Saturday, January 09, 2010

Syllabus for Nationalism, Race and Ethnicity

Nationalism, Race and Ethnicity
ICP 385
3 Credits
International and Comparative Politics
American University of Central Asia
Spring Semester 2010
J. Otto Pohl, Ph.D

Meeting Time: Monday at 3:35 room 309 and Thursday 3:35 room 229

Course Description: This course will cover the relationship between the overlapping and interrelated concepts of ethnicity, nationalism and race. It will focus on the dynamics involved in transforming ethnic categories into national or racial ones. Throughout the course we will examine the cultural basis of ethnicity, the political claims upon territory by nationalists, and the essential and primordial definitions of racial groups created and enforced by the state. Among the topics that will be covered in this examination are the creation and survival of national diasporas, ethnic cleansing and genocide, and the construction of modern nation-states.

Requirements: This course will consist of assigned readings, lectures, discussions, three short reflection papers, a research paper and an oral report. The reflection papers should be between 600 and 800 words. The research paper should be between 1500 and 2000 words. Late papers will lose one letter grade for each day they are late. Students must come to class on time. Being more than fifteen minutes late will count as an absence. Students will lose one letter grade after four unexcused absences and fail the course after seven. Written proof of an emergency from a doctor or other appropriate authority is required for an absence to be excused. No mobile phones are to be visible during class. They are to be out of sight and turned off. I will eject any student from class that has a visible cell phone or whose cell phone rings during class. This will count as an unexcused absence. Finally, I have a significant hearing loss and may have to ask people to repeat their questions or statements from time to time. You can minimize this by speaking loudly and clearly. This syllabus is tentative and subject to change.

Readings: All of the required readings can be found on JSTOR. Finding these articles using the bibliographic information provided below is part of the assigned work for this class.

Plagiarism Policy: I have a zero tolerance policy regarding plagiarism. If I catch any student plagiarizing once I will fail them for the assignment. If I catch them a second time I will fail them from the class. Plagiarism includes any verbatim copying from a source without using quotation marks or setting the text up as an indented single spaced block quotation. If I find that more than five words in a row in your paper show up in the same order in a Google search and you do not have the words in quotation marks or set up as a block quotation I will fail you. Putting a footnote, endnote or other citation after the copied words without the quotation marks or block quotation form is still plagiarism, you are claiming to have paraphrased verbatim text, and you will still receive an F. Taking text from a source without citing it and rearranging the words so that it does not show up in a verbatim Google search is also plagiarism. I will also do Google searches to see if you have taken text and merely rearranged the words. You must either paraphrase the sentence by putting it completely in your own words and citing it with the proper footnote, endnote or in text citation or quote the actual text verbatim complete with the proper citation. Completely paraphrasing sentences in your own words, but neglecting to cite the source of the information is also plagiarism. All information that would not be known to the average person on the street with no university education must be cited. When in doubt always cite a legitimate source. Wikipedia is not a legitimate source. Books published by university presses and academic journal articles found on JSTOR are legitimate sources. Other sources may or may not be legitimate. If you have questions about whether a particular source is legitimate you can ask me. Using Wikipedia or other illegitimate sources will result in a reduction of one letter grade for each citation in a paper.


Class participation – 20%
Three reflection papers – 45% (15% each)
Oral report on research paper – 10%
Written version of research paper – 25%

Grading Scale:
 100-96 = A
95-91 = A-
90-86 = B+
85-81 = B
80-76 = B-
75-71 = C+
70-66 = C
65-61 = C-
60-56 = D+
55-51 = D
50-46 = D-
45 and lower = F

Class Schedule:

Week One: Introduction to Course and Review of Syllabus

Weeks Two and Three: Ethnicity and Nationalism

Calhoun, Craig, “Nationalism and Ethnicity,” Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 19 (1993), pp. 211-239.

Connor, Walker, “Nation-Building or Nation-Destroying?,” World Politics, Vol. 24, No. 3 (April 1972), pp. 319-355.

Eriksen, Thomas Hylland, “Ethnicity Versus Nationalism,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 28, No. 2 (August 1991), pp. 263-278.

Smith, Anthony D., “Culture, Community and Territory: The Politics of Ethnicity and Nationalism,” International Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 1996), pp. 445-458.

Weeks Four and Five: Diasporas

Armstrong, John, “Mobilized and Proletarian Diasporas,” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 1976), pp. 393-408.

Clifford, James, “Diasporas,” Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 9, No. 3, (August 1994), pp. 302-338.

Cohen, Robin, “Diasporas and the Nation-State: From Victims to Challengers,” International Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 1996), pp. 507-520.

Van Den Berghe, Pierre, L. “The African Diaspora in Mexico, Brazil and the United States,” Social Forces, Vol. 54, No. 3 (March 1976), pp. 530-545. The first reflection paper is due in class on Thursday.

Weeks Six and Seven: Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide

Bryant, Chad, “Either German or Czech: Fixing Nationality in Bohemia and Moravia, 1939-1946,” Slavic Review, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Winter 2002), pp. 683-70.

Hayden, Robert M., “Schindler’s Fate: Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, and Population Transfers,” Slavic Review, Vol. 55, No. 4 (Winter 1996), pp. 727-748.

Mirkovic, Damir, “Ethnic Conflict and Genocide: Reflections on Ethnic Cleansing in the Former Yugoslavia,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 548 (November 1996), pp. 191-199.

Wood, William, “Geographic Aspects of Genocide: A Comparison of Bosnia and Rwanda,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2001), pp. 57-75

Weeks Eight: Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR

Martin, Terry, “The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing,” The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 70, No. 4 (December 1998), pp. 813-861.

Morris, James, “The Polish Terror: Spy Mania and Ethnic Cleansing in the Great Terror,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 56, No. 5 (July 2004), pp. 751-766.

Williams, Brian Glyn, “The Hidden Ethnic Cleansing of Muslims in the Soviet Union: The Exile and Repatriation of the Crimean Tatars,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 37, No. 3 (July 2002), pp. 323-347.

Week Nine: Ethnicity and Race in the USSR

Hirsch, Francine, “Race without the Practice of Racial Politics,” Slavic Review, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Spring 2001), pp. 30-43.

Lemon, Alaina, “Without a ‘Concept?’ Race as Discurvsive Practice,” Slavic Review, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Spring 2001), pp. 54-61.

Weiner, Amir, “Nothing but Certainty,” Slavic Review, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Spring 2001), pp. 44-53.

Weitz, Eric D., “Racial Politics without the Concept of Race: Reevaluating Soviet Ethnic and National Purges,” Slavic Review, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Spring 2001), pp. 1-29.

Weitz, Eric D., “On Certainties and Ambivalencies: Reply to my Critics,” Slavic Review, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Spring 2001), pp. 62-65. The second reflection paper is due in class on Thursday.

Week Ten and Eleven: Soviet and Post-Soviet Nation Building

Blitstein, Peter, “Cultural Diversity and the Interwar Conjuncture: Soviet Nationality Policy in Its Comparative Context,” Slavic Review, Vol. 65, No. 2 (Summer 2006), pp. 273-293.

Handrahan, L.M., “Gendering Ethnicity in Kyrgyzstan: Forgotten Elements in Promoting Peace and Democracy,” Gender and Development, Vol. 9, No. 3 (November 2001), pp. 70-78.

Slezkine, Yuri, “The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism,” Slavic Review, Vol. 53, No. 2 (Summer 1994), pp. 414-452.

Suny, Ronald Grigor, “Constructing Primordialism: Old Histories for New Nations,” The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2001), pp. 862-896. The third reflection paper is due in class on Thursday.

Weeks Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen: Student Presentations

Week Fifteen: Written Version of Research Paper due on Thursday and Concluding Remarks

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