CHID 260A: Autumn 2017: Rethinking Diversity
Instructor: Dr. Anu Taranath----Class Time: T TH 8:00-9:50am
Office Hours: Tues 2:30-3:30pm & by appt.
Office: Padelford Hall, A506 (A Wing, 5th floor)
There’s quite a lot of talk around equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice, but do you sometimes wonder what these terms actually mean? This class focuses on identity and social differences in a friendly and generous atmosphere that will not shame you for not knowing. We will investigate the meanings and implications of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, and other social differences, and discuss how ideas about “difference” and “diversity” play out in society, our campus, and our own lives.
Our course texts will be a combination of scholarly essays, films, creative non-fiction, short stories and 2 novels. This is an introductory course, designed to welcome students of all majors and intellectual interests. Our one requirement: a willingness to engage in productive, generative and collegial conversations.
CHID 260A counts for the UW’s Diversity Credit.
Anna In-Between—Elizabeth Nunez
Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation—Eli Clare
Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race—Debby Irving
assorted readings on Canvas
all readings & assignments completed on assigned days; attendance in class and workshops, course work to be turned in on time; engagement and respectfulness toward colleagues and course ideas. Late papers will not be accepted unless something quite dramatic occurs. If you are absent from class, first check with two of your classmates to find out what you have missed and exchange notes. Once you do this you can contact me for additional information. I may post reading prompts, short questions, and other course information on our class Canvas page, so configure your notifications appropriately.
Assignments and Grade Distribution:
First Look Epistemology paper—10%
Connected to Class—10%
Paper 1: Your First Look Epistemology
How is it you have come to know what you know what “diversity” might be? How does who you are and your context effect what you know about this topic? This is a Working Paper, which implies a provisional, incomplete nature, and will be evaluated on its thoughtfulness and self-investigation. Suggested length 2-3 pages, 1.5 line spacing preferable. due Thursday Oct 5th at the beginning of class. 10%
Connected to Class
Our campus frequently hosts free lectures, film screenings, performances, presentations and other opportunities to engage in “diversity” issues. Attend one such event either on or off campus this quarter. To make sure the event you plan to attend will count for this assignment, run your idea by two classmates. Write a 2 page report that briefly describes the event and explores the connections to our class readings and discussions. What did you learn? Why might this event be important to host (or not)? What does it say about who we are as a campus community? Floating due date: due anytime before Nov 17 noon. 10%.
Midterm Project: due Thursday Nov 2nd at the beginning of class.
Part 1) Second Look Epistemology paper
Take a look at your First Look paper. Now, four weeks later, have your ideas grown, changed, revised, refined, or stayed the same? Why do you think so? How have the readings and class discussions contributed to your evolving sense of what diversity is, how it plays out in society as well as your own life? The Second Look Epistemology paper offers an opportunity to chart your own intellectual progress by engaging heavily with the readings and class discussions. Suggested length 4-5 pages. 20%.
Part 2) Not-Your-Epistemology
When we deeply engage with the stories of people who are different than us, we stretch our capacity for empathy and compassion. Think of a minor character we have read about who seems absolutely, incontrovertibly different than you in terms of identity. Compose an epistemology for them in the first person examining how they have come to believe particular ideas about themselves, diversity, difference and society-- similar to your own First Look epistemology. Base your fictionalized Not-Your-Epistemology on the little you know about the character from what we’ve read, and mostly from your imagination. Suggested length 3-4 pages. 10%.
Final Portfolio Project: due Thursday Dec 7 at the beginning of class.
This multidisciplinary and multi-layered project is designed to encourage you to showcase your cumulative learning.
Part 1) Essay question: In the particular social and political impasse that the United States is in, what does “rethinking diversity” mean? Where do we end up—you and I as individual people, all of us as a classroom of colleagues in a university setting, or even more broadly, as a deeply polarized society—if we “rethink diversity”? How might our authors show us a way out, or not?
This essay will be collaboratively written by you and a classmate. Suggested length 4-5 pages, 20%.
Part 2) Dear Me Letter
Write a letter to the person you hope to be in another 5 years. What would you like your future self to remember from this quarter’s worth of thinking, reading and conversation and why? Suggested length 1-2 pages, 10%.
Participation: includes all assigned readings by the assigned dates; active participation in class and workshops; attendance, short writings, short homeworks, collaborative engagement with our class colleagues, timely submission of written work, overall “how you are engaging with the people and ideas of this class”: 20%
Schedule of Readings & Assignments, subject to revision
week 0—thurs sept 28:
week 1—tues oct 3: introduction to course themes, philosophies, pedagogies, expectations, My Brown Eyes; Anna In-Between through page 53.
thurs oct 5: Anna In-Between through page 193, First Look paper due
week 2—tues oct 10: finish Anna In-Between.
thurs oct 19: read these four articles, and prepare a 1-2 page response:
week 4- tues oct 24: Waking Up White ( through page 111)
thurs oct 26: Waking Up White (115-171).
week 5—tues oct 31: Waking up White (to end)
thurs nov 2: film screening; Midterm due
week 6—tues nov 7: film screening
thurs nov 9: Dancing on Live Embers
week 7- tues nov 14: One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
thurs nov 16: Exile and Pride
fri nov 17 noon: Connected to Class due on or by this date
week 8—tues nov 21: Exile and Pride
thurs nov 23: holiday, read Boundaries
week 9—tues nov 28: Boundaries
thurs nov 30: Boundaries
week 10— tues dec 5: partner work
thurs dec 7: Final Class Portfolio Projects due
There’s quite a lot of talk around equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice, but do you sometimes wonder what these terms actually mean? This class focuses on identity and social differences in a friendly and generous atmosphere that will not shame you for not knowing. We will investigate the meanings and implications of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, and other social differences, and discuss how ideas about “difference” and “diversity” play out in society, our campus, and our own lives. This is an introductory course, designed to welcome students of all majors and intellectual interests. Our one requirement: a willingness to engage in productive, generative and collegial conversations.