HSTRY 388 - War and Civil War in the US/Mexico Borderlands
This course brings the histories of the US and Mexico into dialogue, focusing on the era leading up to the US Civil War as well as the Civil War itself. Both Mexico and the US were post-colonial societies, yet deep differences turned on the issues of sovereignty, slavery, race, religion, and settler colonialism. The borderlands were where they collided with devastating consequences. In this course we will look at the Texas secession, the US-Mexico War, the American Civil War, and the Mexican Second Empire as key to understanding borderlands both as a space and as a moral frontier.
This is a seminar format course. This means that coming to class prepared for discussion will be crucial to your success. There will be short, informal writing assignments to help you prepare for each session. Formal writing assignments include two analytical essays (~3 pages each), culminating in an essay (~10 pages) based on a relevant topic that you choose and research with my guidance. All sessions meet in person.
Grade: discussion (30%); analytical essays (30%); research paper (40%).