WGSS 383 Fall 2012 Whiteness and Race in the History of the United States (D)

Cross Listed as HIST383
If race is socially and historically constructed, then the study of race relations in the U.S. extends to the topic of whiteness. And if we are never without the past, then "whiteness" must be a part of current discussions about politics, citizenship, and social issues. Focusing on how historians have written about whiteness in American history, this course uses the prism of race to explore social, political, and economic development in U.S. history. The class follows the development of "whiteness" through a chronology that begins in colonial Virginia, travels through immigration in the nineteenth century, examines racial politics and popular culture in the twentieth century, and ends with a look at the current election season. This course is framed by several questions: What is whiteness, and what has it meant in the history of the United States? Who is (and is not) white? What about other analytical categories, like gender and class (or region or ethnicity or sexuality): how have these experiences shaped and been shaped by the racial category of whiteness? Because historically whiteness has carried overtones of power, privilege, and wealth in the United States, the course necessarily critiques the roots of racial disparities. This class is not for the faint-hearted. Informed participation is necessary to its success. The course fulfills the requirements for the Exploring Diversity Initiative because it examines the differences and similarities between white Americans and other American cultures, and because it explores whiteness as a prism for understanding the operations of power and privilege in American society.
Class Format: discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, the leading of two class discussions related to the writing of two 3- to 5-page review/response papers, and a final bibliographical research project
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Prerequisites:
Enrollment Preference: students in History, Africana Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
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Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada,WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 20-25
Class Number: 1453
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
WGSS383-01(F) SEM Whiteness & Race in US History (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Leslie Brown
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Griffin 5 1453
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