Spring 2023

American Empire

Listed in: History, as HIST-333

Moodle site: Course


Andrew Bell (Section 01)


[US/TC/TE/TR] Is the United States an empire? Was the United States an empire? What does it mean to be an empire or to act imperially? And how has the United States’ relationship to these concepts and structures changed over time? This course uses the lens of empire and imperialism to examine the social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental history of the United States from the nation’s founding up to the present. Rather than focusing on traditional diplomatic relations or domestic political culture, it highlights the in-between spaces—western territories invaded by white settlers, overseas possessions annexed by war and declaration, and foreign countries subjected to the disproportionate influence of U.S. presence in their domestic affairs—to explore how American imperial power manifested, how those affected adapted to and resisted it, and how the legacies of this history continue through the present. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Bell.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which may include written documents, images, music, films, or statistics from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, varying forms of written work, and intensive in-class discussions.


2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023