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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jose A Lucero
JSIS 478
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Content varies from quarter to quarter.

Class description

"Western Civilization” is an inherently relational term. In order to understand what it stands for, one must also understand what it stands against (“the non-western” and the “uncivilized”). This course is concerned centrally with the question of alterity, the historical construction of “the Other” a process that has been central to the formation of national states, empires, and the more ambiguously defined collectivity known as “Western Civilization.” This seminar provides a critical survey of key “border-making” events and forces in the Atlantic World. Not strictly a history course, it puts critical theory in dialogue with historical events as an interdisciplinary exploration of some of the critical borderlands of the modern world. Briefly, the course will explore the workings of religion, race, gender, empire and nation in the construction of modernity. Some of the topics covered include the Re-Conquest in Iberia, Conquest in the Americas, state-making and revolution in the Atlantic World.

Student learning goals

a strong grasp on key historiographical and theoretical debates on the construction of empires and nations

understand the multiple and shifting boundaries of political belonging, within and between national states

fluency in key concepts in Western political theories and post-colonial critiques

General method of instruction

Seminar discussion.

Recommended preparation

No pre-requisites, but some knowledge of world history and philosophy would be great.

Class assignments and grading

Short weekly response paper and one longer research paper. Students will also be expected to take turns in leading class discussion.

Grades will be based on participation and written work.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jose A Lucero
Date: 04/02/2013