The transatlantic world is built upon the colonial project conducted by European powers. For more than 500 years, European powers have left a lasting impact on the globe. The results of the destruction and transformation of indigenous nations, of the transatlantic slave trade, European immigration, and imperial designs for world domination are still visible today.
Yet the transatlantic world has also seen the rise of the most successful and durable modern democracies, the eventual ending of the slave trade, the transformation of the English, French, Spanish and Portuguese possessions into modern nation states, and the eventual reversal of the worldwide balance of power, which shifted to the United States after two World Wars that left Europe dependent on American help.
Within the Americas, the colonial legacy is reflected in ongoing discrimination of indigenous nations, African-American and Latina/o/x communities with respect to full participation and recognition of equal partners in American democracy and nationhood. Yet there are also layers of a sometimes surprising and underreported diversity of identities informed by various cultures and peoples.
We live in a time where the fiction of the allegedly desirable “purity” of identity is again gaining undeserved currency. Presumptive racial and cultural boundaries are again essentialized and given dominance over the recognition of the multiple identities characterizing probably every single individual within the Americas.
For the 18th Transatlantic Students Symposium, we are planning to visit the American South, specifically New Orleans and its surroundings, to investigate the unique cultural landscape of former Spanish and French Louisiana. This will include visits to several communities, such as the Houma nation, and former slave plantations. The concluding students conference is planned to take place at Oregon State University.
Course requirements include active class participation, in-class presentations, independent project work and a symposium presentation.
Please register for the course via AGNES.