This course will be offered via Zoom, meeting once a week and attendance will be required unless special accommodations are requested. There will be weekly modules and discussion posts. All reading and academic materials will be linked to the bcourses page. The grades are broken up as follows: 40% for Weekly Discussion Posts (roughly 200 words), 20% for Midterm Quiz (multiple choice and one brief response), 30% for Annotated Bibliography ( 3 new sources self selected by students. Each entry should be about 150-200 words in length), and 10% participation in the synchronous meetings.
Following this paragraph is an overview of the course.
While American White Power Movements are not a new phenomena, developments in the movement’s violence, recruitment, and conspiracy are in fact many ways novel. Post-Civil War economic discrepancies required more acute racial distinctions, and these distinctions carried a framing of whiteness and violence into the next century. From the developments of the Klu Klux Klan, to paramilitary affiliations in the 1960s, White Power Movements relied on traditional frameworks of racial superiority and mobilized their more immediate communities to prepare for a race war insurgency. Contemporary White Power Movements still have traces of old, but with the advent of the internet, the surge in social medias, changes in policy and key exemplarily members committing mass acts of terror, we are seeing developments totally unknown to the party before. This course aims to illustrate a historical context for prior movements to serve as the backdrop to both frame elements of contemporary white domestic terrorism and as spectacle for the unique trends of racial antagonisms and brutality that we are seeing evolve in real time, today.
This course is designed to be multidimensional. There will be a diverse array of content, from books, to documentaries, current proposed policy reform, podcasts and news media. We begin the course with what qualifies as whiteness, what currencies whiteness provides and the conditions for these perceived entitlements, as presented on behalf of political and elite leaders throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. The course then shifts to the pivotal moment of Timothy McVeigh, new tendencies towards paramilitary performative assault, and backlash to socio-economic white ‘otherness’. Finally, the course will conclude with in depth looks into current reporting on recently developed militias, self radicalism via algorithms and networking domains, and white anxiety conspiracies that solicit fatal acts of violence. The hope is that this course is both informative to the current moment on American White Power Movements, and additionally prescriptive to understanding exactly what we are coming up against in the near future.
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