Simon Ventura Trujillo
Introduces the concept and practice of multiculturalism in the United States and beyond it borders. Focuses on differences of power, perspective, and privilege. Explores opportunities and strategies for alliance and coalition. Stresses diverse interpretive and methodological approaches in American Studies.
Multicultural America: Cultural Studies and Comparative Racialization in the Americas
This course offers students a critical engagement with discourses of multiculturalism and colorblindness in our contemporary moment. In doing so, this course situates cultural studies as one way of rethinking the ways in which multiculturalism and colorblindness shape our present imagination on race in the Americas. As such, we will pursue a conversation that explores how cultural studies acts as an interdisciplinary form of knowledge production, one arising out of what Chela Sandoval calls "the global decolonizing processes of the 19th and 20th centuries." This course will ask students to think through ways in which cultural studies constitutes a diverse set of intellectual practices. And it will situate these practices within histories of political contestation and racialized domination.
As a critical engagement with multiculturalism and colorblindness, this course will firstly introduce students to key concepts and terms within the British cultural studies tradition with a particular emphasis on the relationship between race and cultural production. We will then resituate our focus into an American (North and South) context. In doing so, we will work through the different and related ways in which African American and Chicana/o histories of political struggle interact with cultural productions and engender critical studies of culture. In these terms, this course will ask students to consider the relationship between culture, nationalism, social movements, state power, and colonial histories of racialization in the Americas.
By framing cultural studies as a project of knowledge production woven within histories of social contestation in the Americas, this course will ask students to engage with texts that span academic disciplines, artistic genres, critical theories, and public spheres.
Student learning goals
Students are able to contextualize and analyze the materials or topics covered, historically, politically, and culturally.
Students have an appreciation for and knowledge of cultural studies' relationship to multiple areas, institutions, and disciplines.
Students understand the investments, contexts, and effects of the kind of close/critical reading skills or disciplinary approaches under study/use.
Students begin to understand their embodied positions as learners, social agents, and cultural consumers and producers.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading