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ES 460/560 - Topic Postcolonialism & Eurocentrism

Instructor: Michael Hames-García

Term: Winter 2016

This course examines how racial discourses have informed U.S. domestic and foreign policy. It pays particular attention to cultural representation of U.S, colonialism and imperialism in the Americas. This course approaches these subjects from an ethnic studies and cultural studies perspective. Although students will be required to learn some fundamentals of literacy, film, and media criticism through this course, the primary approach to these text will be as elements of larger cultural and political debated and phenomena. Our engagement with cultural text will thus proceed from an interest in their relationship to political and social events, rather than primarily from a primary concern with aesthetic criticism. As an ethnic studies course, it privileges race as a category of analysis when studying the history of U.S expansion, imperialism, and interventionism. As an interdisciplinary field, Ethnic Studies incorporates the methodologies of traditional disciplines but is distinguished in its approach by a focus on issues of race and ethnicity, particularly, but not exclusively, in the United States. The experiences and perspectives of people of color are at the center of Ethnic Studies. As Ethnic scholars, our faculty does not study historically oppressed communities as objects, but as subjects. It does not study race and ethnicity as abstract subjects, but rather examines the concepts, ideas, and representations that historically oppressed communities have developed to understand their own experiences. This course will have a seminar format, with minimal use of lecture by the professor.


This course does not satisfy group or multicultural requirements. It is open to both majors and non-majors, and it satisfies an upper-division ES elective requirement for Ethnic Studies majors and minors.



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