The United States in the World

History 285D.001

Spring 2007
2227 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Thurs 12-2

This course invites students to explore transnational contexts for the events and processes in United States history. This new approach in U.S. history can overlap with what was once called ";foreign affairs"; or ";diplomatic history,"; but recent scholarship has been far broader, considering flows of people, ideas, goods, wealth, politics, institutional models, cultural markets, etc., between the United States and other parts of the world, as well as comparative studies of all these things and more. Studies have examined U.S. efforts to reshape other parts of the world, but they have also given greater definition to the variety of foreign influences on U.S. institutions and practices and the relationship of internal developments to a broad range of international influences.

Among the topics to be considered are the expansion of U.S. beyond the Atlantic world; the role of empire in shaping U.S. culture and institutions; debates over expansion, borders, and frontiers; U.S. efforts to build or resist regional and global organizations; the role of the United States in the formation of different global markets; the interaction of political, social, and intellectual movements across borders; how the emergence of the U.S. as a global power shaped domestic politics and social relations; institutional, political, and cultural differences within the United States that shaped attitudes and actions in other parts of the world.

At the beginning of the course, the class will involve reading and discussion of recent scholarship developing transnational analyses of U.S. history. The readings will be selected to stimulate the research interests of the students in the class. An original research paper should be completed by the end of the term. Please remember that the research goals of the course are primary. Students wishing to take the class as a reading course are invited to discuss their interests with the professor.