HIST-LIT 90DY: Race and American Empire





Instructor: Ernest Mitchell
Meeting time: Thursday, 3:00 - 5:45

Race and American EmpireThis course examines the early 20th century expansion of U.S. military influence in the Atlantic and Pacific, and how this expansion shaped and was shaped by theories of race. Beginning with the Spanish-American War (1898), we will follow a series of U.S. interventions in the Atlantic (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela) and Pacific (Guam, Hawaii, Philippines). We will also explore the tensions between imperialism and white supremacy, as theorized by Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard. Special attention will be paid to black intellectuals (W.E.B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Katherine Dunham, Jessie Fauset, Amy Jacques Garvey, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Eric Walrond, Ida B. Wells) who both aided and contested U.S. imperial designs. Through photographs, architecture, film, novels, ethnographies, memoirs, speeches, and cartoons, we will study debates about the international role of the U.S. through World War II.