2019-2020 Catalog

AMST 111 (De)familiarizing Identity

(De)familiarizing Identity will acquaint students with a selected set of historical, philosophical, and scientific perspectives on how to think about the meaning of selves, and how identity is acquired. We explore individual and collective conceptions of self, as well as notions about what constitutes societies, nations, and peoples. We also look at related concepts of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and culture, examining how they influence each other and how they are connected to citizenship. We consider what identity meant prior to the European nation-state in ancient Greece and Rome, during U.S. imperial projects of the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Pacific Basin, and what it currently means in the era of globalization and transnationalism. In doing so, we explore the ways in which – or if – individual and/or collective identity entangles within culture. We ask: How do identities develop and change? What assumptions do people make about themselves and others regarding identity? How do identities influence how people approach and interact with the world? We will engage these questions through scholarly texts and oral traditions, works of art, film and media, and discussion.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • United States Diversity