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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2003

T C 357 • Multicultural Citizenship-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
40645 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
CBA 4.346

Course Description

This course explores the tensions that arise from the co-existence of two socio-political conditions: 1) most if not all societies in the Americas are in some substantial sense multicultural; 2) most of these societies have organized their constitutions, and carried out daily political affairs, around classic liberal principles that assign rights to individuals not collectivities. Increasingly, however, the particular groups within multicultural societies are publicly affirming distinctive identities, and demanding collective rights, either to redress past and continuing injustice, or to guarantee an equal voice in political decision making. As a result, governments that recognize in principle the value and importance of multicultural citizenship, are being forced to figure out what this recognition means in practice. The first section of this course explores the extent to which liberal tenets of individual rights meet the challenge of multicultural citizenship in theoretical and philosophical terms, considering as well various critiques of liberal political doctrine. The remainder of the course will be devoted to four case studies of peoples whose identities, experiences of inequality, and claims to collective rights stand in tension with the governments under which they live.

In the last 20 years I have worked extensively in Central America on issues broadly related to the theme of "multicultural citizenship." In Nicaragua, I conducted research on relations between indigenous peoples and the government, at a time when the rights of autonomy for indigenous peoples were being negotiated. Subsequently, I have worked on issues of ethnic-racial relations in Guatemala, and on efforts of indigenous and black communities throughout Central America to achieve legal recognition of community lands. I am most excited by "hands-on" research, through which one simultaneously studies problems and seeks to contribute to their resolution. For a number of years I have worked on the Committee of the SSRC-MacArthur program on Global Cooperation and Security, which promotes innovative scholarship on issues of peace and conflict around the world. I have written and published widely on indigenous movements, ethnic-racial conflict, and identity politics. I am Associate Director of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, and Co-Director of the Rockefeller Post-Doctoral Residency Program, "Race, Rights, and Resources in the Americas."

Grading Policy

Students will write four short analytical essays, each no more than five pages in length. The essay topics will be chosen from a list of questions, distributed one week prior to the due date, corresponding to the five principal sections of the course (one on theoretical/philosophical background, four case studies). Each student may skip any one of the five essays except essay #1. There will be no mid-term or final. Each writing assignment will be worth 20% of the grade. The remaining 20% will correspond to seminar discussion, and to a group presentation to be delivered on the second to last class day of each section. This course will meet substantial writing component requirements (i.e. 20 pages required writing per semester).


Brody, Hugh Maps and Dreams Kymlicka, Will Multicultural Citizenship Macpherson, C.B. The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy Nelson, Diane A Finger in the Wound: Body Politics in Quincentennial Guatemala Ramos, Alcida Indigenism. Ethnic Politics in Brazil Schlesinger, Arthur. The Disuinting of America Taylor, Charles Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition Urciuoli, Bonnie Exposing Prejudice In addition there will be a series of article-length readings by authors such as Renato Rosaldo, Rina Benmayor, Aihwa Ong, and many others.


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