|Semester and Year||SP 2012|
|Time||2:00 PM - 3:15 PM|
Identity: the ways in which we see our selves; the ways in which others see us; the dynamic relationship between these two seemingly distinct and often irreconcilable poles is the underlying theme of this first-year research seminar. We will focus specifically on the ways in which we create, build, rebuild, and live our racial identities in constant dialogue with contemporary American societal constructions of race and ethnicity. Questions we will explore include: what is race? Is it immutable? How do we know it when we see it? How is it distinct from ethnicity? What is gained and/or lost by considering or not considering race today? In what ways do other facets of identity, for example gender, sexuality, and class inform, challenge, reconstruct, or deconstruct our racial identities? We will employ historical, sociological, and cultural lenses. Several short written assignments will help students formulate, research, and respond to questions about racial identity in a longer final research paper. Text will include fiction, plays, theory and criticism including Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun , The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami, Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents , “Slavery, Race, and Ideology in the United States by Barbara Fields, Stuart Hall’s “What is This Black in Black Popular Culture,” Kip Fulbeck’s What Are You? , Heid E. Erdrich and Laura Tohe collection Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers On Community , Edward Said’s Orientalism , Matthew Jacobson’s Whiteness of a Different Color , and Off with Her Head!: The Denial of Women's Identity in Myth, Religion, and Culture edited by Howard Eilberg-Schwartz and Wendy Doniger.
First-Year Program: Research Seminars (FIRST-UG)