GHIS

6245

Capitalism & Settler Colonial Present in NYC

New School for Social Research: Historical Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

Capitalism & Colonial Present

Fall 2021

Taught By: Benoit Challand and Emmanuel Guerisoli

Section: A

CRN: 12383

Credits: 3

The relationship between slavery and capitalism has become a renewed topic of scholarly debate, made even more complex with the growing literature on settler colonialism and critical race studies. The course explores these entanglements by focusing on the history of sugar and cotton, two key commodities that are also associated with the economic activities of colonial New York City. This course is an experiment in humanities and applied historical sociology, offering a journey through the history of racial and class exclusion in New York City, from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War, the time when Clinton Castle was replaced by Ellis Island and new immigration laws that shape contemporary NYC. The course will combine regular seminar sessions with a series of walking tours with visual artist Kamau Ware, organizer of groundbreaking historical tours of colonial NYC. The class studies the legacy of the two commodities and how they shaped the communitarian contours and the urban landscape of lower Manhattan. It explores how indigenous populations in and around Manhattan / Manahatta have been dispossessed and almost completely eliminated, while Dutch and British settlers used slavery to build the actual infrastructure of NYC. With the help of three civic partner associations, Black Gotham Experience, the Lenape Center, and the American Indian Community House, the class will confront the absence of indigenous peoples’ and slavery’s memory in the New York City / Lenapehoking landscape, architecture and monuments. Students will be asked to write two essays as part of the requirements, an argumentative essay on a political issue of these times, and a narrative essay, helping us to recreate the contours of social life in historical NYC. Readings will include among others: Michel-Rolph Trouillot on the Haitian revolution; Sidney Mintz on sugar; Sven Beckert on Cotton; John Clegg on Capitalism and Slavery; Tuck & Yang, Garba & Sorentino or Nandita Sharma on the indigeneity, slavery and migration. Note that this course benefits from a small grant from the Mellon Foundation (Periclean Faculty Leadership in the Humanities) that requires a parallel undergraduate course. The planned four walking tours will be scheduled on Tuesdays between 2.30 and 5pm (in part before this regular class schedule), and will be done in conjunction with the Lang students. The regular seminar sessions will only be for the graduate students. A couple of public events in the evening might also be scheduled as part of the course. 

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Historical Studies (GHIS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 5

Add/Drop Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 21, 2021 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 9:31pm 12/6/2021 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 407

Date Range: 8/31/2021 - 12/14/2021