Multicultural Humanities: The Linguistic Turn, Implications, and Praxise

  • James C. Jupp


As a teacher developing the multicultural humanities curriculum for an urban Magnet program in Central Texas several years ago, I encountered one of the challenges of the multicultural framework. In developing a multicultural humanities curriculum, my co-workers and I integrated language arts and social studies following the geographical arrangement institutionally prescribed by 6th grade world cultures in Texas. Understanding the multicultural frame as political praxis or politics of representation, I developed units that reflected non-dominant and Western cultures. Developing a curriculum that spans continents and historical periods, working in multiple histories, cultures, and literary traditions emerged as an important challenge. How, as a teacher and curriculum worker, should I teach the proverbs from the Tao, selections from the Koran, or Latin American magical realism from within the long traditions they culminate without mangling them with trivia and exoticism? This question provides the motive for this autobiographical reflection.