Carnegie Mellon University

Grand Challenge First-Year Seminar: We’re Not Beyond Race: Race and Identity in America

Course Number: 66-133

Race matters. How have social institutions and historical factors led to the belief systems and stereotypes that shape how race is experienced in American society, and how do these belief systems affect the way individuals come to view and define themselves and others? This course considers how race and identity affect people’s lived experiences—how they think, feel, and act—in America.

In this course, we will examine the structural and systemic origins of the racial status quo, as well as the way that individuals navigate the social and racial landscape of modern-day America. Including insights from psychology, literature, economics, sociology, and history, the course will focus on how race matters at both a societal level and an individual level. We will consider different racial situations throughout American society to understand how individuals navigate and experience race and identity. Throughout the course, we will watch films, read literature, and analyze music and art that reflect the experience of race and identity.

Semester(s): Fall