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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert Crawford
TPOL S 450
Tacoma Campus

Contemporary Theories of Culture

Studies recent anthropological theory and contemporary cultural theory. Includes topics such as cultural theory, British cultural studies, critical theory, and post-modernism; or ideology, culture, and cultural resistance; ethnocentrism, relativism; class and race; the social body; self and other; gender and sexuality. May be repeated for credit with instructor's approval.

Class description

The terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 are said to have transformed our world. Years later, the contours of that transformation are beginning to emerge. What is different about our post-9/11 world? What is a continuation and development of pre-9/11 patterns and practices? This course will examine some of the most pressing concerns of our time, especially those related to national security and the “war on terrorism.” Particular attention will be paid to the implications for human rights, civil liberties, and democracy and whether the “war on terrorism” has made us more or less safe.

Student learning goals

key elements of liberal democracy

recent national security policy

tensions between democracy and civil liberties and human rights

crtical reading, thinking, discussion

General method of instruction

lecture/discussion

Fish bowl method of discussion: all students will participate in small groups 2-3 times during the quarter in a discussion of the reading before the entire class.

Recommended preparation

recommended: knowledge of American government and politics, foreign and military policy, post-WWII history, post-9/11 history.

Class assignments and grading

essay exams on the reading. An additional library research project.

--ability to identify and write in your own words the key arguments and supporting evidence for those arguments; ability to discuss critically in class these arguments

--class participation is particularly important for this class


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Robert Crawford
Date: 08/10/2010