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Prospectus

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Sources of Diversity and Inclusion

Course
2013-2014

Tag(s)

HI, GC, GWS, DI

Admission Requirements For students who are not interested in completing the Diversity and Integration track this course has no requirements.

For students wishing to complete the Diversity and Integration track, the completion of the 100 level course Introduction to Diversity and Integration is strongly recommended.

Description

Citizenship is an historically contested concept: while on the one hand it has been the ground where civil society actors have struggled for increasing forms of representation and recognition, developing itself as crucial mechanism of integration in liberal democratic regimes; on the other hand citizenship has also functioned as mechanism of exclusion, control and surveillance over increasingly mobile and mixed populations. This tension is indeed already part of the fundamental balance the figure of the citizen conveys, that that binds the individual with his/her collectivity. The I/we relationship –which translates the equilibrium between individual rights and collective responsibilities embedded in the notion of the citizen– is problematic. To what extent is citizenship a mechanism that enables the recognition and respect of differences in contemporary societies? Conversely, to what extent does it work as mechanism of exclusion in as much as it suppresses differences by promoting a pure unity in the figure of the citizen? Is the notion of “global citizenship” emphasizing a further homogenization of current political community(ies) or their pluralisation and heterogeneity? These questions will inform the course development. The underlying task of the course will be a re-examination of the I-we balance embedded in the notion of citizenship, assessing its social, political, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions.

Course Objectives

The course objectives and learning aims are to develop in students:

  • The ability to examine, question and take positions regarding the role of the individual in reproducing structures of discrimination and exclusion, as well as her/his responsibility to change them;

  • A critical capacity to reflect about the bonds that unite us as well as those elements that invariably reproduce difference and distinctions among us;

  • The ability to critically understand the contested aspects involved in the definition, practices and performances of citizenship, as well as the need to develop interdisciplinary perspectives to better gauge the challenges of the contemporary citizen.

Mode of Instruction

  • Biweekly seminars form the main body of this course. Roughly, the structure of the seminars is based on short lectures (45 minutes), students presentations (30/45 min) and general debate (30 minutes). This will guarantee the introduction of knowledge as well as the students ability to apply what they have read, learned and thought to real life situations.

  • Students will prepare for each seminar by completing the assigned readings. In addition, each student will need to complete one “case note” per week based on his/her application of the readings to current citizenship issues and debates.

  • Audio-visual media will be used regularly to ensure exposure to diverse resources, forms of knowledge and types of evidence.

  • Mutual respect and rapport are fundamental for the development of this course. Your continuous and active participation is crucial: it is with the active and respectful engagement of us all that we can produce an exciting and inspiring learning community.

Assessment

Assessment:
Percentage:
Deadline:

Literature

A reader for the course will be compiled and will be electronically available in Blackboard site before the beginning of the course. Students are expected to use the readings to inform their participation in our classes discussions.

Supplementary readings and students own literature reviews will be encouraged through the course and expected during students presentations and final essay.

Contact Information

For further information please contact Dr. Daniela Vicherat Mattar at: d.a.vicherat.mattar@luc.leidenuniv.nl

Weekly Overview

WEEK 1 – Sources of diversity, difference & inclusion: A problem of political belonging
WEEK 2 – Theories of citizenship: liberal, communitarian, cosmopolitan
WEEK 3 – Defying citizenship: Questions of gender
WEEK 4 – Defying citizenship: Questions of race
WEEK 5 – Defying citizenship: Poverty and inequality
WEEK 6 – Defying citizenship: Questions of mobility and transnationality
WEEK 7 – Socratic citizenship: Critical, responsible and responsive subjects
WEEK 8 – Reading Week

Preparation for first session

J. Comaroff & J. Comaroff (2012) “Nations with/out borders. The politics of being and the problem of belonging” in Theory from the South. London: Paradigm Publishers. Pages: 91-107.

Students are requested to reflect upon their own understanding of citizenship and their own position as young citizens of the 21st century. In the first session those ideas will be discussed and framed in the light of the course objectives.