HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON DIVERSITY
Ellen Herman, 2-week unit
A GENEALOGY OF 'DIVERSITY': CHANGING CONCEPTS OF CULTURE
WEEK 1: FROM ASSIMILATION TO PLURALISM, 1890-1940
April 21, 2009: WHAT IS CULTURE? WHAT HAVE CULTURAL DIFFERENCE AND DIVERSITY MEANT OVER TIME?
Franz Boas, The Mind of Primitive Man, 1911, chapter 1, "Racial Prejudices"
Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa: a Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilisation, 1928, Introduction
listen: Margaret Mead essay for 1950s radio series, This I Believe: "A New Control Over Human Destiny"
Clifford Geertz, "Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture," in The Interpretation of Cultures, 1973
James Clifford, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and
Art, 1988, Introduction, "The Pure Products Go Crazy"
April 23, 2009: PLURALISM
Jane Addams, “Why Women Should Vote,” 1915
Randolph Bourne, “Trans-National America,” The Atlantic, July 1916
The Immigration Act of 1924
Alain Locke, The New Negro, 1925, Forward
Zora Neale Hurston, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me," 1927
W.E.B. DuBois, “Shall the Negro Be Encouraged to Seek Cultural Equality?,” 1929
WEEK 2: FROM SPECIES TO ETHNOS, 1940-2009
April 28, 2009: UNIVERSALISM AND ITS CRITICS
FDR, “The Four Freedoms,” address to Congress, January 6, 1941
Eleanor Roosevelt, “Race, Religion and Prejudice,” New Republic, (May 11, 1942)
Gunnar Myrdal, The American Dilemma, 1948, chapter 1, “American Ideals and the American Conscience"
Helen Doss, The Family Nobody Wanted, 1954, excerpt
Malcolm X, Interview, Monthly Review, May 1964
Oscar Lewis, "The Culture of Poverty," 1966
Joreen, The Bitch Manifesto, 1968
Paul Goodman, "Being Queer," 1969
April 30, 2009: HAVE WE ENTERED A NEW ERA OF UNITY?
Erik Erikson, "Identity, Psychosocial,"in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences,1968
U.S. Census Bureau, “Racial and Ethnic Classifications Used in Census 2000 and Beyond” and “Questions and Answers for Census 2000 Data on Race”
UO Diversity Plan, May 14, 2006 (Please read only pp. 1-12)
Barack Obama, "A More Perfect Union," March 18, 2008
Frans de Waal, The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections by a Primatologist, 2001, chapter 6, "The Last Rubicon: Can Other Animals Have Culture?"
Peter Singer, “Expanding the Circle,” Free Inquiry, 2006
listen: Sheri White, "Seeing Beyond Our Differences," This I Believe, February 26.2009
WRITING ASSIGNMENT, DUE MAY 19, 2009
2-3 pages, double-spaced; please number pages
The course you are taking is one outcome of the Diversity Plan implemented by the University of Oregon in Spring 2006. The recent past is not the first time that Americans have considered education indispensable in bringing about the attitudinal and social changes required by a nation at once democratic and demographically diverse. “Responsibility of the School” appeared in a publication titled National Unity Through Intercultural Education, published by the U.S. Office of Education in 1942, shortly after the United States entered World War II. It was written by Rachel DuBois, a Quaker peace activist and teacher who had championed school-based efforts to promote intercultural understanding and religious, racial, and ethnic tolerance since the 1920s.
Consider her statement about the responsibility of educators and educational institutions. What exactly does it suggest education can do and should do to counter prejudice? Why? What conceptions of culture, pluralism, identity, and unity does it exemplify?