An overview of U.S. cultural history from the perspective of its racial and ethnic "minorities." The seminar examines the notions of ethnicity, cultural diversity, and the "other" in the U.S. present and past. It focuses on the problematic struggle of various disempowered, marginalized "minorities" in American society to gain recognition as full and equal members of a society that claims to be a haven for all oppressed from the rest of the world -- a society that prides itself on its openness, pluralism, and equality of opportunity. We shall see that, rather than attacking the hypocrisy of this society, "minorities" have in the main chosen to appeal to the fairness of the very people who exclude them. It is quite surprising that speakers from the disempowered have, historically, been the most hopeful, most ardent proponents of the country's ideals. We shall examine the rhetoric of their attack on -- or appeal to? – the "majority" and the majority's response.
- Teacher: Marcela Janíčková