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Performing the War Within: Race, Nation, and War
CHUM 315
Fall 2010 not offered
Crosslisting: THEA 317, AMST 350

This seminar will begin with the political distinction between "friends" and "enemies" and Foucault's assertion that for the state to perform power, it must create internal divisions against that "society must be defended." We will consider how the state performs power and what kinds of performances national minorities are forced to enact as a response to the internal war waged against them. The course will address how the state produces ideal national subjects and how ethnic and other minorities are compelled to perform as the exception to the norm. We will address the deployment of war within a culture in an ideological sense (such as the war on drugs, war on crime, or the culture wars) to produce internal minorities and the enemy within. Additionally, we will ask how the occurrence of geopolitical warfare affects divisions within a society. Performance will be broadly construed to include ritual, protest, artistic and aesthetic performances (visual art, film, popular music, drama, graphic novels, and literature), and legal performances. Some of our examples will include everyday life in the Japanese American concentration camps of World War II, propaganda of the Third Reich, documents from the S-21 prison during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, the political battles during the Culture Wars of the 1980s and 1990s, the plays of Catherine Filloux, the music of Cambodian American band Dengue Fever and British rapper M.I.A., and legal cases and artistic responses to the war on terror.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy
This course encourages critical thinking about the nature of cultural and social borders and boundaries as well as the ability to think comparatively about cultural practices, both aesthetic and political.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on MAY-19-2024
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