American Studies | Advanced Topics in S&H for AMST / Topic: Transnational Americas
A399 | 28118 | Micol Seigel


(3 cr. hrs.) S & H
In their hauntingly melodic hit, “(Who Discovered) America,” the Los
Angeles Chicano fusion hip hop band Ozomatli sing about the
compromises required in order to meet and love “America.”  Peering
south over the U.S.-Mexico border and west over the Pacific, this
group of Mexican-, Filipino-, Irish- and African American musicians
performs a compelling synthesis of people and cultural forms.  But
this is no simple celebration of assimilation, and no patriotic
anthem to the U.S. nation-state—“America” is much more than that, to
these brilliant artists as to so many of us.

With Ozo as launching-off point, this course approaches the question
of “America” from historical, cultural, and constantly intellectual
directions.  The class will consider the crossings of individuals,
groups, ideas, and cultural forms that have linked or divided people
throughout the hemisphere in violent and exploitative as well as
gorgeously productive and collaborative ways.  Taking a thematic
approach and using the tools of history and Cultural Studies, the
course will explore the contradictory legacies of such Americas-wide
topics as slavery and panafricanism, imperialism and revolution,
transnational networks of revolt and dissent, capitalism and the
labor movement, nation-states and border-crossers, racialization and
state formation, racism and racial democracies, hybridization and
authoritarianism, and more.