This week’s Elections seminar with Professor Lyn Ragsdale has a new time! The October 29 and November 5 sessions of the course remain at 6:30. Please contact us with any questions. Learn more here.
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From Slavery to Revolution: South of the Border
An exciting change in American studies scholarship proposes that in the nineteenth century, the American South had less in common with the northern states than it did with countries south of the U. S. border. Caroline Levander, director of Rice University's Center for the Study of Cultures and associate professor of English, will lead an exploration of this new comparative, hemispheric approach to the study of American history, literature, and political science.
March 1: Whose America Is It Anyway?
Levander will introduce us to the new Americas Archive that Rice University has begun to collect. In addition to viewing such key documents as the first edition of the Chilean Constitution (1822), and Andrew Jackson's 1837 Claims upon Mexico, a pivotal document to the U.S.–Mexican War of 1848, we will discuss famous Cuban expatriot José Martí's acclaimed political treatise, Our America (1891).
March 8: Slave Narratives Across the Americas
Cuba occupied a unique place in the political culture of the Americas. Its unique slave culture and revolutionary history will be viewed through Juan Fransisco Manzano's narrative—the only extant slave narrative from Spanish America.
March 22: Filibustering and the Fight for Independence
A romanticized figure in the early nineteenth century, the filibuster or “freedom fighter” became a powerful symbol of democracy for U.S. as well Cuban and Nicaraguan citizens. We will follow the famous filibustering expeditions by Narciso Lopez to Cuba and William Walker to Nicaragua and will focus on an autobiographical novel, Free Flag of Cuba, written by a filibuster's widow, Lucy Holcombe Pickens.
March 29: The Journey to “Free” Cuba
“Free” Cuba offered an important alternative example of race relations for African Americans like W. E. B. Du Bois, father of the NAACP, and the author Langston Hughes. We will study it as it was encountered by the politicans, social commentators, and soldiers who fought with Teddy Roosevelt.
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