Political Science 405A
Seminar on Patriotism
Instructor: C. Parker
Office: 112 Gowen Hall
GUG 204: Tu/Th (1030-1220)
Most people recognize that patriotism is identified with love of country. But what does it mean? Political philosophers often identify patriotism with a commitment to the values on which the country is founded. With this in mind, how can both Martin Luther King and White Supremacists both lay claim to patriotism? Or, more recently, how can the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement both claim patriotism? In this class, we examine American patriotism, and interrogate the American Right's claim on it. In the end, this class reveals that American patriotism doesn't solely belong "lock, stock, and barrel" to the right. Indeed, patriotism is open to contestation, but can be used as a means of pursuing social justice. Along the way, we will read a range of approaches to the study of patriotism, including the historical, theoretical, and philosophical ways in which scholars have come to understand it.
In lieu of a midterm, you must complete a one-page, single-spaced critique for each of the topics covered in the course. The assignments are due at the beginning of each class on the last day we cover the topic. It shall be a single-spaced, critical assessment of one or more of the readings, accounting for 25% of the course grade. Class participation accounts for another 25%; and a take-home final is worth the remaining 50% of your grade.
Bar-Tal, D, and E. Staub. 1997. Patriotism in the Lives of Individuals and Nations. Chicago:
Berns, W. 2002. Making Patriots. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Bodnar, J. 1996. Bonds of Affection: Americans Define their Patriotism. Princeton: Princeton
Hansen, J. 2003. The Lost Promise of Patriotism: Debating American Identity. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press.
Liu, E., and N. Hanauer. 2008. The True Patriot. Seattle: Sasquatch Books.
Parker, C. 2009. Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle Against White
Supremacy in the Postwar South. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Primoratz, I. Patriotism. 2002. New York: Humanity Books.
Viroli, M. 1995. For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism. New York:
Oxford University Press.
Werner-Muller, J. 2007. Constitutional Patriotism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Note: (Reserve) indicates that the designated reading may be accessed on the UW Library site associated with the class. Also, (Book) means that the entire book is to be read. Finally, (Due) indicates the due date of the one-page paper.
W credit optional.