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Page Description

The following syllabus page is a three column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.


Contact Information

  • Gina Masequesmay
  • Pronunciation of Last Name: Mah-say-kes-may
  • Title: Professor & AAS Chair
  • Education: Ph.D. in Sociology
  • Office Phone: 818-677-7219
  • Department: Asian American Studies
  • Email: Gina Masequesmay
  • Office Hours: Wednesday 2 to 3 PM and by appointment.
  • Office Location: Jerome Richfield 346 C (enter through JR 340)

Instructional Materials

  • Andreas, Joel (2004) Addicted to War: Why the US Can’t Kick Militarism. Canada: AK Press. [ISBN# 1 902593 57 X] New: $10.00; Used: $7.50; Rental: $5.00. Call No. UA10 .A48 2002 for 2nd edition. Can be read online here.
  • Paula S. Rothenberg (2012) White Privilege: Essential Readers on the Other Side of Racism, 4th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers. [ISBN# 0-7167-8733-4] New: $36.50; Used: $27.50; Rental new: $23.73. Rental used: $17.52. Call No. E184.A1 W394 2005 for 2nd edition.
  • A Reader for Prof Gina Masequesmay’s AAS 201: Race, Racism, and Critical Thinking Class to be bought from ASAP Copy & Print located at 9250 Reseda Blvd. Suite 6, Northridge, CA 91324 (South of Prairie and East side of Reseda, between Emle's and Dublin's), 818-700-7999, www.asapcopyprint.com, about $31.56.

In addition to the required texts, I may also assign extra short readings based on class interests and current events. I will either pass them out in class or have you read them online.

For those financially challenged, the required texts will be available at the Oviatt Reserve Library (4th Floor) for a 2-hour checkout.

Recommended Texts

  • Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2010) Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States, 3rd Edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. [ISBN# 0-7425-1633-4]  Call No. E184.A1 B597 2003.
  • Clark, Irene L. (1997) Writing about Diversity: An Argument Reader and Guide.  Boston: Heinle & Heinle, Thomson Learning, Inc. [ISBN# 0-15-503563-0] .
  • Omi, Michael & Howard Winant (1994) Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge.  [ISBN# 0-415-90864-7]  Call No. E 184.A1 O47 1994.


  • FINAL EXAM is on, 5/15, Wednesday from 10:15 AM to 12:15 PM

Important Notices

Please download the class syllabus, print it out and bring it to class the first meeting.

The first reading on Critical Thinking can be dowloaded here.

The first writing assignment #1 is due on Thursday, 8/30!

The Addicted to War book is also available online for free.

For students who cannot afford the required textbook and Reader, they are available starting Week 2 in the reserve library (Oviatt 4th Floor) where you can check it out for 2 hours.


Student Conduct Code

Academic Policy

Please read carefully about the school policy on academic dishonesty, especially the part on plagiarism. Please see the library guide on proper citation to avoid plagiarism. Students caught cheating on their assignment will receive a zero on their work and repeated offensed can result from failing the course to being expelled from school.

Class Accommodations

Students with disabilities must register with the Center on Disabilities and complete a services agreement each semester. Staff within the Center will verify the existence of a disability based on the documentation provided and approved accommodations. Students who are approved for test taking accommodations must provide an Alternative Testing Form to their faculty member signed by a counselor in the Center on Disabilities prior to making testing arrangements. The Center on Disabilities is located in Bayramian Hall, room 110. Staff can be reached at 818.677.2684.


Structure of an argumentative essay; inductive reasoning; deductive reasoning; syllogism, enthymeme; common fallacies; dependent, independent and interdependent variables; assessing the evidence; the nexus between knowledge and power; racial paradigms; matrix of domination; perspectives of Ethnic Studies; social construction of race or racial formation; stereotypes; de jure and de facto discrimination; internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and discursive racism; white supremacy; white privilege; interethnic and interracial conflicts; biological, psychological, cultural, and institutional theories on racial inequality; anti-racism; intersection of other subjectivities (SES, gender, sexuality, citizenship); model minority; achievement gap


Course Information Overview

Professor Gina has one section of AAS 201: Race, Racism, and Critical Thinking to teach this Fall 2012:

Click the following link to download the full syllabus: Syllabus PDF version. (latest update 08-23-12).

Click the following Moodle link to log into the course's web discussion board.

Please view the Important Notice Column on the right to view news. This will also be replaced by the Moodle News after the 3rd week.

Click the following to view or download the Guides on Readings, Films and Writing Assignments.

Updated as of 01-14-13.

Budget Cut & Adding Class

Please come to the first day of class to find out what you need to do to be added. I can only add if there are seats. You will need to attend class sessions and do the assignments until there is space to be added. Sorry, there is no guarantee that you will be added. Priority will be given to graduating seniors and AAS majors and minors.

Course Description

Catalog Description

Introduction to the process of critical thinking through the lens of race-based theories and selected historical and contemporary discourse of African-Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, and Latinos on race relations and multiculturalism in American society. Examines contemporary social issues through the use of scholarly studies and a range of cultural “texts” in order to explore the effects of race and racism on the relationship between language and logic, processes and form of reasoning, and practices of critical reflection. Also examines intersection of race, gender, and class. (Available for General Education Section A2, Critical Thinking of Basic Skills).

Instructor's Course Description

This course teaches students to critically examine race and racism, including their conceptualizations and impacts on society. This course takes the position that race, gender, class and sexuality are socially constructed and applies this constructionist perspective on examining race relations in the US, and, when possible, focusing on the experiences of Asian Pacific Americans. The purpose of the course is to teach students to read, think and write critically by exposing them to a selection of race relation topics. Students will learn about critical perspectives on “race.” Students are required to work in groups during class discussions of assignments to facilitate and enhance their comprehension of class materials. Active participation is crucial to build within each student public speaking, critical thinking, writing and reading skills. Writing assignments, exams and a final exam are given to assess students’ overall comprehension of the class. This course requires a lot of critical reading and writing assignments as it fulfills the General Education, Critical Reasoning, Basic Subjects requirement. Recommended Prerequisite: Completion of GE Section A.1 (Composition) and GE section A.3 (Math)

Course Prerequisites

There are no course prerequisites.

Goal of Critical Thinking

The goal of a Critical Thinking course is for students to be able to analyze information and ideas carefully and logically from multiple perspectives and develop reasoned solutions to problems. This goal can be achieved through the following list of student learning outcomes.

GE Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain and apply the basic concepts essential to a critical examination and evaluation of argumentative discourse
  2. Use investigative and analytical thinking skills to examine alternatives, explore complex questions and solve challenging problems
  3. Synthesize information in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions
  4. Evaluate the logic and validity of arguments, and the relevance of data and information
  5. Recognize and avoid common logical and rhetorical fallacies

This list of GE Student Learning Outcomes is fulfilled by covering the following course objectives.

The Course's Student Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the basics of argumentation including: 3 ways to appeal to the audience; components of an argument; inductive versus deductive reasoning, syllogism, enthymeme, common fallacies, and evaluation of the evidence.
  2. Critically reflect the nexus between knowledge and power, the link between social structure and agency, and the intertwining between the personal and the political.
  3. Use basic library research to evaluate and synthesize conflicting information in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions.
  4. Recognize crucial perspectives on “race” and their social political implications.
  5. Apply basic argumentation concepts to selected race topics.
  6. Critically examine basic racial concepts and theories that have been used to explain the statuses of various racial groups.
  7. Develop critical thinking, writing, reading, and public speaking skills via active class participation and group collaboration.


Grading Breakdown
Component/Item Percentage Points
Attendance 10% 40 pts.
Participation 10% 40 pts.
Writing Assignments 30% 120 pts.
Short Exams 25% 100 pts.
Final Exam 25% 100 pts.
Total 100% 400 pts.

Grading is based on a strict scale of 400 points.

Grading Summary Table
380-400 points is an A 293-308 is a C
360-379 is an A- 280-292 is a C-
349-359 is a B+ 269-279 is a D+
333-348 is a B 253-268 is a D
320-332 is a B- 240-252 is a D-
309-319 is a C+ Below 240 is an F

Course Schedule

To see the class schedule and more details on the different components or requirements for the class, please download the full syllabus in pdf.