Fall 2020 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Kang, Deborah
Discipline and Number
HIST 6390 Section 001
T Time 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Course Title
North American Borderlands

Description of Course:

This course will introduce students to some of the major themes and approaches to North American borderlands history. As a field that is both comparative and transnational, borderlands history traces the relationships between peoples, empires, and nations across the borders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Proceeding in chronological order, this course will begin with a study of the early encounters between Europeans and Native Americans and the efforts of Spain, Great Britain, and France to conquer the North American continent. The second unit of the class will trace the recession of empires and the rise of nation-states, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The last unit of the course will address the question of how and to what extent national borders make a difference in the culture, economy, society, and politics of the borderlands in the twentieth century. Major topics include the Native peoples on the North American continent, the race for empire, the environmental history of the border regions, the creation of nations and conceptions of citizenship, the settlement and formation of borderlands communities, economic development and integration, and racial formation and conflict.

Required Texts:

James Brooks, Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands (2001)
Chester Brown, Louis Real: A Comic Strip Biography (2006)
Gabriela González, Redeeming La Raza: Transborder Modernity, Race, Respectability, and Rights (2018)
Pekka Hämäläinen, The Comanche Empire (2009)
Anne F. Hyde, Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800-1860 (2011)
Julian Lim, Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (2017)
Ana Minian, Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration (2018)
Andrés Reséndez, Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850 (2004)
Andrés Reséndez, A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca: The Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked Across American in the Sixteenth Century (2009)
Tisa Wenger, We Have a Religion: The 1920s Pueblo Indian Dance Controversy and American Religious Freedom (2009)
Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (1991)

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

1. Class Presentation
2. Two book reviews
3. Final paper

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