Seminar: Spring 2020

POLT 40114: (Selected Topics) The US Empire: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 2.35 p.m.

This seminar offers critical perspectives on U.S. domestic and global politics on issues ranging from the political consequences of the U.S.’s history as an empire to whether overreaching power can ever be conducive to social or racial justice. In particular, we will examine how the U.S.'s rise to global ascendancy shaped the lives not only of its own citizens but also of those who were subjected to occupation, genocide, slavery, and torture; the fallout from the creation of a permanent war and counter-terrorism state, specially post 9/11/2001; and the role of the myth of American exceptionalism in underwriting racism on the one hand and the belief that U.S. people are agents only of good in the world on the other.

As a discussion-based class, this has a regular attendance policy. Written work includes mid-term and final concept papers as well as journals. Books: Graham Greene, The Quiet American (2004); Richard Hughes, Myths America Lives By: White Supremacy and Stories that Give Us Meaning (2018); Daniel Immerwahr, How to Hide an Empire (2019);* and Lila Rajiva, The Language of Empire (2005). Copies of articles on Sakai. *You will need a KINDLE edition of Immerwahr since his book won't be released until late February.

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