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January 4, 2019

Prof. Lani Teves’ book release, Defiant Indigeneity: The Politics of Hawaiian Performance

The Department of Ethnic Studies and Native Studies Program invite you to a special edition of the Native American Studies Colloquium Series to celebrate the publication of Lani Teves’ newest book,


Defiant Indigeneity: The Politics of Hawaiian Performance

Many Nations Longhouse

January 25th, 2019 


Lunch will be served


Defiant Indigeneity: The Politics of Hawaiian Performance

(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018) explores Hawaiian performances beyond the tourist gaze to theorize how Hawaiians contest US occupation and recuperate aloha as a practice of insurgent worldmaking.

With discussants:

Maile Arvin

Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies

University of Utah


Joyce Pualani Warren

Postdoctoral Scholar of Ethnic Literature

University of Oregon


Brian Klopotek

Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies

University of Oregon




Assistant Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Oregon, Lani Teves is Kanaka Maoli, born and raised in Oahu.


Joining us?  Please let us know here:

December 15, 2018

Professor Sharon Luk’s The Life of Paper Wins Two 2018 Book Awards

The Ethnic Studies Department congratulates our colleague, Sharon Luk, for winning two prestigious book awards for her first monograph, The Life of Paper: Letters and Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity (2017, University of California Press)! In November 2018, the American Studies Association (ASA) presented Luk with the Lora Romero First Book Prize, which comes with a lifetime ASA membership. In January 2019, the Modern Language Association (MLA) presented Luk with the Matei Calinescu Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 20th/21st Century Literature and Thought, which comes with an award of $1000.


Professor Luk has taught at UO since 2014. Her course offerings in Ethnic Studies range from core classes, such as Introduction to Asian American Studies and Introduction to African American Studies, to new courses offered in both Ethnic Studies and English such as Race and Social Movements; Black Marxism; and Race, Culture, and Incarceration in the U.S. West.

Ethnic and Native Studies Instructor Jennifer O’Neal Wins the 2018-19 Yale University Henry Roe Cloud Fellowship


The Ethnic Studies Department congratulates our colleague, Jennifer O’Neal, for winning the prestigious Henry Roe Cloud Dissertation Writing Fellowship at Yale University! Sponsored by the Yale Group for the Study of Native America (YGSNA), this fellowship supports promising doctoral candidates working on pressing issues related to the American Indian experience and Indigenous Studies. Jennifer will spend winter and spring at Yale to work toward completing her dissertation in History from Georgetown University. Her interdisciplinary research examines the social, political, and historical intersections of late twentieth century Native American transnational activism, centered within the fields of foreign relations and indigenous studies.


Alongside her position as University Historian and Archivist, O’Neal has developed undergraduate courses in Ethnic Studies and the Clark Honors College that engage students in decolonizing pedagogy. Specifically, she facilitates community based-research with indigenous community course partners to document the often hidden histories of Oregon’s tribal communities. More broadly, her work is also dedicated to developing frameworks and guidelines for the post-custodial and collaborative stewardship of cultural heritage collections in partnership with source community members.

December 10, 2018

Ethnic Studies Professor Ernesto Martinez featured in UO publication

“New children’s book, movie put a song in professor’s heart” in publication Around the O

See the article in its entirety here:


December 7, 2018

ES majors and minors: Considering a Ph.D. in the Humanities?


The Michigan Humanities Emerging Research Scholars Program aims to attract diverse scholars with unique experiences who foster innovation and push the humanities to meet today’s challenges.



Michigan Humanities Emerging Research Scholars Program (MICHHERS)


May 9, 2018

Ethnic Studies Classes for Summer 2018

Students! Registration for Summer term opened May 7th.

Check out our exciting course line-up for Summer 2018!

Be sure to secure your seats now as all three classes are filling quickly.

**NOTE: Two classes, ES370 Native Americans in Film and ES310 Race and Social Media are web-based and more convenient for busy students in the summer.

Many of our courses fulfill required group credits in American Cultures and in Social Science group credits required for graduation. 

Call (541) 346-0900 with questions about Ethnic Studies courses or click here for more information on becoming an Ethnic Studies major or minor.

April 25, 2018

Ethnic Studies professor Dr. Cheney was awarded the Tykeson Teaching Award for 2018

On April 24, Dr. Charise Cheney was awarded the 2018 Tykeson Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, on behalf of the University of Oregon’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Cheney has been a faculty member since 2009, having served as an academic advisor as well as teaching numerous courses within the Ethnic Studies Department. The department has nine core faculty members.

On Tuesday afternoon, Phil Scher, Divisional Dean for Social Sciences, surprised Cheney during her Intro to African American Studies class.

Read more here in the Daily Emerald article.

Read more here in the Around the O article.


Read the latest of Dr. Cheney’s published work, an article about the Brown vs. Board of Education here:

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April 19, 2018

Ethnic Studies professor Alaí Reyes-Santos is featured in Around the O for her class’s work in Puerto Rico

Eye of the storm: UO students reach out to hard-hit Puerto Rico

Boy in Puerto Rico after hurricane

UO ethnic studies professor Alaí Reyes-Santos made a major revision to the curriculum for her “Race, Ethics, Justice” course last fall: She added a trip to Puerto Rico.

It was week three of the term and Reyes-Santos, a native Puerto Rican, was frustrated with the lack of federal aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It had been weeks since the storm devastated the island and there were still widespread power outages and severely limited access to potable water and medical care.

She saw an opportunity to have her students consider how the overarching questions they were examining about race, ethics and justice were applicable to the crisis, and to use that analysis and knowledge to create resources to help educate the public and spur conversations about those issues. The resources the class created were just published on a new website, “The UO Puerto Rico Project: Hurricane Maria and its Aftermath.”

“A humanitarian crisis was unfolding in Puerto Rico and my students were examining the intersection of race, ethics and justice in a classroom at the UO,” Reyes-Santos said. “So we turned the course into a humanities-based intervention into the crisis that deepened our discussions about race, ethics and justice and allowed us to create resources for the public about disenfranchised communities enduring a natural disaster.”

Through the lens of Hurricane Maria, students examined disparities in justice across different ethnicities, genders, classes, sexes, rural populations and other marginalized communities. As they dug into what was transpiring in Puerto Rico, they used their findings to consider how to ethically engage other racial, economic and environmental justice struggles in the world.

The students produced a range of materials, including research papers, timelines, historical analyses, social media campaigns and blog entries. And the small group that participated in the trip contributed photographic, audio and written documentation from their visit to the island.

The documentation of Puerto Ricans’ experience was a core component of the project and the primary reason Reyes-Santos wanted to travel to the island with students. With the help of support from the ethnic studies department, Associated Students of the University of Oregon and fundraising efforts spearheaded by the students, Reyes-Santos was able to make this a reality and spent several days in Puerto Rico observing relief efforts, interviewing residents and delivering 15 suitcases full of supplies to the island.

To prepare students for this experience, Reyes-Santos hosted trainings on how to conduct respectful ethnographic research in a disaster area. That included how to interview a racially diverse group of subjects and how to ask questions in a way that’s considerate of the pain and the struggles people could be enduring in the wake of devastation.

UO sophomore Bareerah Zafar was one of the students who traveled to Puerto Rico. Zafar is studying both ethnic studies and journalism because she hopes to find a career that lets her travel to places where people need help and find ways to share their stories — places like Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Through the trip, Zafar was able to use her ethnic studies course to do the kind of storytelling that she’d eventually like to do professionally. She interviewed Puerto Ricans and compiled a photographic journey through the island, which are now published on the website and available for the public to learn from.

“We heard so many intense and emotional stories from Puerto Ricans who don’t have a platform,” Zafar said. “I hope these materials help people understand what happened in Puerto Rico with the lack of government assistance, especially people who thought Puerto Rico didn’t need help from the United States.”

Every student contributed to the project, regardless of whether they actually boarded a plane to Puerto Rico.

“It was a really collaborative effort by the entire class,” Reyes-Santos said. “One by one, all of the students came forward with great ideas about projects, research, questions, fundraising and emergency supplies and resources.”

It was not a hard sell to convince the students to amend their expectations and plans for the course. Reyes-Santos saw a huge surge in enrollment for the course in 2017, something she attributes to students’ desire to address heightened political, social and racial tension and violence in the country.

“Many students took this class because they were looking for tools to respond to injustices that we’re seeing in the U.S. today,” she said. “They want to make an impact outside of the classroom. The UO Puerto Rico Project was inspired by their desire to use what they learn in the classroom about ethical claims and quests for justice to create knowledge that can impact public debates around these issues.”

By Emily Halnon, University Communications

Congratulations to 3 Ethnic Studies majors, and next year’s leaders of ASUO!!

Congratulations to 3 Ethnic Studies majors, and next year’s leaders of ASUO!! Maria Gallegos (President), Ivan Chen (External Vice President), Imani Dorsey (Internal Vice President). We can’t wait to witness your activism next year!!  This win reminds us that ethnic studies is more than a major, it is a conscious decision to fulfill your potential in creating a more just world.

Read the article in the Daily Emerald here.  Read the opinion article in the Daily Emerald here.


March 26, 2018

Chương-Đài Võ , “Artist Collectives and Contemporary Art in Singapore” April 5th, 2018 from 4:30-6:00pm HEDCO building Rm 146

      Chương-Đài Võ oversees Asia Art Archive’s projects related to Southeast Asia. In addition to introducing some of the archival collections available online, she will discuss the current digitalization of the Lee Wen Archive. This collection contains the artist’s material about his practice as well as his documentation of dozens of performance art festivals from the last three decades. Vo will discuss the importance of archival material by focusing on two important artist-led initiatives that Lee has been a part of, The Artists Village and Future of Imagination, and two works that he has performed since the early 1990s, Journey of a Yellow Man and Anthropometry: Revision. These projects emphasize the importance of process, collective exchanges, and attention to the local to maintain spaces of resistance and criticality.

Lee Wen’s “Journey of a Yellow Man, No. 2: The Fire and the Sun” at Gulbarga, Karnataka, India, in December 1992. Courtesy of Lee Wen.
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