JWST 430
Postcolonial Reparations: Trauma, History, and Memory after European Imperialism Spring 2024
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed HIST 430
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Class Details

How have European states responded to calls to acknowledge and atone for the crimes of Empire? This course places recent calls for reparations in a historical context. Weaving together a wide-range of historical and contemporary case studies — including the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (1951), Germany’s official recognition of the Herero Genocide (2021), and ongoing debates in France about the restitution of colonial-era looted art, this course investigates how the language and mechanisms of restorative justice have historically developed, evaluates which past efforts of restorative justice were successful and why, and examines what role historical memory and historians-as-activists should play in campaigns that seek reparations for colonial injustices. In doing so, it evaluates how activists have deployed scholarly vocabularies on memory, justice, and violence in a number of national and international contexts.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10-15
Class#: 3871
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class participation, weekly 500-word discussion posts and a 20-page research paper
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: History majors, seniors, and then juniors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 430 Division II JWST 430 Division II
WS Notes: This is an intensive writing seminar for advanced history majors. We focus on how to write a journal-length piece of original historical research, while evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of other scholarly pieces. Students receive feedback on multiple drafts of their final research papers and participate in two workshop seminars in which they provide feedback on the papers of their peers.
DPE Notes: This course asks how contemporary political and social justice movements can -- or ought to -- address political and economic inequities between the Global South and North, introduces students to how questions of race and national belonging have informed contemporary debates on restorative justice, and exposes the persistence of some global and historically-situated inequities.
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia

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