HIS 350L • US IMPERLISM & 20-C RACE/POL-W
The United States was the dominant economic, military and cultural power in the world in the twentieth century and has wielded its influence abroad in ways that many scholars have described as "imperial." This seminar provides an intensive study of the meaning and practice of American overseas expansionism, paying special attention to the racial constructions and cultural theories that emerged from the encounters between Americans and non-Americans. We will begin our exploration with the turn-of-the-century rise of the American empire in the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Philippines. From there, we will examine the varying modes of twentieth-century U.S. involvement around the world, with a special focus on American interactions with the Asian Pacific region. Through discussions and in-class responses to weekly readings, students will analyze the ways in which the United States has exerted its influence around the world through such various means as cultural and economic ventures, internationalist exchange and warfare. We will also examine how American overseas power has transformed U.S. foreign relations as well as domestic politics and society. The bulk of the course grade comes from a significant (15-page) research paper on a relevant subject selected in consultation with the professor. All paper proposals and rough drafts will be circulated among seminar participants.
Required: Kristin L. Hoganson, Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars Emily Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945 John Dower, War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War Christian G. Appy, ed., Cold War Constructions: The Political Culture of United States Imperialism, 1945-1966 Andrew J. Bacevich, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism Recommended: Walter LaFeber, The American Age: United States Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad Since 1750 Note: In addition to the books above, a reading packet containing numerous articles will be available for purchase at Jenn's Copies.