AMST 416
U.S. Settler Colonialism and Empire Spring 2015
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed AMST 416 / HIST 361
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Colonialism in American history is too often regarded as a finite period ending with independence or the “closing of the frontier,” but as Patrick Wolfe argues, “settler colonialism is a structure, not an event.” This seminar debunks the myth of the US as an “empire of liberty,” and delves into a new generation of scholarship that frames settler colonialism and imperialism as deep-seated organizing principles that have characterized the United States since its founding. We approach settler colonialism as an enduring set of power relations and governmental practices that uphold Euro-American domination and seek to eliminate Indigenous power. The course covers topics such as: ideas of Manifest Destiny, military conquests of Native peoples, the shifting role of the US throughout the world during the twentieth century, mass incarceration as a means of social control, the post-9/11 Global War on Terrorism, the colonial present in Indian Country, and Indigenous decolonization movements and their global parallels.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 12
Class#: 3049
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based upon participation in discussions of weekly readings, short reviews, and a final paper that is 12-15 pages
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: American Studies majors and History majors
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 416 Division II HIST 361 Division II
Attributes: AMST 400-level Senior Seminars
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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