Building Community Syllabus

Submitted by Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler on Monday, 1/23/2012, at 10:50 AM
Click on this link for a copy of our syllabus in Word
Submitted by Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler on Monday, 1/23/2012, at 10:50 AM

Karen Sánchez-Eppler                                                                                Molly Mead              

101 Morgan, tel. 2186                                                                                  102 Keefe, tel. 2948

kjsanchezepp@amherst.edu                                                                          mmead@amherst.edu

Office Hours:    Wed 10-12                                                                          Office Hours: Tues 9-10

             and by appointment                                                                                 and by appointment

 

Building Community

Webster 217

American Studies 221

Spring 2012

 


This course investigates the practice and ideal of community in America both on a national and a local level, asking students to engage in specific projects aimed at strengthening the public sphere and fostering community life. We will consider the nature and limits of democracy, the meaning of belonging, the experience of stigma and exclusion, the concepts of civic responsibility and public discourse, and the conflict and compromises inherent in political advocacy. This course will pay particular attention to the struggles of often-marginalized groups to build healthy and just communities. Coursework will include contemporary and historical case studies, literary depictions, and more theoretical readings, as well as a substantial commitment to the development and fulfillment of projects that assess or respond to contemporary concerns. Projects may range from youth work, to cultural events, to work on local policy goals, environmental, poverty and rights initiatives, or the 2012 elections.

 

Books

Available at Amherst Books

 

Timothy Black, When a Heart Turns Rock Solid (Pantheon, 2009) ISBN 0307377741

 

Tomas Rivera, ...y no se lo tragó la tierra / …And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (Arte Publico Press, 1995) ISBN 155885083X

 

Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker (Riverhead, 1996) ISBN 1573225312

 

Ellen Baker,  On Strike and On Film: Mexican American Families and Blacklisted Filmmakers in Cold War America (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) ISBN 0807857912

 

 

 

All other readings and streamed films are available on line through e-reserves
Syllabus

 

 

What is community?

 

Monday, Jan. 23rd        Introductions   

 

Wednesday, Jan. 25th   

 

Keith Morton and Sandra Enos, “Building Deeper Civic Relationships and New and Improved Citizens,” The Journal of Public Affairs (2002), 82-102.

 

Rebecca Solnit A Paradise Built in Hell (2009), 1-10 and 305-313.  

 

Kai Erikson Everything in its Path (1976, 2006 ), Prologue i-xiii and  246-259

 

“Letter from the People of New Orleans to Our Friends and Allies” (2007)


Monday Jan. 30th    
 

 Panel of Holyoke folks: elected official, community organizer, direct service provider, arts initiative

 

“Destination Holyoke” exhibit created by the Wisteriahurst Museum, view all 4 sections: immigration, industry, social diversions, and cultural identities at http://wistariahurst.org/onlineexhibits/exhibit6/2008/05/post.html

 

I Corinthians: 12

 

Robert Bellah et al. “We Live Through Institutions,” The Good Society (1992), 3-18

 

 

The Grassroots

 

 
Wednesday Feb. 1st   
           

Kamala Visweswaran, “Refusing the Subject” in Fictions of Feminist Ethnography (1994), 60-72. E-book

 

Marie Kennedy and Chris Tilly with Mauricio Gaston, “Transformative Populism and the Development of a Community of Color” in Dilemmas of Activism (1990), 302-323.

 

Timothy Black, When a Heart Turns Rock Solid (2009) introduction and Part I


Monday Feb. 6th

            Group work

 

John L. McKnight, “Introduction,” “Releasing Individual Capacities,””Youth,” “Releasing the Power of Local Associations and Organizations” Capturing Local Institutions for Community Building” in Building Communities from the Inside Out (1993) 1-46, 109-119, 171-187.

 

Marshall Ganz, “What is Organizing” (2006)

 

Timothy Black, When a Heart Turns Rock Solid, Part II

 

Wednesday Feb. 8th     

  
Timothy Black, When a Heart Turns Rock Solid, Part III


Jennifer Pastor, Jennifer McCormick, and Michelle Fine etal., “Makin’ Homes an Urban Girl Thing” in Urban Girls Revisitied (2007), 75-96.

 

Monday, Feb.13th

Group work

 

Tomas Rivera, ...y no se lo tragó la tierra / …And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

         
Wednesday, Feb 15th

 

Tomas Rivera, ...y no se lo tragó la tierra / …And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

 

Saturday, Feb. 18         HOLYOKE BOUND FIELD TRIP

 

Electoral Politics

 

Monday Feb. 20th  

             Group Work 

 

 New SI Voter Participation Analysis: Severe Disparities Persist, Lots of Factors (2011)

 www.springfieldinstitute.org/?p=5077       

 

John D. Griffin and Brian Newman, “Which Groups Govern?” and “Differences in         Political Preferences and Priorities” in Minority Report: Evaluating Political Equality in          America, 11-35 and 39-58.  E-book

 

Wednesday Feb. 23rd  

 

Chang Rae Lee Native Speaker (1996)

 

Lani Guinier, “Political Race and Magical Realism” in The Miner’s Canary (2003) 11- 31. E-book


Monday, Feb. 27th         

            Group Work

 

Chang Rae Lee Native Speaker

 

George Marcus, “The Sentimental Citizen” in The Sentimental Citizen: Emotion in Democratic Politics (2002) 133-148

   
Wednesday, Feb. 29th  

             

Chang Rae Lee Native Speaker

 

Jeffrey B. Ferguson, “Freedom, Equality, Race” and Glenda R. Caripo, “Race and Inheritance in Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father” in Race in the Age of Obama special issue of Deadalus (Winter 2011) 44-52 and 79-89.

 

Civil Society

Monday, March 5th     

 

Class Visit from Marie Kennedy

 

Robert D. Putnam, “The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life,” The   American Prospect (March, 1993) 1-11.

Cliff Hague “Can We Reinvent Planning?” forum authors Marie Kennedy, Carlos García Pleyán, and Maria Teresa Vázquez-Castillo,  Progressive Planning (2008), 34-45.

F. A. Hayek, “Freedom and the Economic System” (1939)

 

Wednesday, March 7th  

 

Nichael Edwards, “Introductory—What’s the Big Idea?” Civil Society (2004), 1-17.

 

Nancy Fraser and Linda Gordon, "A Genealogy of Dependency: Tracing a Keyword of the US Welfare State," Signs 19 (1994): 309-336

 

Sharon Hays, “Money and Morality” and “Cultures of Poverty,” Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform (2003) 3-32 and 179-214.


Monday March 12th

                Group Work

 

Henry David Thoreau, Resistance to Civil Government (1849)

http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/thoreau/civil/

 

“This is SCLC” Pamphlet (c 1960)

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai3/protest/text2/thisissclc.pdf

 

Emma Goldman, “Anarchism: What it Really Stands For”

http://books.google.com/books?id=VJZYAAAAMAAJ&pg=PT2&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false 


Wed March 14th 

 

Film: To Kill a Mockingbird  (1962)

 



Spring Break

Charity

 

Monday, March 26th

            Group Work

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson “Gifts,” Essays Second Series (1844)



Wednesday, March 28th

Kathryn Mathers, “Moving Fieldwork: Traveling with Americans to and from Africa” and “Conclusion: saving Africa: Love in the Time of Ophra” in Travel, Humanitarianism, and Becoming American in Africa (2010), 11-41 and 181-199

Monday April 2nd  

Theresa Funiciello, “City Silos and the Pop-Tart Connection,” in Tyranny of Kindness (1993), 119-161 and 326-29.

Andrea Smith, “Introduction” and Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “In the Shadow of the Shadow State” in The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex 1-8, 16-17 and 41-52.

 

Wednesday April 4th  

Kavita N. Ramdas, “Philanthrocapitalism: Reflections on Politics and Policy-Making”     Symposium: The Politics of Philanthrocapitalism   Springer Science (August 2 2011)

            http://pacscenter.stanford.edu/sites/all/files/images/KNR_philanthro_capitalism.pdf

 

   

 

Work and Money

 

Monday, April 9th  

 

Dean Cycon, class visit

 

David Bornstein, “ Restless People,’ “From Little Acorns” and “The Emergence of the   Citizen Sector” in How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas (2004) 1-20, 271-288, 307-310 and 324-327.

Wednesday, April 11th

 

Film: Salt of the Earth (1954)   

Bill Fletcher Jr. and Fernando Gapasin, Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized   Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice (2009) 9-17. E-Book

Ellen Baker,  On Strike and On Film: Mexican American families and blacklisted filmmakers in Cold War America (2007) 45-174


Monday, April 16th

 

            Group Work

 Ellen Baker,  On Strike and On Film 177-254

Art

 

 

Wednesday, April 18th  

Wendy Ewald, class visit

 

 Monday, April 23rd  

            Group Work

Film: W.A.R.: Women Art Revolution (2010)

 

Wednesday, April 25th   

 

Harriet Senie, The Tilted Arc Controversy (2001), 1-54

 

Video of Serra discussing the controversy, on the San Francisco MoMA website: http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/90


Monday, April 30th    

   

Rick Lowe's projects in Houston http://projectrowhouses.org/ 

 

Erica Doss, “Raising Community Consciousness with Public Art: The Guadalupe Mural Project,” in Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy (1995), 157-196.

 

Wednesday, May 2nd    Endings    

 

 

 

Taking Notes