Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in American Studies (MAST)


Interdisciplinary Studies

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Jesse Benjamin

Second Advisor

Dr. Ernesto Silva


Historically, racial identities in the United States of America have operated on a binary platform of ethno-racial consideration. In turn, this system has classified most racially ambiguous members of society into categories that fail to acknowledge the complexity of their ethnic and racial identities. These pre-determined classifications have lasting effects on the accessibility of opportunities and the social spaces available to ethno-racially unidentifiable members of society. These groups of racially ambiguous Americans, however, challenge the efficacy of an 'either/or' binary system. This piece outlines a learning community for first year students, exploring the ethno-racial ambiguity of Afro-Latino identities in America. By exploring trends associated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies' projection of the Seven Global Challenges, this course of study considers how intercultural identities and values contribute factor into future global societies.

Also, this piece explores issues regarding contemporary Afro-Latino identities in America, from their Diasporic colonial origins to their infusion with North American space and culture. Through an analysis of the conflicts associated with the collision of Afro-Latinos and African American cultures and identities, this research will examine whether Afro-Latinos, in an effort to assimilate, are led to abandon their familiar cultural identities to adapt to their surroundings and whether those identities are chosen personally or are influenced by society. Are Hispanics approaching assimilation by strategically choosing when and where to be black or white versus Latino and how do these choices affect their ability to assimilate?

Lit_rev_final_draft_11_03_2014.pdf (262 kB)
Literature Review

Capstone_Embracing Diversity Workshop_lesson plan_final.pdf (85 kB)
Diversity and Identity Workshop (60 minutes)

Capstone II curriculum links to Prezi and Softchalk_final.pdf (54 kB)
Links For Modules and Presentations

Capstone II_KSU 1111_Syllabus_final.pdf (167 kB)
KSU 1111: Tomorrow’s World Today/First-Year Seminar - Fall 2015 - Syllabus

Capstone_ksu1111_global village project_final.pdf (180 kB)
KSU 1111 - Fall 2015 - The Global Village Project

Capstone_ksu1111_ PSA assignment_final.pdf (43 kB)
KSU 1111 - Fall 2015 - Public Service Announcement

Capstone_GC Quiz 1_sample_final.pdf (55 kB)
KSU 1111 - Fall 2015 - Global Challenges Quiz #1

Capstone II_AADS 1102_Syllabus_final.pdf (191 kB)
AADS 1102: Issues In African and African Diaspora Studies - Fall 2015 - Syllabus

Capstone aads1102__Exploration_dramatic techniques_final.pdf (96 kB)
AADS 1102 - Fall 2015 - In-Class Activity: Exploration of Readings Using Dramatic Techniques

Capstone_aads 1102_ race and social construction_agenda_final.pdf (156 kB)
AADS 1102 - Fall 2015 - Race as a Social Construction

Capstone_aads1102_mfac project_final.pdf (42 kB)
AADS 1102 - Fall 2015 - My Family and American Culture (MFAC)

Capstone_aads1102_Racially ambiguous identities_lesson plan_final.pdf (85 kB)
AADS 1102 - Fall 2015 - Racially Ambiguous Identities in America

Capstone_IR activity overview_final.pdf (53 kB)
AADS 1102 - Fall 2015 - Identity and Representation (IR)

Capstone_TF questions_social construction_sample quiz_final.pdf (67 kB)
AADS 1102 - Fall 2015 - Quiz Questions for Clayton Bigsby Video