This course will explore the makings of the U.S. Empire in the long 20th century through a closer look at its interactions with what has come to be termed “the Global South.” The main goals are to think critically about “empire” and “the global south” as dynamic categories of analysis, to explore debates about “American Exceptionalism,” and to examine how U.S. imperial power has been articulated and contested. The class will pursue these goals by focusing on four historical conjunctures that have brought together different regions of the world and that enable a better understanding of the political economy and cultural practices of the U.S. Empire. These conjunctures are the 1890s formal acquisition of colonies, the 1950s Cold War realignment, the 1980s debt crisis and counter-revolutions, and the contemporary War on Terror. Readings for this course may include: Greg Gradin’s Empire’s Workshop , Laleh Khalili’s Time in the Shadows, Ann Stoler and Carole McGranahan’s Imperial Formations, Emily Rosenberg’s Financial Missionaries to the World , Christina Duffy Burnett and Burke Marshall’s Foreign in a Domestic Sense , Julian Go’s American Empire and the Politics of Meaning , Edward Said’s Covering Islam , Lila Abu-Lughod’s Do Muslim Women Need Saving? , and Neferti Tadiyar’s Things Fall Away.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)