American Racial and Multicultural Studies (ARMS) is a program committed to the study of people of color, primarily, though not exclusively, in the United States. Our program proceeds from the recognition that race and ethnicity have been and continue to be crucial components within interlocking systems of oppression as well as powerful sites of resistance. In the U.S. context, our work focuses on the social, cultural, and historical contributions and lived experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/as, and Middle Eastern Americans. Immigration — historical and contemporary, voluntary and involuntary — is an experience that unites many of these communities. As such, our program encompasses coursework involving the cultures and nations outside of the United States from which such peoples are drawn; it can also include the study of racial and ethnic minorities in other nations. Globalization has brought greater urgency to the recognition that the economic, social, and political forces to which people of color are subjected are not limited to those that originate within the nations in which they reside. Thus we also attend to transnational coalitions, experiences, and phenomena relevant to people of color in the United States and elsewhere.
The ARMS program is resolutely interdisciplinary, drawing upon methodologies and materials from a variety of fields in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. It therefore represents a potential compliment or alternative to a major in a department such as History, Sociology/Anthropology, English, Religion, Art History, or a foreign language, or work in another IGS program such as African and the Americas, Women’s and Gender Studies, Hispanic Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies or Middle East Studies.