'Anti-Racist Studies' major debuts at NH college

Keene State College is offering a bachelor’s degree in 'Anti-Racist Studies.'

Students will seek 'to identify and repair harm done by racism in their own thinking,' according to the course catalog.

Keene State College is now offering a Bachelor of Arts in “Anti-Racist Studies.”

The school — a public liberal arts college in Keene, New Hampshire — bills the major as providing students with the necessary skills to apply anti-racism.

Keene State College spokesman Chad Cassin told Campus Reform that “without question, issues surrounding race, diversity and equity have impacted and divided our nation.” As a result, those in higher education have an obligation “to support and empower our students to learn about, collaborate on and consider difficult topics as a path toward tolerance and inclusiveness.”

[RELATED: New course will teach UNH students about ‘racism in science’]

Faculty are currently working on the curriculum for the degree; no applications have yet been accepted.

“Students investigate the experiences, expressions, and possibilities — voiced and embodied, principally, by people of color — that emerge from an ongoing struggle with white supremacist ideology,” the course catalog reads.

Keene’s catalog also states that students must engage anti-racist practices “to identify and repair harm done by racism in their own thinking and in the structures and actions of their communities.”

The 120-credit degree requires students to choose among courses like “An Introduction to Restorative Justice” (IIPYSC 172) and “Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies” (IHWGS 290). Students must also select from an extensive menu of high level courses, with offerings such as:

  • Gender and Power in Early North America (IHHIST 372)
  • Latina Feminist Theories (WGS 303)
  • Restoration Ecology (ENST 353)
  • Critical Ethnic Studies (IIWGS 300)
  • Transnational Feminist Theories (WGS 301)

Keene State College President Melinda Treadwell told the student newspaper, The Equinox, that she developed the program alongside the school’s provost based on a preference for “multidisciplinary approach to race, to othering, and to the social justice curriculum.”

[RELATED: New Hampshire universities defend their ability to teach Critical Race Theory]

Earlier this year, Keene State College signed a letter denouncing New Hampshire’s House Bill 544 — which would ban Critical Race Theory in public schools.

The letter — also signed by the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College — claims that the bill would have a “chilling impact on our workplaces and on the business climate in New Hampshire.”

Campus Reform reached out to Keene State College for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.