Living/Learning Center Programs

The University of Vermont



Race and Ethnicity in American Culture

A Residential TAP Program. Open only to incoming first-year students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Students who participate in the Race and American Culture Program in Living/Learning will enroll in two courses, one each semester.During the fall semester, students will enroll in Professor Gennariís Race and Ethnicity in Literary Studies course.This course will consider how certain U.S. writers, filmmakers, artists, and intellectuals have grappled with the issue of racial and ethnic identity, and how this effort complicates our understanding of what it means to be an ďAmerican.Ē By examining the historical context of a variety of stories and cultural works that address such phenomena as slavery, immigration, assimilation, American dreams and American failures, we will consider how ancestral sensibilities, customs, values, and beliefs have been transformed in the crucible of American experience.


During the spring semester, students will enroll in Professor Bernardís African-American Womenís Fiction course. In this course, students will examine the development of the African-American womenís literary tradition as it has evolved within the larger traditions of African-American literature, Womenís literature, and, of course, American literature, broadly speaking.


Both courses will emphasize interactive, participatory learning with plenty of time allotted to group projects and presentations, an American Studies interdisciplinary approach that places art works in their historical and cultural contexts and trains students to think of culture in a holistic fashion, critical reading of literature and mass media texts, and writing and re-writing as an essential learning tool.


The residential component is crucial to the interactive, collaborative nature of the pedagogy practiced by the program directors. In both courses, proximity between classmates and Professors Gennari and Bernard will facilitate group projects that center on television, film, and music. The program co-directors also will conduct informal, out-of-class music-listening events, discussion groups, writing workshops, and film screenings.To foster group unity, the program directors will host regular social events and participate with students in L/L and campus-wide activities.


Race & Ethnicity in American Culture

Required Course Information

Fall Semester


ENG 005D (90420), Race & Ethnicity in Literary Studies, 3 Credits, Prof. John Gennari

Spring Semester

ENG ___, African-American Womenís Fiction, 3 Credits, Prof. Emily Bernard