AMS 370 • Black-Native Relations in the US
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
The focus of this course is unconventional only in that it seeks to place at its center the experiences of two traditionally marginalized groups: African Americans and American Indians. These peoples' long and entangled relationships are largely hidden beneath the traditional telling of American cultural history. By pushing white Americans histories to the periphery of our analysis, this course shows the many other stories that make up the American experience. Indeed, this course insists that African Americans and American Indians have their own stories to tell outside their often tumultuous relations with Americans of European descent.
By engaging a variety of disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, and literature, we will investigate alternative American histories, ones filled with acceptance, enslavement, war, anxiety, and triumph. The primary academic objective of this course is to encourage cross-disciplinary thinking to most fully articulate American racial and ethnic experiences. With the assistance of the instructor, each student will generate a research paper and presentation based on any aspect of "unconventional" inter-racial relations, be they Black-Indian, Latino-Korean, Mexican-Japanese, etc. These examinations may be literary (Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, Leslie Marmon Silko), historic (LA Riots, Zoot Suit Riots, Japanese Internment), biographical (Chief Buffalo Long Lance, Tiger Woods, Elleanor Elridge), or otherwise. The goal of this course is thus to examine American cultural histories that acknowledge the interconnectedness of racial histories extending beyond a narrative of ethnic/white conflict.
Possible Texts James F. Brooks, ed., Confounding the Color Line: The Indian-Black Experience in North America Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland, eds., Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country Buck Colbert Franklin, My Life and an Era: The Autobiography of Buck Colbert Franklin, LeAnn Howe, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story Patrick Neal Minges, ed., Black Indian Slave Narratives Course Reader