ENGL 6265-01: Afterlives of U.S. Imperialism

Section Description:

In its almost 250-year history the United States has been at war over 90% of that time. With currently over 750 military bases in 80+ countries, US military efforts abroad have had profound and devastating political, economic, and cultural effects on the countries and peoples that the US has invaded and fought. Despite this violent history and present reality the US has disavowed its imperial identity. As George W. Bush in 1999 declared in an echo of many presidents who preceded him, “America has never been an empire.”

This class concentrates on the effects of US military invasion on what was once named the “Orient”—the Near, Middle, and Far East. Beginning from Edward Said’s theorization of “Orientalism,” we will read and analyze Arab, Asian, and Pacific Islander American writers and filmmakers who reimagine and remember what has nationally been repressed. How do these artists construct identities, histories, and cultures that testify to their own racialization as “foreigners,” “aliens,” and “enemies” within the United States itself and to the US “conflicts,” “interventions,” “assistance,” and wars abroad that America has worked hard to erase?