John E Toews
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.
Our readings and discussions will explore the ways in which different interpretive perspectives and practices are connected to issues of cultural exclusion and inclusion, marginalization and integration. We will examine what it means to say, “we”, and how the circle of “we” is implicitly or explicitly defined. The assigned readings will address the problem of cultural diversity, cultural pluralism, or multi-culturalism, especially as it has been shaped by the experience of colonialism and post-colonialism. We will examine carefully what the term “culture” means in present discussions and how we can think critically about issues like “cultural identity”. The ultimate aim of our work together is to learn to think critically about how we think, and how to frame our actions as meaningful, purposeful and ethical in the world.
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General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading