Course Description: This course provides an introduction to a few of the globe’s rich varieties of cultures (e.g., Chinese, Central American, West Asian/North African, Vietnamese, South African, and Tibetan), illustrating how different the world appears when viewed from different perspectives. It examines what has happened when some of these cultures have encountered “the West.” Many readings for this course were originally written in non-English languages (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Spanish, etc.) for non-English readers.
Attendance: Attendance will be taken in discussion sections, and 12% of your final grade will depend upon your discussion-section attendance and participation. Discussion sections begin immediately . They will not meet during the 13th week (Thanksgiving week). Attending 12 discussion sections during the semester will be considered full attendance. One percentage point will be deducted from your final grade for every unexcused absence less than full-attendance. Points will also be deducted for non-participation in a discussion section (as determined by your Teaching Assistant). An excused absence is one in which you provide your Teaching Assistant with a written document (e.g., from a doctor) explaining why it is impossible for you to be present.
Reading-Response Papers: An additional 20% of your final grade will be based on five Reading-Response Papers. The due weeks are marked RRP – due (i.e., Reading-Response Paper due). That week you are to submit to your Teaching Assistant during your discussion section a 600-800-word Reading-Response Paper. Four percentage points will be deducted from your final grade for each Reading-Response Paper that is not turned in during the week it is due. Each RRP will receive a “check,” “check-plus,” or “rewrite.” RRPs receiving a “rewrite” will not count toward the 4% unless they are revised and resubmitted so that they meet the guidelines.
Guidelines: Each Reading-Response Paper should (1) Begin with one sentence/phrase/
word-item/diagram in bold font that you found particularly noteworthy that you have selected from the lectures, books, or ILS 209 Readings assigned for those weeks. (2) Explain why you found it particularly noteworthy (feel free to draw on your own life experiences). (3) Show how it relates to (i.e., summarizes, supports, explains, challenges, contradicts, modifies, etc.) other materials in the course (lectures, readings, topics dealt with in your discussion sections, etc.). At the top of each Reading-Response Paper please write your name, the source from which you selected your sentence/phrase/word-item, etc. and a number (one through five) identifying which of your five Reading-Response Papers this is. Reading-Response Papers are to be word-processed, proofread, and spell-checked. You are encouraged to be creative.

Discussion Sections
301 W 9:55 Chamberlin 2135 307 W 4:35 Chamberlin 2135
302 W 11:00 Chamberlin 2135 308 R 9:55 Natatorium 1190
303 W 12:05 Chamberlin 2135 309 R 3:30 Brogden Psych 134
304 W 1:20 Sterling 2403 310 R 12:05 Chamberlin 2135
305 W 2:25 Natatorium 1190 311 R 1:20 Engineering 3355
306 W 3:30 Chamberlin 2135 312 R 2:25 Engineering 3355
Required Books (also available in College Library Reserve Room)
Burgos-Debray, Elisabeth (ed.), I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman
in Guatemala
Jicai, Feng, The Three-Inch Golden Lotus
Lama, Dalai, Beyond Religion: Ethics for the Whole World
Salih, Tayeb, Season of Migration to the North
ILS 209 Readings, available from Bob’s Copy Shop, 208 N. Charter Street near intersection with W. Dayton Street
Note: Please bring books to class on days when they are to be discussed.
Some time early in the semester please visit Meiklejohn House (the little brown house on the corner of W. Johnson and N. Charter Streets) and look at the photographs of Alexander Meiklejohn and the Experimental College — intellectual predecessors on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus of today’s Integrated Liberal Studies and Global Cultures programs.
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Sept. 4 Looking from Different Perspectives: Mapping the World ; Gustav
Vigeland’s Park in Oslo (1860-1943); UNESCO’s Family of Man; Material World: A Global Family Portrait (Peter Menzel)
Certificate in Global Cultures
Joe Elder, “From Alexander Meiklejohn’s 1927-1932 Experimental College in the University of Wisconsin to the UW’s Integrated Liberal Studies and Global Cultures Certificate Programs”
R. Hudson, “The Great Issues (Grey Tissues)”
Joe Elder, “Language, Identity, and Cultural Superiority”
WEEK 2 – RRP#1 due
Sept. 9 Language: Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism;
Relative Concepts of “Ownership”
Sept. 11 Relative Theories of “History” and “Resistance”
Video: “India – Defying the Crown”
John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (excerpts)
Karl Marx, Karl Marx: Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations (excerpts)
Ben Crow & Suresh K. Lodha, The Atlas of Global Inequalities (excerpts)
Barbara Crosette, “Midway to the Goals, the UN and the World Bank Are Hopeful, But See Disturbing Signs”
Melford E. Spiro, “The Moral Postulates of Kibbutz Culture”
Edward W. Said, “Knowing the Oriental”
Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance
Walter H. Conser, Jr. et al, “The American Independence Movement, 1765-1775: A Decade of Nonviolent Struggles”
Joe Elder, “Gandhi, The Applications of Non-Violence … ”
Ho Chi Minh, “Message to the Vietnamese People, the French People, and the Peoples of the Allied Nations,” “Message to Peasant Cadres”
“Special Report: The Srebrenica massacre: A chronicle of deaths foretold.”
Sept. 16 Relative Concepts of “Causation”
Sept. 18 Relative Concepts of “Religion”
“Karl Marx: Quotations Regarding Religion”
Jim Kenney, “Religions of the World: Introductions”
“The ‘Golden Rule’ as Stated in Different Religions”
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Gary MacEoin, The People’s Church: Bishop Samuel Ruiz and Why He Matters
Charles Kimball, When Religion Becomes Evil
WEEK 4 – RRP #2 due
*Sept. 23 (First Take-Home Exam handed out) Relative Concepts of “Life Stages”
Sept. 25 Relative Concepts of “Spirit/Body,” “Suffering/Happiness”
William Shakespeare, Jacques, “All the world’s a stage…” As You Like It
Erik K. Erikson, “Eight Stages of Man”
Joseph Elder, “The Hindu Caste System”
Henry Clarke Warren (tr.), “The Great Retirement [of Buddha]”
Sept. 30 China’s Cultural Backgrounds
Oct. 2 China in the 20th/21st Centuries
“Confucianism,” “Confucius,”
Sarah Schneewind, “The Analects in the Classroom”
BOOK: Jicai, Feng (Note: In Chinese his name is reversed; Feng is his family name)
The Three-Inch Golden Lotus, all
Oct. 7 The 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women
Oct. 9 Is there a Global “Women’s Culture”?
Margaret Strobel and Marjorie Bingham, “The Theory and Practice of Women’s History and Gender History in Global Perspective”
“Ten-year review of 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women”
“Religion and Women: An Agenda for Change”
*Oct. 14 (First Take-Home Exam due at start of class)
Oct. 16 History and Legends of “Indigenous People” – Prof. Ruben Medina
Christopher Columbus, “From: A Letter to Gabriel Sanchez”
Howard Zinn, “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress”
Adelaida R. Del Castillo, “Malintzin Tenepal: A Preliminary Look into a New Perspective”
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Carmen Tafolla, “La Malinche”
Joe Elder, “The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848)”
“Rigoberta Menchu”
Jan Rus, “Introduction,” IF TRUTH BE TOLD
“Indigenous People’s Statement to the World”
BOOK: Burgos-Debray, Elisabeth (ed.), I, Rigoberta Menchu, chaps. 1,6,14,19-21,25-34
WEEK 8 – RRP #3 due
Oct. 21 Islam and the Muslim Heritage
Oct. 23 Multiple Cultures of Muslims
“World Distribution of Muslims” (map)
John A. Williams, “The Origin and Spread of Islam,” “Islamic Doctrine, Thought, Law”
Eknath Easwaran, A Man to Match His Mountains: Badshah Khan: Nonviolent Soldier of Islam
Joseph W. Elder, “The Ayatollah Khomeini’s Calls for Non-Violence …”
Ameer Ali, “Globalization and Greed: A Muslim Perspective”
Juan Cole, “Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion”
WEEK 9 –
Oct. 28 West Asia/North Africa: Ebb and Flow of Conflict and Compassion
Oct. 30 West Asia/North Africa: Ebb and Flow of Conflict and Compassion
Ghassan Kanafani, “The Land of Sad Oranges”
“Suicide Bomber”
“Full Transcript of bin Ladin’s Speech”
BOOK: Salih, Tayeb, Season of Migration to the North, all
WEEK 10 – RRP#4 due
Nov. 4 Vietnam’s Histories and Cultures
Nov. 6 Vietnam After 1989
“Colonial Empires in Asia” (map)
“History,” Vietnam
Lady Borton, After Sorrow: An American Among the Vietnamese (excerpts)
WEEK 11 –
Nov. 11 Multiple Diversities of Africa
Nov. 13 Africa and the Media
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“Would You Believe?” “Africa: Ancient Kingdoms,” “Africa after the First World War,” “Outline Map of Africa (2012)” (maps)
“The Two Brothers” (Egypt)
“The Fifi Bird” (Mbuti)
Jo Ellen Fair. “War, Famine, and Poverty: Race in the Construction of Africa’s Media Image”
Catherine Lutz and Jane Collins, “Reading National Geographic”
WEEK 12 – RP#5 due
*Nov. 18 (Second Take-Home Exam Handed Out) The De-Construction of Apartheid in South Africa
Video: “South Africa: Freedom in Our Lifetime”
Nov. 20 South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Video: “Facing the Truth”
“History,” South Africa, Lesoto & Swaziland
WEEK 13 (Thanksgiving Week)
Nov. 25 Tibet’s Histories and Cultures”
Nov. 27 The Dalai Lama’s Approach to Ethics, Video: “The Dalai Lama”
“Tibet, Tibetan art and architecture, Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Language”
David Leffman, Simon Lewis and Jeremy Atiyah, The Rough Guide to China
Melvyn C. Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951
BOOK: Lama, Dalai, Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, ix-xv, 1-56, 185-188
Dec. 2 Constructing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Dec. 4 Enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
Joe Elder, “Constructing/Enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
Michael Kraig, “Taking Steps Toward a Responsibility to Protect”
“Responsibility to Protect,” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
*Dec. 9 Second Take-Home Exam due during class period
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The UW-Madison Writing Center, 617 Helen C. White Hall (the Undergraduate Library), is an extraordinary student resource. The Writing Center encourages students to bring drafts of Reading-Response papers, Take-Home exams, etc. to the Center for professional advice on writing form and style. The Writing Center’s website is Its Email address is: To make an appointment with the Writing Center, call (608) 263-1992.
You will be writing a lot for this course. The last few pages of your ILS 209 Readings packet include the following helpful suggestions for you from the Writing Center:
“Twelve Common Errors – An Editing Checklist”
“Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Acknowledging Sources”
“How to Write Clear, Concise, and Direct Sentences”
“Integrating Quotations from a Literary Text into a Literary Analysis Paper”
“A Glossary of Common Correction Marks”

Ethonocentrism& cultural relativism

1.     Ethnocentrism ? Greek ethno = group, people
a.     Ethnocentrism = position that one’s own group’s a) modes of living, b) values c) patterns of adaptation
2.     Cultural Relativism ? position that there is no universally accepted way to establish that one group’s a) modes of living, b) values c) patterns of adaptation … are superior to another group’s

Readings for first week – R. Hudson – The great issues (Grey Tissues), Joe Elder – Language, Identity, and Cultural Superiority
Themes – languages do a number of important things

A.     Languages organize the world “out there” (of “blooming, buzzing confusion”) Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804), German. Everyone sees a different world. How can we communicate with each other?
B.     Languages can shape gender. Female? Male? Other? He/she/it – gender. They – no gender
C.     Languages can shape hierarchy. Lower? Equal? Higher? Languages with different levels of “you”
D.    Languages can shape “voice” Active? Passive? Other? Hindi – “hunger comes to me.” Does language shape concepts of “cause”?
E.     Most languages belong to language families. Languages are unique and constantly changing. Are there “two-person” languages? “exact translations” of words pose problems

Translations are easier when objects exist “out there” Definitions by pointing e.g. dog, tree, sun, etc.
Translations are harder when objects cannot be pointed to Definitions must be by inference, relation

Nominal definition (equivalent words) – for justice.i.e justice means legally correct BUT what if the laws are unjust?

Operational definition (empirical evidence of the object) problem: What is evidence of justice? Evidence may differ between languages/culture. Risks of ethnocentrism.Justice for women? Palestinians? Muslims?

Relative concepts of “OWNERSHIP”
i.               language and concepts of ownership ? are words in all languages implying ownership (Mine, ours, yours, hers his, theirs). How are such concepts taught?
ii.              Some differing concepts of ownership ? Jewish/Christian/Muslim Religious Concept. God creates and owns everything. Res nullius – things “belong to no one” Humans are God’s steward – may have “usufruct” but not to “own”

18th/19th century European phliosophers’ concepts of ownership. John Locke – res nullius +human effort = private property. Adam Smith – natural man is homo economicus naturally maximizes profit, minimizes losses. Law of supply demand generates UNSEEN HAND and free markets are natural, work best.

See John Stuart Mill, “Principles of Political Economy” are conspicuous exceptions when free markets fail

Karl Marx’s concept of ownership. See Marx “Pre-capitalist Economic Formations” Karl Marx – natural man is homo faber – “producer”. Division of classes into “owners” of means of production and “sellers of their labor” to the “owners”. This prevents people from being homo faber.

Historically, owners define intellectual superstructure: Create false consciousness that serves owners interests. Generate homo economicus – people must compete to survive.

C. Advancement of Economic Institution
D. Advancement of Political Institutions
1945 – United Nations – Four Goals
1. Save succeeding generations for scourge of war
2. Reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights
1948 – International declaration of human rights
3. Establish conditions for respecting treaties and international law
4. Promote social progress and better standards of life
2000 – Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015
1. Cut world poverty in half
2. Cut world hunger in hlaf
3. Enroll every child in primary school
4. Increase access to clean water, etc.

Relative Theories of Resistance
I. Definitions:
Oppression – Unjust exercise of authority or power (what is just or unjust?)
Resistance – Actions to reduce or end oppression
II. Justifications of Oppression
See Theories of History – We are more advanced. Our experts tell us we are right
III. Three Strategies of Resistance
A. Individual Passive Non-cooperation “James Scott, Weapons of the Weak”
B. Appeals for Outside Intervention: 1945 – Vietnam – end of Japanese occupation. Ho Chi Minh did not want France to return so appealed for outside intervention to block French. Nevertheless, US supported French return then War continued till 1975.
See The Srebrenica Massacre 1995 – War between Christian Serbs and Muslim Bosnians. UN Declared Srebrenica a safe area to protect Muslim Bosnians. Nevertheless, Serbs massacred 8000 Bosnian men and buried them in mass graves. Later found guilty of genocide.
C. Collective, Active Non-Cooperation. Question: Could US achieved Independence by longer Active Non Cooperation?