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Representing Empire: War, Culture, and U.S. History

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - DUMBO

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$315
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Location:
DUMBO, Brooklyn
20 Jay St
Btwn Greenwich & Staple Streets
Brooklyn, New York 11201
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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Jessie Kindig

What you'll learn in this history lesson:

How do culture and imperialism relate? Whether as a settler-colonial state, overseas empire, or “global policeman,” the United States has always been militarily, economically, or territorially entangled with the broader world—a historical trajectory that constitutes an imperial history. As the U.S. expanded, territorially and in global influence, it adopted or developed a variety of narratives, images, and practices to justify and understand itself: as a city on a hill; as manifestly destined to conquer the continent; as Anglo-Saxon; as a melting pot; as an exporter of democracy; as a benevolent superpower. To what extent is American culture, in its many phases and iterations, the attempt to express, account for, or counteract a material history of expansion, violence, conquest, and control?

In this course, we’ll read a variety of theoretical and historical works, as well as examine specific cultural objects and case histories (including manifest destiny, Theodore Roosevelt’s natural history, U.S. war and empire in the South Pacific, immigration, and Black Power), as we attempt to understand the relation between U.S. culture and U.S. imperialism. To what extent does culture shape or enable imperial violence? How have ideas of who is “foreign” or “domestic” changed over time? How have race, sexuality, and gender shaped, and been shaped by, military conquest? How, at varying points, have Americans come to group and understand themselves as “American”? And, what made or makes a non-American fit for assimilation, allyship, subjection, or extermination? Readings may include works by Edward Said, Donna Haraway, Robin D.G. Kelley, Amy Kaplan, Nick Estes, Tom Engelhardt, Naoko Shibusawa, Matthew Frye Jacobsen, and Gary Okihiro.

Please note:
There *is* no physical Brooklyn Institute. We hold our classes all over (thus far) Brooklyn and Manhattan, in alternative spaces ranging from the back rooms of bars to bookstores to spaces in cultural centers, including the Center for Jewish History, the Goethe-Institut, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. We can (and do) turn any space into a classroom. You will be notified of the exact location when you register for a class.

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Refund Policy
Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

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Reviews of Classes at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (17)

School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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