Course description

The course examines the history of riots, strikes, and conspiracies in America from the 1600s to the present. This course uses readings and discussions to focus on a series of short-term events that shed light on American politics, culture, and social organization. It emphasizes finding ways to make sense of these complicated, highly traumatic events, and on using them to understand larger processes of change in American history. While race has been an important element to every riot, strike, and conspiracy in American history, most of these events represented overlapping interests of race, gender, class, and even sexuality. As such, we consider events that occurred in a variety of circumstances. The present conditions of poverty, policing, and protest always inform our starting point when we engage the readings. A central thesis of this course is that the present is best understood through a deliberate examination of the past.


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