Courses: Fall 2017



Fall 2017 Office Hours

Tu/Th: 9-10.30 a.m. & 1.15-2.15 p.m.


Politics of Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Culture- POLT/CSCR 14500 - 01

Tu/Th 10.50 a.m.

In this course, we will explore the relationship between racial identities as defined in the U.S. and the political-economy of people’s lives while also critically examining the concept of race itself. To this end, the syllabus is structured around a set of open-ended questions such as: is race “real;” how does it impact people’s life chances; what are the social and psychological implications of thinking in terms of binaries like self/other, black/ white, similarity/ difference; do sex/ gender influence racial attitudes; can one be a color-blind anti-racist; and do, or should, such questions matter to you? (Cross-listed with CSCR; students cannot take both POLT and CSCR for credit. Counts as a political theory course for Politics majors.)

FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.

REQUIREMENTS: Attendance policy; concept papers and journals.

BOOKS: William Finnegan, Cold New World (Random House, 1999); Ruth Frankenberg, White Women, Race Matters (Minnesota,1997); Kiese Laymon, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (Agate, 2013); Andrea Stuart, Sugar in the Blood (Knopf, 2013).

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Race and Colonialism - POLT 32300 - 01/CSCR 30700

Tu/Th 2.35 p.m.

Europe’s colonization of Latin America, Africa, and Asia began in the 15th century and ended in the 20th and it left behind a political and economic legacy of genocide, slavery and skewed patterns of capitalist “development.” Less visibly, it also passed on Eurocentric conceptions of racial, sexual and cultural differences reflected in such binaries as self/other, black/ white, West/ non-West, and civilized/ barbaric. The course analyzes both aspects of colonialism though we will focus more on understanding the intimate nature of colonialist violence and the psychic wounds it inflicted on both the colonized and the colonizer. Since colonialist notions of alterity (otherness/ difference) continue to shape contemporary constructions of racial identities, we will also study colonialism's traces in the present.

FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.

REQUIREMENTS: Attendance policy, concept papers, presentation.

BOOKS: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Hesperus, 2004); Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Grove, 2005); Lisa Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Duke University, 2015); Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and the Colonized (Beacon,1991); Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love, (Arbeiter, 2013).


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