Race and Politics

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Race and Politics
Special Course
Course CodeRCPC
Year Opened2006
Sites OfferedPRN
Previously OfferedEST
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2017):

In a dissenting opinion in Schuette v. BAMN, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities being denied access to the political process.” Not only in the U.S., but throughout the world, race plays a central role in who has and who is denied access to political processes and decisions. Students in this course investigate the complex intersection of race and politics both in the US and around the world.

Engaging students with issues of identity politics, race, privilege, and ethnicity, this course emphasizes important critical reading and thinking skills. Students explore various constructions of racial identity – biological, cultural, and political – and discuss the history of shifting ideas about what race means. With a firm grasp of relevant critical and cultural theory, students analyze the role of race in global events throughout history, considering case studies that might include the genocides in Rwanda and the Balkans, Apartheid in South Africa, the colonialism of the British Raj, and the political fallout of the US government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Students will critically read both primary and secondary sources; participate in discussions, debates, projects and simulations; and write analytical essays, drawing sophisticated connections between issues of race and politics.