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Educ 678 - CULTURAL STUDIES AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The course provides a general overview of the highly diversified field of “cultural studies” – what it is, the evolving relationships between its various approaches and concerns, the central issues that it confronts, and its importance to international development education.
Cultural Studies concerns itself with the meaning and practices of everyday life. Particular meanings attach to the ways people in particular cultures do things. Primary stress will be placed on the relation between knowledge and power, ethnicity/class/gender and culture, and the attempts within cultural studies to embrace a variety of disciplines in a transdisciplinary critique of intellect and institution.
We will review basic readings in history, theory, and method, and then proceed to special topics in spatial and temporal organization of contemporary institutions, the politics of knowledge, and personality formation. The major governing paradigms in cultural studies will be reviewed and then put to use in the examination of topics currently in the public eye, in regards to international education and development.
This course aims to:
- Interrogate prevailing common-sense notions of education and international development
- Examine how social and cultural relations affect education and international development
- Improve students’ abilities to critically assess, analyze and develop educational and developmental programs, policies and goals
- Improve students’ critical reading, research, oral presentation and academic skills
OFFICE HOURS & COMMUNICATIONS
I have Office Hours on Tuesdays from 12-1.30 and Wednesdays from 12-1.30, and in order to best accommodate the variable schedules of participants in this class, I can make individual appointments with students if you are unable to make either of these times. If you need to make an appointment, please send an e-mail to: email@example.com. If neither of the set times are feasible, please email me and we can try to find a time that is mutually convenient. Also, if you have any other problems or concerns, I find it best to communicate via e-mail, which I check frequently. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of email and office hours.
The readings for this course include books and articles about theoretical issues related to cultural studies and international development. There are three required books for this course and a set of required readings. The required texts can be purchased at Food For Thought in Amherst and a set of required readings will be uploaded to SPARK.
Surber, J.P. (1998). Culture and Critique: An introduction to the critical discourses of Cultural Studies. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Hall, S. (Ed.) (2001). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage Publications.
Barker, C. (2005). Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
The specific requirements for successful completion of this course are:
- Class participation 20% of total grade
You are expected to read all assigned readings and come to class prepared with questions and issues for discussion.
- Auto-ethnography 60% of total grade
In this assignment, you will develop and clarify your own perspective for analyzing international development and education. There are many issues in international development and education which raise questions of power and culture dynamics – for example, is Education for All the best option for all countries? Whose values does EFA represent? While I’m not asking you to address specific cases or policies until the final part of the written assignment, this example can help you think about the compelling issues of international development, education, and your own ideas/perspectives/attitudes on power and culture etc. You will do this assignment in conjunction with the readings and theorists we discuss in class and in relation to a variety of alternative perspectives and concepts. This assignment is broken down into five components. You will receive another handout with detailed guidelines.
- Class Facilitation (20% of total grade) Due weeks 3, 8 and 14.
In groups of two, you will choose one session to come to class prepared to facilitate. This means that you will prepare questions to discuss the week’s readings (comparing, assessing, synthesizing, and analyzing the authors’ viewpoints), as well as prepared to lead one or two class activities to illustrate and apply the topic and issues of the session. The classes available are listed on the syllabus.
For every class you will be expected to do all the assigned readings and be prepared to discuss them. Integration and critical analysis of readings are also part of all written assignments. A word on plagiarism, per University policy:
The integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in scholarship and research. Academic honesty is therefore required of all students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Academic dishonesty (cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, facilitating dishonesty) is prohibited in all programs of the University. Sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty. Any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Ombuds office, the Dean of the Graduate School and given an F in this course. Please visit http://www.umass.edu/dean_students/rights/acad_honest.htm for more details.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. If you have a documented physical, psychological or learning disability on file with Disability Services (DS), Learning Disability Support Services (LDSS), or Psychological Disabilities Services (PDS), you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in this course. If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify me within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.
Grades in this class will be Pass/Fail unless you notify me, in writing, by the end of February that you would prefer a Letter Grade. Letter Grades will be determined according to the Rossman/Rallis rubric below:
An A-range essay is both ambitious and successful. It demonstrates mastery of the academic writing with grace and confidence. It includes:
- an interesting, arguable thesis that is sufficiently limited in scope, presented early and developed throughout the essay;
- a logical, progressive structure that takes the reader on a journey, developing, complicating, and expanding the initial thesis by considering counter-arguments; strong and clear links between points, and well-organized paragraphs;
- sufficient, appropriate, and interesting evidence, presented in a readable and understandable way;
- deep and thoughtful engagement with sources that uses those sources in a range of ways, including to motivate and support the argument, provide key-terms, and so on; it integrates and cites sources correctly;
- a style that is both conversational and sophisticated; that uses diction appropriate to the subject matter and the audience; that engages and stimulates the reader; and
- mastery of the mechanics of writing in all aspects: grammar, punctuation, APA style.
A B-range essay is one that is ambitious but only partially successful, or one that achieves modest aims well. It exhibits one or more of the following features:
- a thesis that may be arguable but vague, uninteresting, or fragmentary; it may be implied rather than stated directly (or stated quite late); it may be dropped in places;
- a structure that proceeds logically most of the time or in general, but is periodically confusing due to missing links or large intellectual leaps; it might be overly predictable and undeveloped, with few complications; it may include disorganized paragraphs;
- evidence that is generally solid but may be thin in places, or might be presented without analysis (as undigested quotation);
- sources that are quoted and cited correctly (for the most part) but are deployed in limited ways—as a straw person or as simple confirmation of the author’s viewpoint;
- a style that is clear but lacking in sophistication; or that is weighed down by inappropriately fancy diction; may demonstrate some errors in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and format; and
- limited mastery of mechanics such that they interfere with the flow of the argument.
A C-range essay typically has significant problems in articulating and presenting its argument, or seems to lack a central argument entirely. Its features include one or more of the following:
- a thesis that is either vague and descriptive, or is a buried unifying concept that is implied rather than stated directly;
- a structure that is imposed externally (by the requirement of the assignment, or by the ideas and structure of its sources) or is confusing (showing signs of movement toward a logical progression of ideas but still making huge, unmotivated intellectual leaps); that includes few complications or counter-arguments; that exhibits disorganized, often overly descriptive, paragraphs;
- insufficient evidence, often presented without analysis as undigested quotations; may be taken out of context;
- sources that are not adequately situated or explained; that may be quoted and cited incorrectly; that are used simply as filler or as affirmation of the author’s viewpoint;
- a style that is both unclear and overly simplistic; and
- substantial difficulty with mechanics.
Introduction and Overview
How to define culture, education, international development.
What are the goals of development? Of Education? How do these relate to ideas about power and culture?
What is Cultural Studies?
What are the key questions in Cultural Studies?
How do they relate to international development and education?
Barker, C. (2005). Foreword and Chapters One and Two. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
How to do Cultural Studies
What are the substantive and theoretical strands of cultural studies?
How and why do cultural practices and institutions come to play a crucial part in our lives?
Hall, S. (1997). The Work of Representation. In Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Surber, J.P. (1998). Introduction: Theorizing Culture, Practicing Criticism. In Culture and Critique.
Barker, C. (2005). Chapter Three. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Ideas and questions about the auto-ethnography
Origins of Cultural Studies
Examining questions of culture and ideology.
Surber, J.P. The Critical Discourse of Liberal Humanism. In Culture and Critique.
Barker, C. (2005). Chapter Four. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Part One of your auto-ethnography
Psychoanalysis and the critique of culture
Culture and Knowledge as Technologies of Power.
Surber, J. (1998) Psychoanalysis and the Critique of Culture. In Culture and Critique. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Barker, C. (2005). Chapter Five. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Burman, E. (1994). Introduction. In Deconstructing Developmental Psychology. London: Routledge.
The Frankfurt School
What is the Frankfurt School?
What are the philosophical roots of the Frankfurt School?
What is the relevance of the Frankfurt School to International Development?
Surber, J. (1998). The Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School. In Culture and Critique. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Surber, J. (1998). Formalist, Structuralist, and Semiotic Analyses of Culture In Culture and Critique. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Callewaert, S. (1999) Philosophy of Education, Frankfurt Critical Theory and the Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. In T.S. Popkewitz & L. Fendler (Eds.) Critical Theories in Education: Changing Terrains of Knowledge and politics. New York NY: Routledge.
Representations of the Self, I
Questions of identity as products of culture, meaning and knowledge.
Hall, S. The Spectacle of the ‘Other.’ In Hall, S. (Ed.). (1997). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage Publications.
Barker, C. (2005). Chapter Eight. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Part Two of your auto-ethnography
AND CIES CONFERENCE
Representations of the Self, II
What are the implications of the study of identity for international development?
Readings to be distributed on SPARK.
Cultural Representations of ‘The Other’
Said, E. (1998). Representing the Colonized: Anthropology’s Interlocutors. Critical Inquiry, 15(2)
Appadurai, A. Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy. In During, S. (Ed.). (1999). The Cultural Studies Reader.London: Routledge.
Cultural constructions of youth
Understanding youth, style and resistance as sites for cultural practice.
The role of youth in development and responses of international development education.
Lesko, N. (2001). Making Adolescence at the Turn of the Century: Romancing and Administering Youth. In Act Your Age! A Cultural Construction of Adolescence. New York: Routledge/Falmer.
Barker, C. (2005). Chapter Thirteen. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Media and Culture
Texts and Audiences.
Constructing the other.
Implications of the view of the other and international development.
Barker, C. (2005). Chapter Eleven. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Hall, S. The Poetics and the Politics of Exhibiting Other Cultures In Hall, S. (Ed.). (1997). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage Publications.
Part Three of your auto-ethnography
The Changing Context of Cultural Studies
Barker, C. (2005). Chapters Six and Seven. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Surber, J. (1998). Poststructuralist and Postmodernist Discourses. In Culture and Critique Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Cultural Studies and International Development
Cultural understandings and their impact on attitudes towards foreign-ness.
Implications for international development education.
Surber, J. (1998). Contemporary Cultural Studies. In Culture and Critique. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Bhabha, H.K. The postcolonial and the postmodern: The question of agency. In During, S. (Ed.). (1999). The Cultural Studies Reader.London: Routledge.
Barker, C. (2005). Chapter Fourteen. In Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
May 7 : Final Presentations