Starting in the fall, Oglethorpe will offer two new classes that thoroughly explore racial inequality: “WGS 290: White Fragility: Anti-Racism Activism” and “INT 290: Black Resilience and Response.”
“White Fragility: Anti-Racism Activism” is a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies class that uses an intersectional approach to gender to explore topics, including White Fragility, institutional racism and white supremacy in everyday life. It is a class meant to engender difficult and uncomfortable conversations that help students understand the social spaces they occupy.
The class will be taught by Dr. Amy Palder, associate dean of students. Dr. Palder has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Georgia State University and has taught courses at Oglethorpe, Georgia State and North Georgia College that include: Gender and Society; Sexuality and Society; Social Movements; Race and Ethnicity; Social Problems; Crimes and Deviance and Elites and Inequality.
“It is time — well, past time — we decenter and problematize whiteness as a social construct. I am beyond thrilled to recenter the conversations on Black voices and provide space for us to all learn, hear and grow so that we may collectively engage in creating more inclusive and equitable spaces,” says Dean Palder.
“Black Resilience and Response” is an Interdisciplinary Studies class that will provide students with a basic understanding of how the Black community has responded to social problems over the years. By analyzing protests, civil disobedience, literature, art, music, economics and more, students will gain a clearer picture of social determinants that underlie racial disparity.
“This course includes material from sociology, anthropology, public health and history, among others. The goal is to help students make connections between fields and encourage collaboration across fields,” says Dr. Cristian Chandler, who will be teaching the course in fall.
Dr. Chandler has a Ph.D. in Behavioral and Community Health Science from the University of Pittsburgh, where he currently works as a public health researcher. He began teaching in 2011 and has been researching health disparities and social determinants, specializing in LGBTQ and Black health, since 2008.
As liberal arts practitioners and global citizens, Oglethorpe students are challenged to consider their roles in society. Now, global protests have highlighted racial injustice as a preeminent societal issue. As the next generation of leaders and thinkers, Oglethorpe students can participate in the conversation with the knowledge to make positive change.
In addition to the new courses above, check out other Oglethorpe courses that explore race:
- AAS-100-001 Introduction to African American Studies (King Momon)
- POL-290-101 Black Feminist Thought (King Momon)
- SOC-306-001 Race & Ethnicity in the US (Clayton)
- WRI-290-001 Writing the South (Handler)
- POL-101-001 Intro to American Politics (King Momon)
- SOC-101 (3 sections) Introduction to Sociology (Clayton and Pham)
- SOC-204-001 Social Problems (Pham)