campus partner(s)

Washington University in St. Louis






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

Ryan K. Balot

Washington University in St. Louis

Grant Summary

$95,275 over 18 months. Washington University in St. Louis plans to sponsor a Teagle Working Group focused on the teaching of ethnicity. By "ethnicity" we mean, provisionally, a form of group-based identification, revolving around a socially constructed set of markers or indicators of group allegiance, such as genealogy, history, territory, culture, religion, language, and names. Our goal is to unite theoretical, historical, and literary exploration with a concrete interest in classroom teaching. The central question is how best to discuss this thorny topic with students, so as to make them better informed, more tolerant, and more active citizens. We will first try to theorize ethnicity from an interdisciplinary perspective. Then, through examining "test-bed" courses and typical pedagogical situations, we will work to make our theoretical gains accessible to teachers of undergraduates. The Working Group includes scholars from Austin College, Luther College, Millsaps College, Ohio Wesleyan, and Union College.