AMCULT 345 - American Politics and Society
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Meet Together Classes:
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The United States is a democracy. The United States is an empire. How can both be true? Whereas democracy implies government by consent and popular will, empire designates the use of conquest and coercion to subordinate people to external forces. In this course, we will explore how imperial ideas and practices have influenced American democratic development. Untangling this persistent paradox of the co-existence of empire and democracy in American political discourse and practice, we will ask: How have ideas like race, property, indigeneity, and gender shaped the politics of American democracy and vice-versa? How have non-European peoples encountered enslavement and conquest and imagined their own notions of freedom and political association against and within an emerging and consolidating democratic nation in the 18th and 19th centuries? What differences and similarities exist between the U.S. and Europe and other New World “creole” nations in this regard? And how do ideas of American exceptionalism and civic nationalism that downplay imperial and colonial histories shape current debates about American politics and the place of the United States in the global order? Readings include: John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, William Apess (Pequot), David Walker, Alexis de Tocqueville, Elias Boudinot (Cherokee), W.E.B. Du Bois, Abraham Lincoln, and Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani.

This course is offered in the Political Theory subfield.

Course Requirements:

Weekly mini-response posts; mid-term and final exams; final group presentation; attendance required

Intended Audience:

There are no formal pre-requisites, but students would benefit from having taken POLSCI 306 (American Political Thought: Early) and POLSCI 307 (American Political Thought: Later).

Class Format:

Twice a week for a mix of lecture and small- and large-group discussion.

AMCULT 345 - American Politics and Society
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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