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Psychology/Poli Sci: Castle of My Skin

Urban Communities and the Politics of Race

  • London, Paris

Course Details

Preferred Majors for this Course: Psychology, Political Science, International Relations, Pre-Law, English, History, Sociology, Social Work, Mass Communications You know some of our story already. How throughout the 19th century and much of the 20th, European countries competed with each other to fly their flags over all the world they could conquer. And then how World War Two hastened the break-up of imperialism (and the cultural and human genocides that were its chief products). What you likely know less well are the terms according to which a brutal discourse on race adapted to the end of empire, rooting itself all around the lived experience of communities of color that populated Europe after 1945. Castle of My Skin uses a cross-cultural approach to Psychology and the tools of Poli Sci to explore what that discourse was and how it worked in London and Paris from the end of Empire today. From high-cultural troves like the British Museum and the Louvre to the storied streets of "little Jamaica" in Notting Hill, we'll walk the knotted landscapes of two massively important European capitals where battles over community injustice are still being fought today. Along the way, we'll explore the knotted psychological geographies, political ideologies, police practices and legal codifications that defined how communities of color have responded to issues of international law, systems of surveillance, police brutality and rising global calls for social justice and acts of reconciliation. While we also critically assess the psychological coping systems within communities of color that have allowed for survival first and then connection, success, joy and hope. Using powerful stories of destruction and resilience to guide our course, we'll ask hard questions in both cities about what state-sponsored racism and brutal police tactics have done to insure that the menacing shadows of colonial authority are neither gone nor forgotten. 3 credit hours in either Psychology or Political Science. This course is team taught. (All Catalyst courses meet for 54 hours of contact, so if your university runs its courses on a 4 hour format instead of a three hour one this course may be able to count for 4 hours. You should consult with your advisor.)

Contact Details


416 Laurel Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55102

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