Race, Gender, and Power: Borderlands in the Americas during the 19th century

History 103E.001

Fall 2017
3205 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
F 12-2
Class Number: 

The study of borderlands—areas of contested sovereignty where no single social group has political, cultural or economic control—provides insights into a host of topics: national allegiances; racial and ethnic identity; cultural and economic change; the creation and re-creation of class and gender norms; and, above all, insights into power—how it is perceived, deployed and maintained.

This course examines several of these topics through a particular lens: interactions between expanding nation-states in the Americas and the indigenous groups they encroached upon during the “long nineteenth century.” Borderlands underwent tremendous change in the century after American nation-states achieved independence, including struggles for rights, negotiations over belonging and exclusion; and the vast expansion of nation-states over indigenous-controlled areas. We will explore this process in several of the hemisphere’s regions, from the Pacific Northwest to the Amazon, and including the Mexican-US borderlands, with special attention paid to how structures of race, class, and gender were established, maintained and negotiated at times of uncertain change.

This seminar is designed to help students prepare for their senior thesis by offering a range of perspectives on the topic, and the region more broadly.