Foto: Matthias Friel
This course focuses on relations to land, both as they are constructed via official US-American narratives of the nation-state and as they are contested and envisioned 'otherwise' by people and peoples placed under US sovereignty but contesting these official narratives. We will pay special attention to three historical phases: colonization and US continental expansion (including the ongoing Native American challenge to U.S. sovereignty from “within” its perceived borders); the era of US imperialism beginning in the late nineteenth century and characterized by so-called “overseas island possessions” such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam; and contemporary globalization and neo-imperialism. Territoriality is a key term through which to explore the connections and/or differences between these eras, including the study of legal conceptions such as “incorporated” and “unincorporated territory” and cultural conceptions such as frontier theory, border theory, and archipelagic theory. Class texts will include theoretical, legal, and literary sources (scholarly articles, court rulings, life writing, short stories, activist websites, film).
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