Last Year's Syllabus( 2010 Syllabus will be available soon)

Amherst College

Political Science 56

Spring Semester 2009

 

Regulating Citizenship

 

Professor Kristin Bumiller

Departments of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies

 

Course Description:

 

This course considers a fundamental issue that faces all democratic societies: how do we decide when and whether to include or exclude individuals from the rights and privileges of citizenship? In the context of immigration policy, this is an issue of state power to control boundaries and preserve national identity. The state also exercises penal power that justifies segregating and/or denying privileges to individuals faced with criminal sanctions. Citizenship is regulated not only through the direct exercise of force by the state, but also by educational systems, social norms, and private organizations. Exclusion is also the result of poverty, disability, and discrimination based on gender, race, age, and ethnic identity. This course will describe and examine the many forms of exclusion and inclusion that occur in contemporary democracies and raise questions about the purpose and justice of these processes. We will also explore models of social change that would promote more inclusive societies. This course will be conducted inside the Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections and enroll an equal number of Amherst students and residents of the facility. This “Inside-Out” model for teaching within a correctional institution was developed by Lori Pompa at Temple University.

 

Course Requirements:

 

Students are required to complete the assigned readings before class and come prepared to discuss them. After each class students must complete a short summary of the reading and discussion (at least one page) to be turned in the following week. Class participation will be structured to give everyone the opportunity to participate and contribute. Excellence in class participation will be taken into consideration when determining the final grade. A group project will be due the last week of the semester. The project will be presented in class and should culminate in an approximately ten page paper.

 

Course Materials:

 

            The articles will be duplicated and distributed in a reading packet. In addition, the following four books are required:

 

Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism

Zygmunt Bauman, Wasted Lives

J.M. Coetzee, The Lives & Times of Michael K.

Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

Bruce Western, Punishment and Inequality

Weekly Reading Assignments:

 

January 28                  

PREPARATION FOR THE COURSE

(Amherst and Hampshire County Students Meet Separately)

Film: The Visitor

  

February 4              

THEORIZING CITIZENSHIP

 

John Locke, Two Treatises of Government. Book II, Chapters I and II, VII, IX

 

Sheldon Wolin, “Fugitive Democracy” in Seyla Benhabib, ed. Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political, pp. 31-45

 

February 11  

LOSING CITIZENSHIP

 

Franz Kafka, “Before the Law”

 

J.M. Coetzee, The Lives & Times of Michael K.

 

February 18 

TOTALITARIANISM

 

Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism

 

Richard J. Bernstein, “The Origins of Totalitarianism: Not History, but Politics,” Social Research, Summer 2002, pp. 381-401

 

February 25

EXCLUDING CITIZENS

 

Aihwa Ong, Buddha is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America, pages 48-65.

 

Film: The Killing Fields

 

March 4

EDUCATION AND DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP

 

John Dewey, Democracy and Education, Chapter Seven: “The Democratic Conception in Education”

 

Henry A. Giroux, “Schooling, Citizenship, and the Struggle for Democracy,” in Schooling and the Struggle for Public Life

 

Peter McLaren and Juan S, Munoz, “Contesting Whiteness: Critical Perspectives on the Struggle for Social Justice,” in Carlos J. Ovando and Peter McLaren, Multiculturalism and Bilingual Education

March 11

GENDER AND CITIZENSHIP

 

Phil Scraton, Power, Conflict and Criminalisation, “Self Harm and Suicide in a Women’s Prison,” Chapter 9

 

Kristin Bumiller, In an Abusive State. Chapters 1,2 & 5

 

 

SPRING RECESS

 

 

March 25   

WASTING CITIZENS

 

Karl Marx, Selections from Early Writings and Capital

 

Zygmunt Bauman, Wasted Lives

 

April 1

REGULATING CITIZENS

 

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punishment, pp. 73-89

 

William G. Staples, “Small Acts of Cunning: Disciplinary Practices in Contemporary Life,” The Sociological Quarterly, 1994, pp. 545-664.

 

Beatriz da Costa, et al. “Surveillance Creep! New Manifestations of Data Surveillance at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century,” Radical History Review, Spring 2006, pp. 70-88.

 

April 8 

DISOBEDIENT CITIZENS

 

Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

 

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, “A Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” pages 187-204

 

April 15

POVERTY AND CITIZENSHIP

 

Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor, Chapter 1, pp. 1-20 and Chapter 4, pp. 166-213.

 

Devah Pager, “The Mark of a Criminal Record,” American Journal of Criminology, March 2003

 

 

April 22 

PUNISHING CITIZENS

 

Bruce Western, Punishment and Inequality

 

Richard Quinney, “The Life Inside: Abolishing the Prison,” Contemporary Justice Review, September 2006

 

April 29 

POLITICAL PRISONERS

 

Film: Hunger

 

Amy Kaplan, “Where is Guantanamo?” American Quarterly, pp. 831-858.

 

May 6 

FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS AND CLOSING

 

Taking Notes