Cultural Encounters in History

History 195.01

 Spring Semester 2002

 J. Pablo Silva

ARH 315

Office: Carnegie 403

MWF 3:15-4:05

Phone: 269-4886

Office Hours: Not yet determined


To see reading for a specific week, choose:

Course Description | Required Texts | Readings | Assignments | Grading

Description: When cultures encounter each other, people struggle to understand and adapt themselves to rapidly changing conditions. Their struggles leave interesting historical records that can provide insight into how cultures work. The goal of this class is to teach you what we can learn from those records.
In this class, we will look at six important cultural encounters. To understand them you will need to repeatedly ask basic questions about encounters. Who was involved in each encounter? What was the outcome? How and why did these outcomes come about? The answers are never as obvious as you might think. But if you consistently think through these questions, during the semester you will learn a lot about the specific encounters, something about culture, and a bit about how the cultural encounter has shaped how people think about each other.

Readings should be completed prior to the class meeting for which they are listed. To see reading for a specific week, choose: Please note that many of the readings are also available on reserve.

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Grading:  I will assign grades approximately as follows:  one-page paper (5%), 3 four-page papers (10% each), class participation (25%), an in-class exam (15%), and a final exam (25%).

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Section 1. The Conquest of Mexico (weeks 1-3)

 Monday, 21 January

Why Cultural Encounters?

 Week 1

Introduction to the Course and the Idea of Culture

Wednesday, 23 January

Why did the Spaniards want to Conquer?
The Laws of Burgos, pp. 11-35, 41-47, Packet.
Victors and Vanquished, pp. 1-99.

 Friday, 25 January
 How did the different sides view each other?
 Victors and Vanquished, pp. 100-243.

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Monday, 28 January

What were the Religious Goals of the Conquerors?

 Week 2

de las Casas, In Defense of the Indians, pp. 3-53, Packet.

Wednesday, 30 January

How did the Indigenes respond?
Packet readings by Mills & Taylor, pp. 19-22; Motolinia, pp. 51-57, 131-33; and Duran, Book of the Gods, pp. 51-56, 383-387; History of the Indies, pp. 3-11.

 Friday, 1 February
How should we think about the conquest?
Stern, "Paradigms of Conquest," pp. 1-34, Packet.
Stannard, American Holocaust, pp. 4-15, Packet

Your paper will be due on Tuesday, February 4. See the Assignment.

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Section 2. The African Slave Trade (weeks 3-5)

 Monday, 4 February

How did the slave trade work?

 Week 3

Documents about Job Ben Solomon, pp. 1-9, Handout.
Letters of Philip Quaque, pp. 10-12, Handout.
John Barbot's description of Guinea, pp. 21-29, Handout.
Royal Africa Company Minutes, p. 30, Handout.
The Voyage of John Atkins, pp. 31-37, Handout.
Francis Moore's Travels in Africa, pp. 44-46, Handout.
Letter of Captain Phelps, p. 47, Handout.
MOVIE: Africans in America. On reserve in Burling.

Wednesday, 6 February

How did the slavers see the trade?
William Snelgrave's Account of Guinea, pp. 38-43, Handout.
Letter on board the Prince of Orange, p. 47, Handout.
Letters of Henry Laurens, pp. 48-9, Handout.
Letter of Richard Brew, p. 50, Handout.
Voyage of John Hawkins, pp. 51-52, Handout.
News Items, 1759, p. 54, Handout.
Letter of William Bull, p. 54, Handout.
Letter of William Claiborne, p. 55, Handout.
Tables on the Slave Trade, p. 56, Handout.

  Friday, 8 February
How do Historians view the trade?
Thornton, Africa and Africans, Introduction and Chaps. 1 and 2.

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  Monday, 11 February

How did Africans in Africa view Slavery?

 Week 4

Thornton, Africa and Africans, Chaps. 3 and 4.

Wednesday, 13 February

How did African Slaves react to the New World?
Thornton, Africa and Africans, Chaps. 5 & 11. Skim the rest.

  Friday, 15 February
 How did Europeans view Africans?
 Documents by Cadamosto, Eden, Jefferson, & Raynal. Handout.

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Section 3. The Jews in Europe (weeks 5-7)

  Monday, 18 February

So what is at stake in Cultural Ecounters?

Week 5

We will compare the African and American encounters.

Wednesday, 20 February
Were the Jews a Culture within a Culture?
Declaration of the Rights of Man. Handed out.
Petition of the Jews. Handed out.
Chazan & Raphael, "Emanicipation of French Jewry," pp. 14-31, Packet

  Friday, 22 February
What is a nation?
Mendes-Flohr Readings, "Eastern European Jewry," 372-80 (through the cartoons), Packet.
Dostoevsky, A Writer's Diary, pp. 904-9, Packet.

Mendes-Flohr Readings, Treitschke's "A Word About Our Jewry," pp. 343-6, Packet.
Mendes-Flohr Readings, Mommsen's "Another Word," pp. 347-50, Packet.
Renan, "What is a nation," pp. 61-83, Packet

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Monday, 25 February

What were the options for the Jews?What was the Dreyfus Affair?

Week 6

Burns, France and the Dreyfus Affair, Introduction through p. 86.

Wednesday, 27 February

Was Assimilation Possible?
Burns, France and the Dreyfus Affair, pp. 90-172.

  Friday, 1 March
Was Zionism the Answer?
Mendes-Flohr Readings, Maskilin's "A Jewish Program for Russification," p. 399, Packet.
Mendes-Flohr Readings, Rabinowich's "Russian Must Be...," p. 400, Packet.
Mendes-Flohr Readings, Society for the Promotion... "Program," p. 401, Packet.
Mendes-Flohr Readings, Levinsohn's "Yiddish," Perez' "Hebrew," Storim's "My Soul," and Lieberman's "The Jewish Question," pp. 402-6, Packet.
Readings from Herzl, pp. 201-231; and Readings from Lazare, pp. 469-476, Packet

Mendes-Flohr Readings, pp.529-545, 558-562, 568-571, Packet.

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Section 4. Chinese Migrations (weeks 7-9)

Monday, 4 March


Week 7

Wednesday, 6 March

Why did the Chinese Migrate?
Maps, pp. 1-4, Packet. (Come back to these maps as you read Skinner.
Spence, pp. 210-215, Packet.
Skinner, pp. 28-67, Packet.

  Friday, 8 March
What did the different groups get from this Encounter?
Skinner, pp. 91-154, Packet.

You will write a paper about the role of culture in encounters. Your paper will be 4 pages long. It is due March 15. See the Assignment.

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Monday, 11 March

How were things different in America?

Week 8

Congressional Record documents, Packet. (4 pages total)
Articles from Harper's Weekly, Packet. (6 pages total)

Wednesday, 13 March

Why go to America?
Takaki, Strangers, pp. 21-42, 79-131, Packet.
Yung, Unbound Feet, pp. 1-4, 15-51, Packet. 

  Friday, 15 March
How did the Missionaries view the Prostitutes?
Yung, documents, pp. 1-8, Packet. 
Cameron documents, pp. 377-383, 327-331, Packet.

Spring Break, 16 to 31 March

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Monday, 1 April

How do historians view the Missionaries?

Week 9

Pascoe, "Gender Systems," pp. 631-652, Packet.

 Wednesday, 3 April
How was the immigrant experience different in Chicago?
Pacyga, pp. 1-81, Packet.

  Friday, 5 April
What accounts for the differences in the Two Chinese Encounters?
Pacyga, pp. 111-157, Packet.

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Section 5. Poles in Chicago (weeks 10-12)

Monday, 8 April

Why was it a Jungle?

Week 10

Sinclair, The Jungle, pp. 1-19, Packet.
Barrett, "Life," Packet.
Katzauskis, "From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards," Packet.

Wednesday, 10 April

Do Workers have a Culture?
Pacyga, pp. 158-205, Packet.
Poole, "The Meat Strike," Packet.
McDowell, "The Struggle for an American Standard of Living," Packet.
Stewart, "The Influence of Trade Unions," Packet.

  Friday, 12 April
 Did it help that they weren't African American?
Pacyga, pp. 206-227, 238-257, Packet.
Spear, "Black Chicago," pp. 147-166, Packet.

You will write a paper about the role of culture in encounters. Your paper will be 4 pages long. It is due April 19.

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Monday, 15 April

How did ethnic identity affect class identity?

Week 11

Grossman, Land of Hope, pp. 208-245, Packet.
Crisis Documents, Packet.
McDowell, "Prejudice," Packet.

Wednesday, 17 April

What is the American Nation?
Barret, "Americanization," Packet.

  Friday, 19 April
What was Apartheid?
 Sparks, The Mind of South Africa, pp. 147-182, 195-202, 208-213, 217-229, Packet.

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Section 6. Apartheid (weeks 12-14)

Monday, 22 April

 White versus white?

Week 12

Courtenay, The Power of One, pp. 19-51, Packet.

Wednesday, 24 April

Black versus Black?
Mathabane, Kaffir Boy, introduction through p. 62.

  Friday, 26 April

Did people internalize the system?
Mathabane, Kaffir Boy, pp. 86-141.  

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Monday, 29 April

Did the sytem work?

Week 13

Mathabane, Kaffir Boy, pp. 170-204, 216-223, 249-271, 328-335.

Wednesday, 1 May

What kind of Culture did Apartheid produce?
 Malan, My Traitor's Heart, pp. 13-103.

  Friday, 3 May

 What does Culture tell us?
 Malan, My Traitor's Heart, pp. 181-235.

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Monday, 6 May
What is African Culture?

Week 14

Malan, My Traitor's Heart, pp. 339-425.

Wednesday, 8 May
 Can the New South Africa leave the Culture of Race behind?
 Preamble and Bill of Rights to the South African Constitution, Packet.

  Friday, 10 May
MOVIE: "Facing the Truth," Viewing time to be determined.

You will write a paper about the nations and culture. Your paper will be 4 pages long. It is due May 13. See the Assignment.

 Final Exam:  Tuesday, May 14 at 2 pm in ARH 318

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Last Modified: 8 May 2002