MINOR IN TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION IN THE AMERICAS (T&R)
As we approach the hundred-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 (an event one author called the “single worst incident of racial violence in American history”), Oklahomans are grappling with some difficult questions: What were the causes of the bloodshed? How can past wrongs be righted and the aggrieved made whole again? And what does it mean to talk about “reconciliation” when so many issues remain unaddressed? These are the sorts of issues students will confront in American Studies’ new minor on the topic of Truth and Reconciliation in the Americas.
The T&R minor will challenge and inspire students to seek the truth about Oklahoma-centered social problems past and present, and to develop strategies—individually and/or as part of the community—to overcome them. Given the relationship of OSU-Tulsa to the Greenwood District, which was virtually destroyed in 1921, much of the truth-finding will revolve around the 1921 massacre, including understanding the evolution of Black Wall Street, the timing of the massacre, and the effects of the massacre on Tulsa and beyond. This last concern will be a significant point of the minor, as students in the required course “Comparative Truth and Reconciliation in the Americas” will seek to put the effects of the Tulsa Race Massacre into a broader context. This course, as well as the required internship, is designed to help students seek means of reconciliation to aid the community in its pursuit of social justice and betterment.
Unlike the most famous example of truth and reconciliation—South Africa’s bid to address apartheid—OSU will have no mandate to impose a reconciliation program on anyone. Instead, our T&R minor will promote a grassroots approach, fusing material from the classroom with experience working with groups in the community. Ultimately, the T&R minor is geared to promoting respect, fair treatment, and reconciliation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and beyond.
To Minor in Truth and Reconciliation in the Americas, students must complete two required courses (for 6 hours) and 9 additional hours drawn from a list of courses relevant to the field of Truth and Reconciliation. Students must also maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better and receive no grade below “C” in those courses [15 hours total].
Required courses (6 hours)
- AMST 3373 – Comparative Truth and Reconciliation in the Americas (3 hours)
- AMST 4990 – Internship (3 hours)
Additional courses (9 hours)
- AFAM 3950 – Special Topics in Africana Studies
- AFAM 4543 – Race Theory
- AMST 2103 – Introduction to American Studies
- AMST 3333 – Crime, Law, and American Culture
- AMST 3473 – Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in American Film
- AMST 3550 – Arts and American Society: “Tulsa’s Public Cultures”
- AMST 3950 – Special Topics in American Studies: “The Tulsa Race Massacre”
- AMST 4103 – Death Penalty in America (same course as SOC 4103)
- AMST 4593 – America in International Perspective
- ENGL 3183 – Native American Literature
- ENGL 3193 – African-American Literature
- GEOG 3243 – Geography of Indian Country
- GEOG/AFAM/AMST 4453 – Black Geographies and Memorialization in the Landscape
- GWST 3613 – Race and Reproduction in the US
- HIST 3793 – Indians in America
- HIST 4153 – African American History, 1619-1865
- HIST 4163 – African American History, 1865-1954
- PHIL 3623 – Philosophy of Race
- POLS 2313 – Social Justice Politics
- POLS 4223 – Comparative Political and Social Movements and the Politics of Protest
- SOC 3133 – Racial and Ethnic Relations
Students are instructed to contact the Program Director, John M. Kinder, to receive approval for courses not found on this list.
To create a plan of study for the minor, please contact the AMST advisors:
- In Stillwater: Anthony Valentine
- In Tulsa: Angel Ray
During their final semester at OSU, students will ask their advisor to complete the Minor Form and send it to the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Certification Specialist. A notation will appear on the student’s final transcript indicating the Truth and Reconciliation minor right below the major degree(s) awarded.
While it is expected that most minors will focus on issues of T&R in and around the Tulsa area, this minor will not be solely confined to the effects of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. “Comparative Truth and Reconciliation”—one of two required courses for the major—will offer students approaches to the topic of truth and reconciliation beyond Tulsa. Moreover, students will be allowed to choose from a range of additional courses that, in one way or another, address issues of inequality, social injustice, memory, and activism. Finally, students can use their internship semester—the other required course—to work on issues that they find personally or politically compelling. In pursuing their minors, T&R students could work on the following issues, for example:
- The gentrification of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street
- The mass incarceration of women in Oklahoma
- The opioid crisis in Oklahoma
- Health deficiencies on Native American reservations
- The persistence of Native sports mascots in Oklahoma and beyond
- Racial injustice in Tulsa city services
Requirements (PDF): truth-reconciliation-minor_1567643810822