Nations, Narratives, and Negotiating New Boundaries

HISTORY 103D.002

Spring 2015
Day & Time: 
M 2-4P

How have nations and other communities redrawn their boundaries over time and space? How do the lines on a paper map simultaneously represent real and imagined geographies, produce and obscure knowledge, confirm and deny possession, and include and exclude the physical presence of distinct communities? How do stories provide maps to the past? How do our maps and stories unfold over time? How do new maps of old places reflect the changing and contested nature of political, military, economic, cultural, and social spaces? This class will explore nation states and stateless nations as historical entities that have both reflected and actively created new worlds with new boundaries that encourage and often require the telling of new stories. From the religious and political conflicts that wracked early modern England to the multi-cultural memorialization of battle sites and the militarization of the US-Mexico border, assigned readings will explore how culture, government bureaucracies and the technologies of state power, the influence of narratives, and the continued renegotiation of new geographic and political boundaries illuminate relationships that continue to reshape how communities understand themselves, experience their daily lives, articulate the historical origins of their identity, and legitimate and disseminate stories about conflicts and encounters between distinct societies in both the past and the present.

Course Books

The Rule of Moderation by Ethan H. Shagan Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521135566 Required
Migra! by Kelly Lytle Hernandez University of California Press. ISBN: 978-0520266414 Required
Changing National Identities at the Frontier by Andres Resendez Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521543194 Required
Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz Vintage. ISBN: 978-0679758334 Required
Shadows at Dawn by Karl Jacoby Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0143116219 Required
A Misplaced Massacre by Ari Kelman Harvard University Press. ISBN: 978-0674045859 Required
Dangerous Guests by Ken Miller Cornell University Press. ISBN: 978-0801450556 Required
War of a Thousand Deserts by Brian DeLay Yale University Press. ISBN: 978-0300158373 Required