In this class we touch on topics such as thinking globally about history, colonialism, inequality, human rights, and social movements; all of which are relevant today. Recent protests are forcing the US to reckon with its ugly past of racial inequality. Recent works by author Isabel Wilkerson ask, “Does the US have a “caste system” today?” Can caste systems operate at the transnational level as well? Could the divide between the first world and third world be described as a global caste system?
Some possible resources (optional):
America’s Enduring Caste System (2020)
https://nyti.ms/2CZ8PHF (Links to an external site.)
It’s More Than Racism: Isabel Wilkerson Explains America’s ‘Caste’ System (2020)
https://www.npr.org/2020/08/04/898574852/its-more-than-racism-isabel-wilkerson-explains-america-s-caste-system (Links to an external site.)
America’s ‘untouchables’: the silent power of the caste system (2020)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/28/untouchables-caste-system-us-race-martin-luther-king-india?CMP=share_btn_link (Links to an external site.)
Does America have a caste system? (2018)
https://theconversation.com/does-america-have-a-caste-system-89118 (Links to an external site.)
Racial and caste oppression have many similarities (2015)
https://theconversation.com/racial-and-caste-oppression-have-many-similarities-37710 (Links to an external site.)
Use concepts and examples from the assigned course readings and course lectures to respond to the prompt. We are not asking you to summarize the readings/lectures/news sources or answer all the questions above. We are not asking for your unsupported opinions. We are asking you to make your own coherent and well-supported argument about the topic. Cite specific concepts, short quotes, and examples from the assigned readings and lectures as evidence to support your own argument. Your paper needs to include a thesis statement that outlines your argument.
Your paper should be 1000-1200 words or about 3-4 double spaced pages. Please pay careful attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Use the campus Writing Center if you need help. Remember that citations are required for both paraphrasing and direct quotes from either the text or lecture. Feel free to cite other books and articles as needed. Include a full list of works cited at the end (APA, Chicago, or other citation standard – be consistent!).
Please submit your paper on the course website by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on Tuesday, September 8th. If you have trouble submitting your paper online please email it directly to your TA.
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