An issue that might arise in connection with the subject matter and activities in MSE 2212 relates to diversity: students of different backgrounds may vary in their ability to investigate their family background, or in their sensitivity to the results of their investigations.
For example, a student with primarily or entirely African-American heritage may have difficulty finding information about their ancestry in Africa because of a paucity of vital records in general, or because information was lost long ago during the history of enslavement. Students with Eastern European ancestry may similarly run into roadblocks if their ancestors originated in regions where conflict and social forces including oppression resulted in loss of information. Meanwhile, students with other backgrounds may be able to much more easily trace their ancestry.
We cannot eliminate or avoid these potential disparities, but we can anticipate them and address their causes and implications as part of the course.
We will encourage all students to think carefully about issues relating to diversity in conjunction with genealogical research, and to bring concerns to our attention. We will strive to help students cope with any difficulties relating to diversity that may arise in conjunction the course.