Optional Post on Bauman

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 4/28/2011, at 12:54 PM

 Bauman uses the term “liquid modernity” to characterize the modern era. To what extent, does Bauman believe and do you believe that these conditions are associated with greater freedom or greater anxiety?

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Optional Post on Said

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 4/28/2011, at 12:53 PM

Edward Said employs the concept of exile as both metaphor and reality. How does he believe that conditions of exile can be both devastating and productive? What do you think of his argument?

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For April 27th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Tuesday, 4/26/2011, at 8:13 AM

Both Parekh and Benhabib believe that globally oriented forms of citizenship provide an antidote to exclusivist identity politics. Describe and assess their arguments.

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For April 25th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Saturday, 4/23/2011, at 2:08 PM

How have globalization and the decline of traditional forms of state sovereignty influenced the character of identity based movements? What implications does this have for the reconfiguration of citizenship across nation-state borders?

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For April 20th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Tuesday, 4/19/2011, at 9:50 AM

Evaluate Huntington’s argument in “The Clash of Civilizations” in light of Parekh’s critique. Which of the two arguments do you find most persuasive and why?

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Rwanda post

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 4/14/2011, at 10:53 AM

Mamdani identifies one of the most dangerous forms of identity transformation--namely when those who experience themselves as victims become killers.  What do you make of his argument?

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post for April 13th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Tuesday, 4/12/2011, at 9:30 PM

It is often assumed that religion, particularly Islam, oppresses women. As a result we tend to see veiled, secluded women as lacking agency and to believe that secular states which prohibit the public display of religious observance best protect women’s interests. How do the readings complicate these assumptions about Muslim women and secular state policies?

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April 6th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 4/7/2011, at 2:41 PM

The student body at AmherstCollege has become increasingly diverse with respect to gender, race, nationality and class. How would you evaluate the continuous and sometimes contentious process associated with changes in the college’s admissions policy?

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Discussion Post on Shadow Lines

Submitted by Theresa A. Laizer on Sunday, 4/3/2011, at 6:15 PM

How do you interpret the title of the novel? What are the temporal and spatial shadow lines that the narrator describes?

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Question for April 4th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 4/7/2011, at 2:43 PM

Craig Jeffrey describes boredom and waiting as core features of the lives of middle class urban youth in northern India. How does “time pass” both circumscribe and create the basis for their identities and activism?

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Question for April 4th

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 4/7/2011, at 2:43 PM

Craig Jeffrey describes boredom and waiting as core features of the lives of middle class urban youth in northern India. How does “time pass” both circumscribe and create the basis for their identities and activism?

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Optional Comment on Shadow Lines

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 3/24/2011, at 9:21 AM

Amitav Ghosh provides a sensitive account of how people of different generations and genders experience partition. Analyze his account of how partition influences historical memories, current realities and social identities.

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Optional Comment on Gandhi

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Thursday, 3/24/2011, at 9:20 AM

Gandhi is as committed to personal transformation as to opposing British colonial domination of India. Why does he engage in such rigorous and disciplined self transformation? And how is his struggle to achieve mastery and control over his own life linked to his broader political goals?

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Question for March 23rd

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Tuesday, 3/22/2011, at 11:36 AM

Benedict Anderson identifies several paradoxes concerning nationalism (p. 5). Discuss one of them: 1. Nations are objectively modern in the eyes of historians but subjectively ancient in the eyes of nationalists. 2. Nationality is formally universal—ie everyone can, should and will have a nationality—but nationality is irremediably particular in its concrete manifestations.

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Question for March 21st

Submitted by Amrita Basu on Friday, 3/18/2011, at 6:01 PM

Nationalism is both a positive, constructive and also a divisive, exclusionary source of identity. How do the readings by Marx and Parekh help explain this double edged quality of national identities and how would you evaluate their arguments?

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