About Us

Learning Resources for Critical Ethnic and Indigenous Studies (abbreviated “Critical Learning Resources”) is a transdisciplinary pedagogy project co-sponsored by Race and Ethnic Studies and the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at St. Olaf College and supported by “To Include is To Excel,” a four-year St. Olaf initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Located at the intersections of critical indigenous studies, race and ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, and feminist and queer studies, this project’s purposes are twofold: 1) to provide accessible learning materials to college undergraduates who are interested in studying racist systems of power, such as racial capitalism and white settler colonialisms, and 2) to support faculty who are looking for concise resources to explain the persistence and impact of racism.

Toward these objectives, Critical Learning Resources aspires to support both students and instructors’ intellectual labor to develop antiracist, decolonial critique and praxis in the classroom and campus community. The project team also hopes that communities beyond and occupied by an institution’s boundaries will find the site’s curated content helpful.


Israa Khalifa (research associate) is an M.A student at The Institute of Anthropology, Universität Leipzig. She graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A in Sociology/Anthropology, Race and Ethnic Studies, and Norwegian. Her research interests include political anthropology, medical anthropology, and the sociology of education.  

Or Pansky (research associate) graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Race and Ethnic Studies. He is an incoming Near and Middle Eastern Studies M.A. student at SOAS University of London with research interests on the question of the Arab-Jew, Palestine, zionism, and settler colonial identity. 

Dr. Christopher Chiappari (project coordinator) is associate professor of Sociology and Anthropology affiliated with Latin American Studies and Race and Ethnic Studies at St. Olaf College. His research interests include Latin America, especially Central America, Mexico and Brazil; Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity; religious hybridity; the Maya; cultural studies.

Dr. Jennifer Kwon Dobbs (project coordinator) is associate professor of English and director of Race and Ethnic Studies at St. Olaf College, where she teaches Asian American literature, creative writing, and critical ethnic studies. Her most recent book, Interrogation Room (White Pine Press 2018) was mentioned in The New York Times and received the 2020 Association of Asian American Studies Award for Creative Writing: Poetry.

Dr. Ibtesam Al Atiyat (project consultant) is associate professor of Sociology and Anthropology affiliated with Race and Ethnic Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at St. Olaf College. Her courses include The Arab World, Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Theory and Global Interdependence. She started teaching at St. Olaf late in 2009 after teaching at the German Jordanian University and the UN International Leadership Institute in Amman, Jordan; the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.