American Studies | Colloquium in AMST: Ethnographies of Democracy
G620 | 14109 | Gershon, I.
M, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM, C2 272
Meets with CMCL-C626
Open to Graduates Only!
Instructor: Ilana Gershon
Office: C2 215
Ethnographies of Democracy is a course designed to help students
analyze the cultural foundations of democracy. The central theme
will be the cultural dilemmas involved in exporting democracy. The
course relies on ethnographic case studies of legislatures, voting,
polling, civil society and other elements democracy theorists have
argued are crucial for democracies to succeed. We analyze how these
democratic practices presuppose certain forms of social
organization, and explore the consequences of introducing these
practices into communities organized differently. The goals of
this course are twofold. First, students learn to think in detail
about the practices that support or are implied by democratic
values. Democracy ceases to be an empty signifier, and becomes a
range of concrete practices. Second, students also develop a
complex understanding of how social hierarchies and political
organization affect what political strategies are possible.