This course explores US conceptions of race and ethnicity, how these have ordered institutional and philosophical developments in American politics, and examines how these conceptions matter today. We examine the major theories that discuss race and ethnicity in U.S. politics. Substantively, we consider the political experiences of specific groups: Native Americans, African Americans, Latinas/os, Asian Americans and European Americans. By examining these specific groups’ political experiences within broader theoretical, historical and institutional contexts, we will understand the bases for continuing conflicts and dilemmas, and to explore the possibilities for solidarity and coalition building. Finally, we consider how race and ethnicity interact with other identities such as gender and class in animating political action.