College Of Arts and Sciences | Longing, Belonging, and Exclusion
S103 | 4002 | Berkvam, M.


Have you ever wanted desperately to belong to a club, a group, a
circle that for one reason or another may have been closed to you?
Have you wondered what a person who is excluded feels? Have you
thought about inclusion or exclusion based on gender, race,
ethnicity, religion, social class? These and other questions will be
discussed in order to determine what factors lead to inclusion and
which ones lead to exclusion. As you think about your new life as a
student at Indiana University, you may wonder how you will “fit in”.
Questions may arise: what do I have to do to fit in? will I have to
compromise my values and beliefs? how can I be myself, true to myself
and fit in? am I someone who has excluded others on the basis of
their social class, their looks, gender, race, religion? what are the
effects of exclusion or inclusion as presented by works of literature
and film? what is the nature of longing to belonging and feeling that
one does not?

This course will look at those issues (and many more) in detail,
using literature and films as the basis for our discussions. Students
will read novels and short story collections by authors from France,
the United States, South Africa, and the Caribbean in order to
determine what they say about belonging and about exclusion. In
addition there will be a film series including movies made in the
United States and France around three main themes: class, race and
gender; school days; the American Dream.

This course will be based on discussion of the readings and film.
Students will also do World Wide Web searches on topics relating to
the literature and films and present their findings in class.
Students will write three 6-8 pp. papers on topics they choose, and
the final course grade will be based on the papers and on class
participation.