Results for: Race, Land, and Empire: History, Intersectionality, and the Meanings of America

KNOW 40306: Race, Land, and Empire: History, Intersectionality, and the Meanings of America

  • Course Level: Graduate
  • Department: Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, History
  • Year: 2018-19
  • Term: Spring
  • Tuesday 2:00pm-4:50pm
  • CHSS 40306, HIST 37013
  • Isaiah Lorado Wilner

This seminar examines the making and meaning of the United States at the intersections of race, land, and empire. It considers a set of profound historical transformations that shape American and global life today: the conquest and colonization of the vast North American continent; the expansion of slavery and, with it, a system of global capitalism; the growth of opposition to that system of labor, culminating in the Civil War; the origins, as a result of that war, of a modern American nation-state; the ethnic cleansing and resettlement of the West; and the ascension of the United States of America to global eminence as a military power. Rather than framing these events within a national narrative about the idea of Manifest Destiny or an epic struggle toward the ideal of democracy—an approach that ignores most of the continent, divides the West from the North and South, and frames history itself as progress—this course makes use of a global lens to analyze the borders between and border crossings by American communities. Our foci will be the interrelations between regions and peoples; the processes that led to alteration; and the evolution of structures that redistributed social power. Our three interwoven factors—race, land, and empire—give us an acute lens of observation. At the intersections of these patterns of belonging, modes of land use, and relations of domination, we can come to a new understanding of the most rapid surge of colonization in world history, which led to the rise of a global empire. Salient themes include democracy and its contradictions, imperial science, questions of historical agency, the politics of sex and gender, and the ongoing legacies of slavery and ethnic cleansing.

This course fulfills part of the KNOW Core Seminar requirement to be eligible to apply for the SIFK Dissertation Research Fellowship. No instructor consent is required, but registration is not final until after the 1st week in order to give Ph.D. students priority.