History | Colloquium United States History
H650 | 3147 | Knott

A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section meets with AMST G751


There is a creative gap between the singular revolution imagined by
American undergraduates - the triumphal heralding of an era of
independence, freedom and democracy - and the American revolutions
of current historiography. This course seeks to exploit that gap: to
introduce a dynamic field of historical enquiry and to tackle its
particular pedagogical dilemmas. We will examine the entwined
historical processes of making a revolution and of nation-building
(c. 1760-1820) and locate America within the larger context of the
Atlantic world. We will pay attention to national and exceptionalist
narratives and to the contemporary comparative and transnational
experiences of the Caribbean and France. Topics will include
radicalism and its limits; the differing histories of white men and
women, the enslaved and the free, and native Americans; the cultural
motifs and contests of nationalism; and the making of memory.
Written assignments will include an undergraduate syllabus.