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New website provides learning resources for critical ethnic and indigenous studies

Illustration by Sadie Favour '23

The St. Olaf race and ethnic studies (RACE) and sociology/anthropology (SOAN) departments have announced a new website called “Learning Resources for Critical Ethnic and Indigenous Studies.” 

The project, abbreviated as Critical Learning Resources, aims to provide learning and teaching resources on a variety of topics including settler colonialism and police abolition. 

Critical Learning Resources receives funding through a grant from To Include is to Excel, an $800,000 St. Olaf initiative that receives funding from an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant.

Associate Professor of English and Director of Race and Ethnic Studies Jennifer Kwon Dobbs and Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Chris Chiappari, along with St. Olaf alumni Israa Khalifa ’20 and Or Pansky ’20, created the website to strengthen the resources of the RACE program, but they also had goals in mind beyond St. Olaf.

“The project has in mind how it also functions as public intellectual work to support community praxis,” Kwon Dobbs said. 

By design, the website serves as a collection of resources not just for St. Olaf faculty and students, but also for anyone looking to learn about critical ethnic and indigenous studies. Given this broad audience, the creators aimed to “make complicated concepts accessible and therefore useful,” Kwon Dobbs said.

Critical Learning Resources provides both analyses and definitions of important ideas in race and ethnic studies and directs users to additional resources in the discipline. Due to the intersectional and interdisciplinary nature of race and ethnic studies, the website touches on a wide range of topics and learning methods. 

The project provides definitions of terms like “intersectionality” and “discourse,” and brief explanations of ideas like “Zionist settler colonialism.” It recommends books, articles, syllabi, YouTube videos and podcasts. 

The RACE program is currently planning an expansion of the learning resources through a cooperation with the St. Olaf Norwegian department, focusing on Nordic colonialism. The new phase of Critical Learning Resources will come this winter and spring — stay tuned for updates.


The website is https://learningcriticalrace.com/ and is open to all.