This course will locate the topics of immigration and education within historical, legislative, and cultural debates on what it means to be an American and who has the right to an education. Students will explore and debate precedent-setting Supreme Court cases, such as Mendez v. Westminster, which challenged the segregation of Mexican children into separate schools, and Lau v. Nichols, which fought hard for non-English speaking students to have linguistic access to the public school curricula. In addition, students will research the historical antecedents to the recent anti-immigrant movements in California, Arizona, and Colorado, which target the use of languages other than English in school settings, and have all but abolished bilingual public schools. Against this historical and legislative backdrop, students will examine ethnographic research detailing the persistent challenges that immigrant children face in schooling, including migrant children, and the ways in which they, their parents, and communities experience those challenges. This course is part of the California Immigration Semester, and enrollment is open only to first-year students simultaneously enrolled in CSP 1, CTSJ 105, DWA 282 and SOC 105.
This course covers the two main themes in the title: power and politics. To this end, you will acquire a great deal of factual knowledge about how power functions and operates in the US context, formal and informal political processes, why politics matters, and how to effectively resist power. This course fulfills the core U.S. diversity (CPUD) requirement.