Course Syllabus

We typically value cultural identity as integral to who we are as individuals, but in contemporary society, we all “belong” to multiple cultural identities at once that include complex combinations of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, and class. As noted by cultural theorist Stuart Hall, we assume various identities and behaviors to transform ourselves into what is appropriate to locations and social situations. But even though these multiple cultural identities can provide opportunities for individuals to fit within communities, they can contradict one another and lead to internal, interpersonal and intergroup conflict. To write about how cultural identity functions in contemporary society, we will examine it through the lenses of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, class, and power.

How does cultural identity help us to belong to a group? To isolate us from other groups? Where do our intersecting cultural identities conflict with or complement others? How are cultures represented in the discourse of history and the media? These are some of the questions you will consider as we will analyze theoretical discourse on post-modern cultural identity and intersectionality.

In our Course Syllabus, you will find the goals and expectation of our course, descriptions of essay assignments, and the due dates for homework and drafts.

Image: Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) figurines at a market. The holiday is celebrated by people of Mexican ancestry to honor and remember deceased loved ones.

How does the contrast of the skeletons and the bright colors of their clothing affect your perception of this image? What do the two elements represent to you?

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