At USF, 50+ anti-racism courses STILL may not be enough

The University of South Florida is developing an anti-racism certificate.

The school already offers more than 50 courses that are explicitly “centered on race and/or racism.”

The University of South Florida is developing anti-racism course requirements and an anti-racism certificate.

A committee of 14 professors is in the process of creating the programs, according to the university’s student newspaper the Oracle. The curriculum creates a certificate program built around a course, entitled, “Racism in American Society.” 

The College of Arts and Science’s Anti-Racism Working Group recommended a revised version of this course for the general anti-racism course requirement.

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According to the course description, “Racism in American Society” will prompt students to “develop critical, working definitions of race that account for change over time, geography, and co-constructed vectors of power such as class, gender, and sexuality.”

To earn an anti-racism certificate, students will have to complete four additional elective courses. 

Though the curriculum will most likely not be implemented by fall 2021, the University of South Florida already offers more than 50 courses that are explicitly “centered on race and/or racism,” with several dozen additional courses that cover themes of diversity.

For example, one English class entitled “Feminist Digital Humanities” allows students to read “feminist authors and literature within a digital humanities framework.”

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Other courses include “Latina/o/x Media Studies,” “Seminar on Race and Police Violence,” “Black Feminisms,” and “Sex Work & Trafficking.” A course called “Black Lives Matter: from Garvey to Tupac” is listed under the religious studies department.

The University of South Florida College Republicans told Campus Reform that the group stands “diametrically opposed” to the implementation of anti-racism courses. 

“The students of USF deserve better than to be subjugated to the mandatory re-education that the university administrators deem virtuous,” the group explained. “The university is the bastion of free thought and free speech and it ought to be kept that way.”

Campus Reform reached out to the University of South Florida for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft