"Reconstructing Lost Lives in the Americas: The Story of Alexander and Margaret Chavous Proctor and their Family, 1700-2010"
This book manuscript, which is nearing completion, began as a section of a broad examination of the largely unexplored fact and continuity of African-American exile and emigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. As part of that investigation, I started documenting the lives of selected individuals who, between 1840 and 1940, left the United States for Canada, Haiti, France and Soviet Russia. My original intent was to include these narratives in a single book that would help to define the continuum of exile and emigration that has seen thousands of Americans of African ancestry leave the U.S. in search of a kind of freedom that has been unattainable in their native land. In particular, I wanted to cast some light on the comparative nature of, and responses to, racism and its various discourses in the U.S., in Canada, in France, and in Russia - societies which have produced generations of men and women who claim that the colour line is not a problem in their land. In my recent investigations of one family of Americans, the Proctors and Chavouses, however, I have come to realize that their story must stand on its own. To my surprise (and delight), their history has grown far beyond my initial conception of it; it now stretches backwards into the 17th century and forwards to the present day, raising new and intriguing questions about race and the history of race in the Americas. Just as I returned to Pittsburgh, my birthplace, to complete my book on the steel industry, this project, too, represents an effort to integrate some of the larger themes and problems in the humanities that I have tried to confront over the course of the last 25 years - as a journalist who has covered, and a teacher who has taught, the troubling course of race and race relations in the U.S. In this project, I find myself confronting yet again those questions of community, identity, and social justice that have long preoccupied me.
This course charts the complicated, tumultuous political, social, and economic history of what arguably remains the most tumultuous period in US History. Weekly discussions and readings, from primary and secondary sources, as well as regular written assignments can be expected. Most of the problems and questions that will be attacked have large contemporary implications, which also will be a focal point of our studies.
This course investigates the social, political, and cultural history of the United States from the Civil War to the turn of the century. The principal readings examine what at first glance may appear to be discrete historical problems. But each of these problems is related by way of common themes: the meaning and nature of democracy, such as it was –and might be –in the U.S.A.; the relationship of democracy to economic and political power, including the violent exercise of such power; and the ability of ostensibly subordinate collectivities and individuals to confront such power, often, as we shall see, with notable creativity and courage. In our effort to conceptualize the past as clearly as possible, it will be helpful to pay close attention to questions of race, gender, labour, and empire and, in general, to try to see the past as a set of problems, and not as a simple narrative of events.
Examines the history of African Americans from the beginnings of the African slave trade in the 15th Century through the mid-1800s and the coming of the U.S. Civil War. Among the topics to be considered: slavery and the rise of the modern world system; slave labor camps (plantations) in the antebellum South. Lectures and weekly discussion groups with the instructor.
This course interrogates a variety of issues in the history of Americans of African ancestry from the decade before to the U.S. Civil War through 2016, and the focus will be on the continuities between the past and the present. A central focus of the course is the 19th Century and the problems of emancipation and Reconstruction, the period immediately after the Civil War. We concentrate on the 19th Century because three of the most important questions in African-American History, in U.S. History, in Western History, and indeed in World History – the meaning of freedom, of democracy, and of race – come into sharp focus in this period. The definitions that various groups gave or tried to give to these ideas and to practices of them in the 19th Century continue to shape our world – often, as we have recently seen, in distressing ways.
Home Page for H334: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/pkrause/h334_homepage.html
Home Page for Paul Krause: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/pkrause/index.html