Spotlight on AC courses


The AC Center is pleased to share with you a list of our newest course offerings.  If you are interested in AC courses with a community engagement component, please visit this page. For a list of all AC courses, please visit

We have also worked with some instructors to develop promotional videos of their AC courses to spread awareness about their course to the campus community, especially potentially interested students.   In these videos, instructors discuss how their classes bring their research interests, and themes of race, culture, and ethnicity in the U.S. to teach undergraduates. If you are interested in having the AC Center develop a promotional video for your AC course, please email

Video Spotlights

Human Biological Variation, Instructor: Rasmus Nielsen

Human Biological Variation, Integrative Biology 35AC

Integrative Biology (IB) 35AC, 'Human Biological Variation'

IB 35AC explores human migrations and origins covering different regions worldwide, ending in the meeting of cultures in the Americas. The course addresses several powerful questions within evolutionary biology and human genetics: What role does biology play in identity formation and racial formation; What role does human biology have in public discourse on race; How does biology affect human interactions and social structures in America; How are genomic sequencing and consumer genetics changing the discourse on race and identity in the United States?

'Social Movements, Organizing & Policy Change' - African American Studies 182AC & 197

In a time of a global pandemic, the 2020 election - the most historic election of our lives - was taking place in the fall.  Months prior, Freedom Summer 2020 was a program that gave students a chance to be part of a nationwide virtual movement for voter engagement before the historic 2020 election.  Students of Berkeley, along with students from across the country in helping build the power and voice of low-wage worker voters who have been the most impacted by COVID-19... Read More

image of statute of liberty and symbols of major religions

'American Religious History' - History 132C

History 132C, American Religious History, taught by Professor Ronit Y. Stahl, surveys religion in the land that became the United States from colonial contact with indigenous people to the present with an emphasis on how religion has shaped and been shaped by, the American experience. It addresses enduring tensions between the presence of religious diversity, the ideals of religious pluralism, and the desire for religious power. What are the relationships between various American religious traditions and American society, politics, and culture? How have religious groups articulated their values to address questions of law, politics, culture, and economics?

firefighter lights fire on open field during a controlled burn to manage and conserve area

'Fire' - Anthropology C12AC/ESPM C22AC

Most Californians today fear catastrophic wildland fires that each year scorch millions of acres of land, cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fight, and destroy human lives and property. Yet people have not always lived in dread of conflagrations. This class emphasizes how our interactions with wildfires in California have changed dramatically over the centuries, and that there is much that can be learned from earlier fire management strategies—some of which may be applicable to our contemporaneous world.

Life, Practice, and Reflections from the Central American Diaspora

'The Southern Border' - Education 186AC / Ethnic Studies 159AC / Geography 159AC

In spring 2019, Dr. Diana Negrin offered the 'Southern Border,’ an AC course that examines how histories and geographies of the US southern border and how geographies have influenced migration, urbanization, activism, and racial and ethnic identity formation within the U.S. and countries along the southern border including Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Black and white image of a man writing "Evolution" using both hands on a piece of paper on a wall using both hands, man is able to write with right hand due to assistive technology

'American Cybercultures: Principles of Internet Citizenship' - Art Practice W23AC

American Cybercultures: Principles of Internet Citizenship examines how the growth of online participation influences the development of and intersects online and residential communities. Students participate in online discussions surrounding internet culture or cyberculture within a modern context as well as categories of personhood that make up the UC Berkeley American Cultures rubric (race and ethnicity), as well as to gender, nation, and disability.

Picture of Integrative Biology 190 students and Professor Leslea Hlusko

'Human Biological Variation' - Integrative Biology 35AC

'Human Biological Variation,' Integrative Biology 35AC, examines the cultural and historical relevance of biology through larger contexts. Students will learn how biological variation plays a role in day-to-day life - including interactions on the street, governmental policies on healthcare and food stamps, and doctor-patient relationships.

khalid kadir

'Engineering, The Environment, and Society' - Engineering 157AC / International and Area Studies 157AC

Every spring, Dr. Khalid Kadir, will offer the ACES course, Engineering 157AC / International and Area Studies 157AC: Engineering, The Environment, and Society at UC Berkeley. The course will challenge students to look beyond the technical elements of their work and recognize the deeply social and political nature of engineering questions. Dr. Kadir has established partnerships with local and regional African-American, Asian-American, and Latino community groups, through which students will have the opportunity to engage in multiple real-world projects affecting these diverse communities.

several players on the floor of a gym playing goal ball

'American Sport Culture and Education' - Education 75AC

Education 75AC focuses on sports culture in the U.S. through an intersectional lens. This course highlights the ways in which sports have contributed to our society as well as how they marginalize certain communities through the bases of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability.

'Social Movements, Urban Histories, and the Politics of Memory' - International & Area Studies 158AC

"Social Movements, Urban History, and the Politics of Memory" examines the extensive multi-racial social movement history of the San Francisco Bay Area. The primary assignment of the course is a student-defined research project where students, in collaboration with local activists and community partner Shaping San Francisco, carry out original research and writing to contribute to the dynamic Bay Area social history website FoundSF.