In a provocative 2004 speech entitled “I Have a Plan to Destroy America,” Richard D. Lamm, the former three-term Governor of Colorado, equated “multi-culturalism” with “the doctrine of ‘Victimology.’ ” A decade later, CU Boulder renamed the “Center for Multicultural Affairs” as the “Cultural Unity & Engagement Center.” Yet “multicultural literature” is still taught at CU Boulder; in fact, it is the catalog label for this course. Is “multiculturalism” tainted? Defunct? In this course, we will survey materials ranging from maps to verse to novels to Wikipedia entries to music videos to explore the development—and, some would say, the demise—of the concept known as “multiculturalism.” What does it mean to say that race is a social construct? How does literary fiction (broadly conceived) reinforce or challenge various ideas about culture, race, and the capacity of people from different cultures to live peacefully and communicate effectively with each other?
SECTION 880 IS AN HONORS SECTION; 3.3 GPA REQUIRED. SEE HONORS PROGRAM, LIBR M400M