Global Studies 24, Section 1

Diversity, Identity, and Social Justice: America in Global Perspective (1 unit, P/NP)

Lecturer Darren Zook
Wednesday 2:00-3:00, 211 Dwinelle Hall, Class number: 23427

Diversity is perhaps the most important social issue in America. As a concept, diversity includes and relates to a number of other issues, such as racism, discrimination, social justice, immigration, marginality, integration, and so forth. Many a program has been put in place to address and resolve these issues, in the hope that, over time, America would come together and make all of its differences work collectively as one harmonious and integrated society. For some people, this is already happening. For others, America seems more divided now than ever, and diversity has failed to deliver on its promise.

This seminar will delve into the complexities of this thing we call diversity, to explore the rhetoric and the reality of diversity as it currently exists in America. We will do this by reading accounts of diversity as it happens—not just in the news but also in a variety of different media—and then learning how to discuss critically the central issues of diversity. The goal is not just to talk about diversity, but also to learn how to talk about diversity in ways that are both critical and constructive. Diversity is an extraordinarily sensitive issue, and too many people simply avoid the conversation to avoid the discomfort that might ensue.

Instructor Bio

Darren Zook has been a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, since 2000. He teaches in International and Area Studies and in Political Science. He has taught previously at the University of California, Davis, and at the Claremont Colleges in southern California. In 2012, he was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Singapore working on a project that focused on cybersecurity in the Asia-Pacific region.

During his time at the University of California, Berkeley, Darren Zook has taught and published on a wide variety of topics, including the politics of the Asia-Pacific region, human rights and international law, terrorism and security studies, multiculturalism and diversity, and economic policy with a focus on anti-corruption programs. His research interests have continuously grown into an unusually broad portfolio of international and comparative projects, and his work has taken him to various parts of Asia, the Pacific Islands, and northern Europe.

Zook has recently published a four-book series, entitled Ourselves Among Others: The Extravagant Failure of Diversity in America and An Epic Plan to Make It Work, which is an engaged critique of current diversity policy and practice in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

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