English 166AC

Special Topics in American Cultures: Race and Revision in Early America

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2019 Donegan, Kathleen
Lectures MW 1-2 in 50 Birge + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 2-3; sec. 104: Th 10-11; sec. 105: Th 2-3; sec. 106: Th 4-5)

Book List

Brown, W. W. : Clotel, or the President's Daughter; Cesaire, A.: A Tempest; Conde, M.: I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem; Jefferson, T.: Notes on the State of Virginia; Morrison, T. : A Mercy; Sa, Z.: Impressions of an Indian Childhood; Shakespeare, W. : The Tempest


In this course, we will read both historical and literary texts to explore how racial categories came into being in New World cultures, and how these categories were tested, inhabited, and re-imagined by the people they sought to define. Our study will be organized around four early American sites:  Landfall in the North Atlantic, Pocahontas at Jamestown, Witchcraft at Salem, and Jefferson’s Virginia. In each of these places Native, European, and African ways of making meaning collided, and concepts of racial difference were formed. These four sites will function as interpretive nodes.  For each, we will read a selection of primary documents, and then explore how racial constructions forged at each site have been re-imagined and revised throughout American cultural history.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.  

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.

Discussion Sections

101 Muhammad, Ismail
F 1-2 300 Wheeler
102 Muhammad, Ismail
F 2-3 300 Wheeler
104 Ullman, Alex
Thurs. 10-11 300 Wheeler
105 Ullman, Alex
Thurs. 2-3 300 Wheeler
106 Ullman, Alex
Thurs. 4-5 301 Wheeler

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