History | Cultural Encounters in Early America
A300 | 2953 | Dierks

A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

This course takes a global and multicultural approach to early
American history and focuses on the collision of European, Middle
Eastern, Asian, African, and Native American cultures between the
fourteenth and eighteenth centuries.  The first class of each week
will scrutinize European attitudes toward and interactions with
other cultures before the “discovery” of the “New World” in 1492. 
The second class of each week will then examine to what degree
Europeans altered their attitudes and practices upon encountering
the “New World” from 1492 onward.  In other words, we will
interrogate what is “European” and what is “American” in Early
American history.  Topics to be covered include cartography,
science, ethnography, literature, art, politics, religion, conquest,
migration, slavery, and global capitalism.  Throughout the course we
will use ethical dilemmas of the past to interrogate our modern
pretensions to a more “enlightened” present.  Course materials
feature writings and images from the past.  Course requirements
entail a series of papers.