Communication and Culture | Seminar in Cross Cultural Communication (Topic: Barbed Wire Enclosed Spaces and Places: Immigration, Ethnic Conflict and Globalization)
C727 | 6092 | Calloway-Thomas, C.
M, 11:30 AM-2:00 PM, 800 E. 3rd St. – room 272
Open to Graduates Only!
Meets with AAAD-A 697
Instructor: C. Calloway-Thomas
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 249
In her captivating book, World on Fire, Amy Chua tells a riveting
story about the death of her Aunt Leona, a Chinese Filipino who was
killed by her chauffer, Nilo Abique. The motive given for the
murder was “revenge.” Chua writes that “My aunt’s killing was just
a pinprick in a world more violent than most of us ever imagined.”
The value of Chua’s story lies not necessarily in the violence that
occurred as a result of the killing of her Aunt Leona. Rather, the
story signifies a resurgence of ethnic conflict throughout the world.
This seminar explores the nature, sources and effects of racial and
ethnic conflict within the context of globalization. This course
will stress how discourses influence both the production and
consumption of ideologies that lead to ethnic conflict. The course
also takes into account how values, immigration, ethnonationalsim,
human capital and free market democracy fuel ethnic hatred
worldwide. Together, these sobering forces raise the following
questions: Do global markets worsen ethnic conflict in developing
nations? What role do “market-dominant “minorities play in
unleashing suppressed ethnic hatred? And to what extent do
differences in sets of skills, knowledge, and other forms of “human
capital” foster conflict among ethnic groups? The key issue is
whether communication can substitute for ethnic conflict and hatred
in creating cultural change. What should an intercultural agenda for
change be and do? We will focus on ethnic conflicts in Rwanda,
Indonesia and the Middle East. Ethnic conflicts in other places
(e.g. Georgia and Russia) will also be highlighted. The writings
of such scholars as J. Bhagwati, I. Berlin, L. Coser, J. Diamond,
P. Gourevitch, P. Gilroy, S. I. Griffiths, U. Hannerz, F. Fukuyama,
S. Huntington, A. Hourani, D. Landes, B. Lewis, O. Patterson, M.
Nussbaum, E. Said, and T. Sowell will be used to understand and
explain the origins and rhetorical workings of ethnic conflict
against the backdrop of globalization.
Finally, we will wrestle with rhetorical strategies and solutions
that might offer ways out of barbed wire enclosed spaces and places.
1. Lewis Coser, The Functions of Social Conflict
2. Philip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will
be killed with our families.
3. Benard Lewis, What went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern
4. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents
5. Course Readings (online and on E-reserve)
Course Format: Although the class will be taught in a seminar
atmosphere, some sessions will begin with a mini-lecture by the
instructor, which will contextualize the particular topic or
approach taken in the assigned readings. At each session students
will give short presentations (10-20 minutes) on the assigned
readings, and will prepare and hand out a list of questions intended
to facilitate class discussion of the readings.
Course Requirements: Students are expected to attend classes,
participate in class discussions and complete assigned readings.
Additional requirements include the following:
1. One Paper. You are required to write a 15-20 page paper which
will incorporate your readings and draw upon the knowledge that you
gained throughout the semester. The paper may relate to a particular
ethnic conflict, or it may address any topic or issue relevant to
immigration, ethnic conflict and globalization. The end product of
the paper should be a theoretical/practical explanatory model for
social and cultural change. Include in your paper the role of
discourse, cultural values and attitudes as obstacles to or
facilitators of change that have been largely ignored by scholars,
government, and social agencies. For example, do nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) foster ethnic conflict? To what extent do
foreign and international charity workers see aid from the point of
view of the recipients? Is there social value in constructing a
paradigm that incorporates the perspectives of the recipients? If
yes, what should the model be and do?
Your paper should be driven by rhetorical and intercultural
dynamics. In other words, the centerpiece of your paper should be
the relationship between meanings, messages and people.
2. Two short (3-4) reaction papers and two sets of discussion
questions. Twice during the semester each student will be required
to hand in a short paper which reacts to the week’s reading and
discussion questions designed to facilitate discussions of that
reading. These are not summaries, but rather papers which raise
questions, criticism, and make connections with previous readings.
Your individual oral presentation will focus on the same reading.
The readings will be assigned collectively, and the short reaction
papers will be due on the day of your presentation.