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Junior Colloquium: Citizenship and Sovereignty in the United States
AMST 206
Spring 2015 not offered

This junior colloquium examines the shifting definitions and uses of "citizenship" and "sovereignty" in the United States. Both terms are understood broadly so that citizenship, for example, encompasses not only U.S. citizenship, but also belonging in relationship to ethnic, racial, gender, and class groups. The chronological span of the course runs from the late 18th century to the turn of the 21st century. We will focus on claims of various groups--women, immigrants, blacks, and Native Americans--to citizenship and on contestations over sovereignty and the extent of sovereign power through explorations of the Revolutionary era, contention that sovereignty rested within "the people," the separation of church and state, the relationship between state and federal powers, and the sovereignty of tribal nations. In particular, the course will investigate political arguments over sovereignty voiced during the founding of the United States, the nullification crisis, the Civil War and slave emancipation, the Cold War, and the advent of Native American casinos. It will also analyze the relationship between citizenship and social movements like women's suffrage, second-wave feminism, the Civil Rights Movement, and gay rights. The course contends that, ironically, it was Revolutionary political and ideological rhetoric focused on freedom, equality, and independence that set the stage for ongoing social and political turmoil over citizenship and sovereignty.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on FEB-20-2024
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