocabulary and theoretical frameworks for understanding race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class, and will then be guided by DDI, institute faculty & TAs, and community activists to hold meaningful conversations about community differences; and to engage with anti-racist/anti-bias visions for solidarity and change.

The course, a recipient of a 2020-2021 Provost’s General Education Course Enhancement Grant, will launch during the 2021-2022 academic year.

For more information about the course, please contact Sherry Zane (sherry.zane@uconn.edu), Anne Gebelein (anne.gebelein@uconn.edu) or Brendan Kane (Brendan.Kane@uconn.edu).