|Course Title||Identity Construction and Regional Studies: Theory and Practice|
|Institution||Sakhalin State University|
AIM OF THE COURSE
This course aims to promote the issue of regional identity among History Department students and direct their attention to the theory of identity as well as practical means of power politics in this sphere. To achieve this goal the course explores a variety of topics in order to increase the understanding of how identities were shaped historically and how they are constructed and reconsidered today. Among the topics of interest are the historical origin of national, ethnic and state identities of NIS and Eastern Europe, peculiarities of regional territorial development, the impact of contemporary political and social processes on the identity construction, representation of "regionality" through different institutions – art, culture, media, formal organizations, etc.
8 Lectures (attendance) 10%
4 Workshops (participation) 40%
Research Project 50%
PLACING THE COURSE WITHIN THE CURRICULUM
The course is one semester optional pass/fail for last year history students.
METHODS OF THE COURSE
A proportional number of lectures and seminars stipulates the interactive character of the course. The subject of identity demands a deep understanding of theoretical problems as well as of the same deep self-analysis. In this respect, this course could be described as the course of self-explaining and self-understanding. During their workshop preparations and research projecting, students are to communicate to people of different backgrounds, conduct interviews, analyze mass-media materials, which will help them deconstruct their own biases and to re-create a new, more tolerant picture of the world.
Peer presentations and assessments, as well as group work, should help students with their future work and communication skills.
1. Identity: general notion.
2. Philosophical backgrounds of the notion of identity.
Research Project Planning. Stage I – topic.
Lectures cover the problem of identity issues raising during the period of so called ‘politics of recognition’ after 1960s, and further go to the background of these ‘recognition’, which lies not only in politics, but deeper in philosophy. Philosophy of identity arises in contradiction between classical and non-classical philosophies, and appears as the notion of ‘empty entities’ and ‘false objects’.
3. Psychological level of identity issues.
4. Personal identity. Gender issues.
Research Project Planning. Stage II – plan.
The course proceeds with the notion of personal identity, with the problem of personality as it appeared in European intellectual discourse. The problems to be examined are: what are the levels of personal self-perception, are they fixed or shifting; what is sex and what is gender (as an example of fixed/changing identity).
5. Group identity. Ethnic and national issues of identity.
6. Cultural identity.
Research Project Developing. Stage III – research methods and bibliography.
The next issue to be discussed is group identity. European intellectual discourse on the problem – what gets people together? The notion of "unsociable sociability". Ethnic and national theories as a mode of self-explanation and self-justification. Nation-state building process in Europe, its applications to the notion of identity. National and Cultural identities – synonimes or oxymorones?
Workshop 1. Soviet-Russian identity.Homo soveti?us.
7. Political issues of identity. Social Constructivism.
8. Identity symbols.
Emergence of Social Constructivist theories and its application to identity politics. Notion of construction and de-construction as it appeared in 1960-70s. European structuralist and deconstructivist intellectual discourse. Symbolic space and identity construction through different modes of reality.
Workshop 2. Research Project Developing. Stage IV – First draft presentation. Group discussion
Workshop 3. Identity mobilization (on the examples of Siberia and the Russian Far East).
Workshop 4. Research Project Presentation. Peer Assessment.
Note: the following books and articles are to be used to compose the mandatory and optional materials later. English editions are used for lecture preparation, Russian language sources are for students. The list is not exhaustive and is constantly updated.