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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2009

HIS 350L • Nation and Empire-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

Popular and scholarly perceptions of the United States, from the American Revolution against the British Empire to the Cold War against the evil empire0 of the Soviet Union, have argued that the notion of an American empire is a contradiction in terms. The American nation, it has been argued, is inherently anti-imperialist in its foreign policy, intervening in foreign countries only to liberate and defend the oppressed from other imperialists. An opposing view holds that, from the conquest of North American lands to the post-twentieth-century global role of superpower,0 imperial expansion and the subjugation of others have enabled American national development. This course invites you to study differing interpretations of American nationalism and examine the historical existence of an American empire.0 The second half of the course will focus on U.S. foreign and colonial relations with the Asian-Pacific region from the late nineteenth-century to the Cold War era.

This is a Substantial Writing Component course.

Grading Policy

Two midterm essays (5-7 pp.) 40% One final essay (7-10 pp.) 60% Class participation: 20%


Possible texts: Azuma, Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America Elliot, Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830 Gerstle, American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century Klein, Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism Coursepack


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