Basic theoretical issues in the comparative history of ideas as a disciplined mode of inquiry; examination of representative historical figures and problems. Primarily for majors.
"An Academic Life": Personal and Community Explorations
Our work this term is to use the academy as a site for deep, critical, and passionate investigation. To speak of an "academic life" allows us to highlight a multitude of structures and ways of thought: --various players in the academy and their relation to each other (students, staff and faculty), --how institutional politics of funding, legitimacy and validation structure our own pursuits of knowledge --how our own personal and community affiliations and identities might structure the ways that knowledge is produced -- how different fields constitute their "text" and how that text is then read and analyzed --how various strands of the educational process are deeply embedded in hierarchical and colonial ways of knowing and ordering the world --the relationship between epistemology and methodology, both in our disciplines at large, and also (and just as importantly) how these notions work in our own scholarly life.
Rather than speaking only abstractly about these concepts, we will try to ground our discussions and course work in our lived realities, the messy terrain of our own academic lives as community members engaged in scholarship. Our course texts include a book on the practice and problematics of autoethnography (using yourself as the subject of ethnographic research); a reflection on the ways that race, gender and other social differences are played out in the academy; and a collection of pedagogical essays that help us formulate ideas on the intersections of teaching and learning.
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