HIS 121 CC: FREEDOM AND STATE POWER
How truly free and independent are we from the influence of the state? How much do state and public forces shape our identities and sense of belonging? Do the state, "civil society," and "the public sphere" truly represent the will of the people, or do they privilege the priorities of some over others? What does "the public" really mean? A "robust public sphere" — in which average citizens freely debate issues pertaining to state and society in everyday spaces like cafes, bars, park benches, and other venues not only outside the halls of government but also free from the pressures of state surveillance — is often considered a defining feature of modernity. However, postcolonial, anarchist, and queer activists and scholars have questioned how truly free, independent, and inclusive "the public sphere" is. Students in this course will examine the complexities and contentions around ideas like politics, modernity, public, private, the state, community, identity, and queerness, and analyze different approaches scholars and activists have taken to understand, alter, or even disrupt relationships between public and private, individual and community, and queerness and identity.
Enrollment limited to 28 students.
A7, MOIB, MOIE, CC, W