Race and Revision in Early America
General Catalog Course Title:
Special Topics in American Cultures
Terms Offered:
Fall 2013

In this course, we will read both historical and literary texts to explore how racial categories came into being in New World cultures and how these categories were tested, inhabited, and re-imagined by the human actors they sought to define. Our study will be organized around four early American sites: Landfall in the North Atlantic, Pocahontas and the Jamestown Fort, Witchcraft at Salem, and Jefferson’s Virginia. These sites will function as interpretive nodes; in each place, African, Native, and European ways of making meaning collided and concepts of racial difference were created. The effect, of course, was never total, and we will study how racial constructions forged at each site have been re-imagined and revised throughout American cultural history to the present day.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.