Multicultural Milwaukee

Gregory Jay, Professor

Course: ENGLISH 192, SEM 007 (Full)
Class Number: 50816
Credits: 3 HU
Time: TR 9:30  - 10:45 AM
Place: CRT 321

Course Description:

(see poster)

Whether you were born in Milwaukee or are a newcomer, this course will offer you an exciting range of discoveries as we explore the city’s history, current events, neighborhoods, landmarks, and diverse communities. Milwaukee has always been multiethnic and multiracial, from its array of indigenous cultures through the arrival of English and European ethnic groups to the modern rich addition of African Americans, Latinos, and the people of the Hmong diaspora (to name just a few). What are their stories? How do they compare? Where do you fit in? Students will research and write about the city’s cultural diversity through readings, film screenings, and site visits.

Students who pass the course will have completed their General Education Requirement in Cultural Diversity AND 3 credits towards their Humanities Requirements. This course also counts towards achieving the Cultures and Communities Certificate at graduation.

Work Involved:

The materials we will study in this course will span a wide variety: photo books, stories and memoirs, history, poems, films and videos, and online sites. Students will sharpen their skills as analysts and creators of culture through journaling, in-class and online discussion, group work, short papers, tests, and the use of multimedia. Class meetings will stress open dialogue and collaborative learning. In the group research project, students will learn to use the ePortfolio software in the course web site to create an electronic portfolio about one of Milwaukee’s cultural groups or neighborhoods. This will be presented in class and online.


  • Regular class attendance and participation in discussion (only 3 absences allowed) (15%)
  • Weekly short writing (journals, online discussions, service learning reflections) (15%)
  • Literary Analysis paper (10%)
  • Tests (35%)
  • Group Project (25%)

Sample Reading:

  • Germans in Milwaukee, ed. Jennifer Watson
  • Latinos in Milwaukee, ed. Joseph Rodriguez
  • Hmong and American: From Refugees to Citizens, ed. Mary Louise Buley-Meissner and Vincent Her
  • 200 Nights and One Day, by Margaret Rozga
  • Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places, by John Stilgoe
  • Other required readings will be available as downloads from the course website

About the Instructor:

Gregory Jay is Professor of English and Senior Director of UWM’s Cultures and Communities Program. He teaches a variety of courses on American and Multicultural Literature as well as interdisciplinary seminars on film, photography, and popular culture. In 2009 he was guest lecturer on American Studies at a number of colleges and universities in Indonesia during a two-week speaking tour.

See https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/gjay/www/.