Postgraduate Course: American Borderlands: Histories of the Western Hemisphere (PGHC11482)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course uses the idea of American borderlands as a way to explore the various cultural, political, and social borders that have shaped the histories of the hemisphere's diverse populations for the past five hundred years. Combining the histories of race, nation, migration, and the environment, this class seeks to help reimagine a hemispheric wide process of constructing and crossing borders. A borderlands approach allows us to move beyond the study of isolated nation-states and their assumed polities, to instead trace the deeper histories of encounters along and between any number of social and physical frontiers.
In modern times, 'America' is shorthand for the United States, yet at various points in the last five hundred years the idea of America has been invoked by people and nations throughout the hemisphere. In this postgraduate seminar, we will use the idea of American borderlands as a way to explore the various cultural, political, and social borders that have shaped the histories of the hemisphere's diverse populations. Combining the histories of race, nation, migration, and the environment, this class seeks to help reimagine a hemispheric wide process of constructing and crossing borders. From colonial encounters between Spanish conquistadors and indigenous populations to drug trafficking in the 21st century, and from the Canadian artic to Patagonia, we will trace the meanings of American borderlands across landscapes, both temporal and geographic. Placing the official chronologies of nation-states into a common discussion of colonialism and decolonization that includes indigenous and Afro-Descendant peoples, we will trouble notions of historical exceptionalism throughout the hemisphere.
As an explicitly comparative course, we will address themes including legal regimes in the borderlands; inter-American power relations; immigration, citizenship, human rights and sovereignty; intercultural and racial mixture and conflict; nationalism, transnationalism, and internationalism; openings and closings of borders; and the multiple meanings and locations of borderlands.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One 4,000-word essay (80%)
One presentation/facilitation (10%)
||Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
- demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
|Jack P. Greene, The Intellectual Construction of America: Exceptionalism and Identity from 1492 to 1800 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). |
Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron, "From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples in Between in North American History," American Historical Review 104, no. 3 (June 1999): 814-841.
Sandos, James A. "From "Boltonlands" to "Weberlands": The Borderlands Enter American History." American Quarterly 46, no. 4 (1994): 595-604.
Brian DeLay, War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexican War (Yale Press, 2009).
Karl Jacoby, "The broad platform of extermination": nature and violence in the nineteenth century North American borderlands," Journal of Genocide Research (2008), 10(2), June, 249-267.
John Tutino, "Mexico and Mexicans Making U.S. History," in Tutino (ed.), Mexico and Mexicans in the Making of the United States (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012).
Ada Ferrer, Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898 (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1999).
Erika Lee, "Enforcing the Borders: Chinese Exclusion Along the U.S. Borders with Canada and Mexico," Journal of American History Vol. 89, No. 1 (June 2002): 54-86.
Nouzeilles, Gabriela. "Patagonia as borderland: nature, culture, and the idea of the State." Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 8, no. 1 (1999): 35-48.
Shari M. Huhndorf, "Nanook and His Contemporaries: Imagining Eskimos in American Culture, 1897-1922." Critical Inquiry 27, no. 1 (2000): 122-148.
Lauren Derby, "Haitians, Magic, and Money: Raza and Society in the Haitian Dominican Borderlands, 1900-1937," Comparative Studies in Society and History Vol. 36, No. 3 (July 1994): 488-526.
Molly Todd, Beyond Displacement: Campesinos, Refugees, and Collective Action in the Salvadoran Civil War (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010).
Wendy Brown, Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books, 2010)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||borders,America,Latin America,Canada,South America,the Caribbean
|Course organiser||Dr Jacob Blanc
Tel: (0131 6)51 1925
|Course secretary||Mrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948