August 19, 2016

Hello again,

We’ve come to the end of our course.  I’ve really enjoyed the experience of working with all of you. I hope you’ve come across new ways to think about, and question, issues of race, ethnicity, and nationalism.

Now that I’ve had the chance to mark week 7 assignments, please review your grades on D2L. I would also greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to fill out your Student Instruction Rating System (SIRS Online) forms (online at ). Links to the online form have also been sent to your student email address ( from . I look forward to reading your feedback.

Enjoy the rest of summer!


August 16, 2016

I really enjoyed your Week 6 posts. The week’s materials remind us that race is socially constructed through medical and biomedical/genetic knowledge production.  That is, race does not originate in biology. Instead, biology as a discourse and a way of representing the world assumes that race is a biological truth. As such, scientific inquiries into race oftentimes arrive at the conclusion that race does, indeed, exist. This makes race seem real–  it gets socially constructed.

August 13, 2016

As we near the end of this course, please make sure to double check your grades. Many of you have already emailed with questions regarding missing post credit and/or opportunities to submit make-up assignments.

If you have missed credit on assignments due to lateness or low word count, you may email me to ask about making them up…  I am willing to let each student revise two assignments. Please do not email if I have already allowed you to submit two posts for make-up credit.

August 8, 2016

Overall, I’ve found your Reflection and Analysis Posts to be very thoughtful.  When structuring the argument of your post, however, make sure to take into account the actual argument and supporting evidence of the authors or actors in our course materials. Before responding to Pamela Perry’s arguments by simply saying “I don’t (or do) agree with ‘x’ because people are this way, or should do this instead of that,” make sure that you understand the framing and logic of her research.

Also, it seems as though quite a few of you either did not tackle the question regarding the relationship between individualism and racism or ran into some trouble with it. The following are excerpts from three posts that touch on important aspects of the relationship:

“… individualism is the belief that the needs of each person are more important than the needs of the whole society or group or the conception that all values, rights, and duties originated in individuals.So individualism tends to make personal will and ability heavier upon others, so when the idea color blindness involves, it has easily been mistaken by the concept of universal equality and “ignoring all other races, all races are whiteness”, which tragically ignores the variety of diversity of race around the globe and indirectly become racism. Let’s not forget the example described within the lecture two, when two individual groups of white and black went to the job market for opportunities, the black group always treat unfairly with less chances to get a job than the white, meanwhile, the managers consider such circumstances as ” individually lack of ability”, which indeed involves racism with the cover of Individualism.” –  Tianhao Guo

“Another key concept that ties into this colorblindness is individualism, which plays a large role in racism than we think. It is the common thought and right that all people are and should be the same, which takes out inequality in the large picture. Individualism plays a factor in this, which focuses on the person’s choices and character as a primary explanation for a person’s circumstances. However, this plays into the concept of colorblindness discourse. This term seems to reduce racial inequality that exists by pushing the social and historical realities out of the picture. I think that an example that can stand for this intertwining of individualism and colorblindness discourse could be Michael Richards incident. Though he claims not to be an inherently racist individual, this colorblindness discourse where these inequalities that exist become his individual prejudices. This can be linked to his individualism due to the choices that he made out of response to the heckling and such he received while on stage. However, even with his influence in the comedic field, the racist remarks are inexcusable and have left a tainted mark on his abilities.”- Emily Wojcik

“This week’s lectures and readings gave me an opportunity to think about the uncomfortable truth about racism and our society. Under the influence of individualism we are colorblind to race and tend to believe that we all have equal opportunities and failures are individual’s faults. No system to blame.”  – Jency Jo

Richards seems to have recognized something very powerful when he characterized his violent racial explosion as something that blew through him like a storm. It directs our attention to the powerful ways that social meanings operate beyond individual agency, and beyond what we think of as our everyday, rational consciousness. Richards stating repeatedly that he is not a racist distracts us from looking at the relationship between a single actor or subject and the historically-informed structures and symbols that inform that subject.  The white masculinity that shaped Richards saw being heckled by non-whites as a kind of racial threat or disrespect. We should be asking ourselves- what did he feel being a white man entitled him to? We can’t consider these if we continue to act as though racism is only (or primarily) about individual beliefs and defects.

July 27, 2016

Again, nice work on the Week 3 blogs. In considering immigration, changing meanings of whiteness, and the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, it is important to keep in mind how racial meanings and identities change and how they change in relation to very particular historical, cultural, and material conditions. Hopefully you were able to tie in these themes to Starr’s(1918) analysis of Manuel Gamio’s plan for the social engineering of a “true” Mexican identity.

Since the beginning of the class, we have often encountered the notion that race is “socially constructed.”  Much of what anthropology brings to the analysis of race are myriad carefully researched and argued analyses of what that process of “social construction” looks like, how it operates, how it becomes real, or meaningful, for people in particular times and places, and how people act in relation to those meanings. As we move into Weeks 4 and 5, when we’ll look more closely at whiteness, it is very important that you keep your focus on these issues, even (especially) when it’s tempting to fall back to everyday commonsense ideas about how things are.

I’ve updated grades on D2L. As of this moment, the grade book reflects what I have recorded through Week 3. Please look over your grades. If you believe I have missed something, here are the steps to take:

  1. Find the post or comment you believe I missed.
  2. Make sure you fulfilled all the requirements, including posting it on time and categorizing it correctly.
  3. If you feel I have erroneously failed to record a grade for a post or comment you completed correctly, send me an email with a brief note and the permalink to the post or comment I missed. Don’t just send me a note saying I missed your comment for the Week 2 Analytical post–send the link to the post as well so I can see it! The way the website is organized means it isn’t hard for me to miss a post, and it is very, very easy to miss a comment. If that’s happened, I apologize, and as long as you send me the permalink to the post/comment, and it meets the requirements, I’ll record your grade.

Finally, a few of you continue not to categorize your posts. As the blog gets longer and longer, I read it by clicking on a category and reading posts in that category. If you haven’t properly categorized your posts, I’ll miss them. That’s why properly categorizing the posts is one of the requirements for getting credit for them.

Again, nice work last week. Keep it up!

July 20, 2016

I hope everything is going well for Week 3. I’m very impressed with the thought that has gone into the posts published thus far.

A note on grading: If there is no grade entered for an assignment, that does not necessarily mean you didn’t get credit. It may mean I didn’t yet grade that assignment (especially if you’re asking a day or two after the assignment deadline). As it says in the grading section of this website, if you met the requirements for a post, you should assume you got credit unless you hear otherwise.

I will check in next week (Week 4) and at the end of the semester with my complete record of grades and ask you to tell me if you think I’ve missed something.

July 15, 2016

Make sure you are categorizing your post properly and that you are publishing the posts instead of just saving them as drafts. Drafts will be given no credit this second week of classes.

Also, pay attention to the word limits set for Reflection and Activity/Analytic Posts. Reflection Posts are always meant to reach 250-300 words. Weekly instructions will let you know the length of the Activity/ Analytical Posts.

July 10, 2016

Hi all,

I thought it would be helpful to remind everyone of the following weekly class deadlines:

Due by Friday, 11:59 pm – 1 Activity/ Analytic Post and 1 Reflection Post

Due by Sunday, 11:59 pm – 1 Comment on a student’s Activity/Analytic Post and 1 Comment on a student’s Reflection Post

July 7, 2016


Hello ANP 330,

Happy Week 1! – Since a number of you have been experiencing technical difficulties and delays,  I’m definitely willing to be flexible with this week’s assignment deadlines. For those who have not managed to access the site or have only just been added to the course, make sure to get your introductory posts and comments up by Sunday, July 10.


Some Notes on Site Access and Passwords:


If you are looking for your WordPress site invitation, please remember to check trash and other of your MSU mail folders.  If you have your MSU email forwarded to your personal email account, make sure to check Spam, Updates, Forums, etc. for the email. If you still can’t find it after checking those folders, then feel free to contact me or our online course assistant, Nikki Silva, at  .


The password for lecture videos is included in the early mass email I sent out as well as in the first News event on our D2L page. I will post it as a separate news item on the D2L site. Due to confidentiality issues, I cannot post it here.


I am enjoying your introductory posts and comments (especially the pet pictures). I look forward to reading through the Week 1 activity and reflection posts.





Welcome to ANP 330: Race, Ethnicity, and Nation


My name is Rachel Elbin, and I will be your instructor for ANP 330. Below, I address several commonly asked questions about the protocol and procedures for online classes. Please read through carefully:


Do I have to come to campus? Nope. This is an online course. There are no exams, and you never have to come to campus. You NEED a high-speed Internet connection, and you MUST log into the course website at least once a day to check for announcements.


Is this class on D2L? Some of it is.The bulk of the class work is run through our WordPress site. Your weekly quizzes and grades (in the gradebook), however, are located on the D2L site.


How do I access the WordPress site? You will receive an invitation to the site in your MSU email on July 1st. It will include the link.


Please watch these tutorials BEFORE you visit the site so you know how to login and change your password:


Logging in:

Posting and Commenting:

(note that this year’s website will look different than the one in the video).



  • What is the username/password to watch this and other videos?


To watch this video and ALL OTHER online course videos, you will need to use the universal login password that you already received in an email from me. The password is also located on D2L, in the first course News post. Please do not post the password on the WordPress site.


Please note that this is DIFFERENT from your WordPress login information, which is individual to you. If anyone from class asks you for the password, please send it via email or direct the student to the D2L “News”. Do not post it in a blog or comment in WordPress– anyone outside the class can see it and the videos as well.


Are there any textbooks for this class? No. All of the readings/videos will be posted on the course website under the schedule tab for that week. Once you receive an invitation to the site, you will be able to access the “Introduction” unit which includes some quick videos as well as instructions for the first blog post assignment. Each Monday, I will release the new week’s materials under the schedule tab.


Whom do I contact with questions regarding the website, course materials, or the protocol to follow for special circumstances?


If you have any questions about the website or the course, there are a few ways to go about answering them. First, you can check the Announcements page for new information.  Secondly, you can ask your classmates in word press in comments under the Schedule section, using #HELP. Finally, you can use #Rachel in your weekly posts or comments to get my attention. Please do not email the entire class via D2L. If you need to email me directly at elbinrac [at] msu [dot] edu and make sure to write ANP 330 in the subject line, open with something like, “Hi, Rachel,” and include your name and email address at the bottom.  You can see this information in more detail under Contact here on this site.


It’s after Tuesday, July 5th, and I did not receive an email invitation, what should I do? Remember, the invitation will be arriving in your MSU email so just in case, check your junk mail folder. If you have not received an invitation to the course site by the end of the day on Tuesday, please send me an email so that we may figure it out. If you have your MSU email forwarded to your personal email account, make sure to check Spam, Updates, Forums, etc. for the email first.


I received an invitation but now it says the link is expired, what should I do?


It is important that you click the link and set up your account within 48 hours, otherwise the invitation will expire. If this happens, send me an email and we will get it figured out.


There will not be any mass emails regarding this class. All announcements will be posted on the WordPress, so make sure you check it daily. Your posts and comments will be published on our Class Blog page.

A full syllabus for this class will not be posted online. Rather,  every Monday I will make that week’s assignments available for viewing under the Schedule heading. The introductory post explanation (due July 6) is included on the Pre-week 1 page. The assignment for Week 1 (posts due Friday, July 8 and comments due Sunday, July 10) is under the Week 1 page.
Rachel Elbin

I am really excited about working with each of you this summer. See you online!