Course code:

HS2092

Level:

IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:

15

Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Typically offered:

Once

This readings seminar will explore the history of race thinking and structural forms of power in America from the earliest settlement of the hemisphere by Europeans to the twentieth century. We will emphasize the specific mechanisms of power used to produce and reproduce the ideas and institutions that oppressed African Americans, Native Americans, and “ethnics” over the course of the country’s history. As a nation built on slavery, racial discrimination, and white supremacy, the United States provides a unique vantage point from which to examine the workings out of the strange ideologies of difference that took root in the New World. The class will explore a wide range of histories from the origins of slavery in the seventeenth century as a solution to the “the problem of the poor” to the inclusion of Irish, Jewish and others in the category of “White” in the twentieth. A key aspect of the course will be examining the construction and workings of Whiteness. The seminar will be based on discussion of key texts in the scholarship of race and racism in the United States, and students will lead those discussions. Other core work of the class will be mastering the complex arguments and evidence used to reveal the inner workings of white supremacy through readings, analytic writing, and an independent project. The course is intended for a wide range of students willing to dig in to the work of reading extensively about a contentious topic to form their own historical analysis of the past. Evaluation will be based on discussion, mastery of the readings, short analytic writing, and a final project.

Prerequisites:

None.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.