From its origins, American society has been suffused with notions of white superiority and racial hierarchies that have underpinned the nation’s foreign policy. Ideologies of race factored heavily into the nineteenth century process by which the United States expanded its territorial control across the North American continent and established an empire of its own. Racialized thinking persisted at the heart of U.S. foreign relations in the twentieth century, influencing everything from the administration of empire in the Caribbean and the Pacific and commercial expansion into central America to the decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan, the diplomatic path to war in Vietnam, and more. The defeat of fascism and Nazism in World War II posed serious challenges to the premises of white supremacy, while ushering in a Cold War that would become inextricably bound with the process of decolonization. American diplomats were forced to recon with the challenges domestic racism posed to their foreign policy goals, while black internationalists became increasingly involved with global struggles for liberation and equality. While the global color line grew more hotly contested, white supremacist thinking proved as enduring as it was mutable. This upper division tutorial surveys leading scholarship on a range of topics that centers race as a category for understanding American foreign relations.
Format: tutorial; This tutorial can be take entirely remotely. On campus students may request in-person tutorial sessions, pending the agreement of other students and the availability of appropriate rooms.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Students will be evaluated based on a series of 5-7-page tutorial response papers and 2-page critiques, as well as preparedness for and performance in weekly tutorial discussions.
None, open to all students
Preference will be given to history majors and students with prior coursework related to U.S. foreign relations. If the course is overenrolled, students may be asked to complete a questionnaire to determine enrollment.
Students will alternate weekly between writing 5-7-page tutorial papers and 2-page critiques of their peers' writing. Formal writing assignments throughout the semester will total at least 40 pages. Students will receive regular written feedback on their writing from the professor, as well as oral critiques from the professor and tutorial partners.