University of the Pacific
Caroline T. Schroeder ("Dr. S")
MW 3-4:45, WPC 122
Throughout American history, religion has played a pivotal role in
discussions of race, both in justifications for slavery and racial
discrimination and in movements for social justice. In the 19th
century, white supremacists argued that a passage in Genesis about Noah
and his sons preordained the enslavement of Black people. During
the Civil Rights movement, the Black church played a central role and
Martin Luther King quoted extensively from the Bible in speeches such
as his “I Have a Dream" speech. Other Black civil rights
advocates argued that the connection between racism and Christianity
ran so deep that true liberation could not be found in the Christian
church. This course will examine the intersection of religion and
race. The course will address multiple religious traditions,
although it will concentrate primarily on Christianity. We will
look at both history and pressing contemporary issues.
Fulfills General Education Requirement I-B
Fulfills the University Diversity Requirement
Fulfills requirements for credit in Ethnic Studies
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able
This course fulfills the following Learning Objectives for:
Required Books and Other Media
The following required textbooks are available at the Bookstore. The
readings are required for class discussion, blog posts,
collaborative projects, etc. I strongly encourage you to BUY the PRINT
Required readings, films, art will also be available on websites and on the course Canvas site. See the links on the syllabus. Some films may require an outside screening. Deliberative and concentrated viewings of the films are mandatory.
Note: Copies of student work may be retained to assess how the learning objectives of the course are being met.
Since we will all be members of a learning community this semester, diligent preparation and enthusiastic class participation are essential. Daily assignments should be completed before class on the day on which they are listed on the syllabus.
Class participation is an integral part of this course. All students are expected to participate in a thoughtful, well-prepared manner that is grounded in the course assignments. Students should come to class prepared to discuss the assignments every day. I will provide study guides to help you with the readings and class discussions.
All members of the class are expected to reflect critically on they ways in which they can contribute to constructive rather than destructive class dynamics. I often call upon students and may not wait for students to volunteer themselves.
Take notes: you will be expected to incorporate
issues raised in class discussions and in your writing assignments.
The Attendance and Participation Grade will include:
• Organized class activities, individually or in groups
• Regular participation in class, which means:
✓ Informed, thoughtful, and respectful engagement in discussions, activities, and in-class writing assignments on a regular basis
✓ Listening to the professor and the other students (including taking notes)
✓ Bringing class readings and/or notes to class to enable discussion
✓ Respectful behavior in class. Disruptive or disrespectful behavior (including arriving late and leaving early) will lower Participation and Attendance grades.
✓ Regular attendance.
There are no excused/unexcused absences. See the Grading
system regarding attendance for your grade; you may use tokens to
exchange for additional absences. Come to class unless you are
truly ill. Athletes and other
students with with official university commitments that may cause them
to miss multiple classes should contact me at the beginning of
the semester to work out a plan. Likewise students with extended
illnesses (and ONLY extended serious illnesses) or emergencies that may cause
them to miss multiple classes should contact me immediately to work out a plan.
Lying about illness or anything else to cover for an absence is a
violation of the Honor Code
Make friends: Students who miss class should get notes from a peer before coming to talk to the professor about missed material.
* I will provide an evaluation of participation twice during the semester. Feel free to consult with me in office hours at any time about grades.
Blog posts must be submitted by 9 pm the night before the date(s)
you chose. Except in
case of a documented severe emergency, only tokens
may be used to extend the deadline.
Discussion Facilitations must be conducted on the days on which you
signed up. The only exception is a documented severe emergency.
The collaborative projects will have embedded in them time for
revision and peer-assessment. Because of their collaborative
nature, individual makeups and extensions cannot be provided.
I take academic integrity very seriously. As your professor, I pledge to be honest with you, and I hope that you will do the same for me as well as your peers.
Students are expected to understand and follow the University’s Honor Code. For this course, academic dishonesty includes any violations covered by the Honor Code (including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, and lying to receive a higher grade), as well as submitting one’s own prior work for a new assignment—prior work from this course or another course, and prior work in whole or in part. (Specifically assigned revisions to writing assignments are exempt.) We will discuss plagiarism and citations in class. I encourage any student with questions about academic integrity, plagiarism, or the Honor Code to ask me for clarifications.
Any alleged or suspected violations will be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs. All students who violate the Honor Code will receive a minimum penalty of a zero for the assignment or exam; a serious violation will merit failure of the course.
The Honor Code at the University of the Pacific calls upon each student to exhibit a high degree of maturity, responsibility, and personal integrity. Students are expected to:
• act honestly in all matters
• actively encourage academic integrity
• discourage any form of cheating or dishonesty by others
• inform the instructor and appropriate university administrator if she or he has a reasonable and good faith belief and substantial evidence that a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy has occurred.
Violations will be referred to and investigated by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If a student is found responsible, it will be documented as part of her or his permanent academic record. A student may receive a range of penalties, including failure of an assignment, failure of the course, suspension, or dismissal from the University. The Academic Honesty Policy is located in Tiger Lore and online at http://www.pacific.edu/Campus-Life/Safety-and-Conduct/Student-Conduct/Tiger-Lore-Student-Handbook-.html
We have a diverse classroom with students from many places who identify with a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. We profess myriad religious traditions and in many of us profess none. This class is a space to explore material that will challenge all of us (including me!) in different ways.
It is important to me that this class becomes an inclusive environment in which our diverse community can learn and grow.
If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations, please contact the Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) for information on how to obtain an Accommodations Request Letter. To ensure timeliness of services, please obtain the accommodation letter(s) from the Office of SSD at the very beginning of the semester. Depending on course and session, the wait time may be as long as 1-2 weeks or as short as 1-2 days. After I receive the accommodation letter, please schedule a meeting with me during office hours or some other mutually convenient time to arrange the accommodation(s). The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is located in the McCaffrey Center, Rm. 137. Phone: 209-946-3221. Email: email@example.com. Online: www.pacific.edu/disabilities Pacific’s 3-Step Accommodation Process: 1. Student meets with the SSD Director and provides documentation and completes registration forms. 2. Student requests accommodation(s) each semester by completing the Request for Accommodations Form. 3. Student arranges to meet with his/her professors to discuss the accommodation(s) and to sign the Accommodation Request Letter
The most important resources for the course (also available on the drop-down menu under Resources on the course site) are:
I strongly caution against using non-academic websites to find background information.
Religion, Race, and Justice by Caroline T. Schroeder at http://rrj18.carrieschroeder.net is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.