9781137438621

The Columbian Covenant Race and the Writing of American History

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781137438621

  • ISBN10:

    1137438622

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-12-19
  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot
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Summary

From studies of the colonial era to the 20th century, much of the writing of American history is prefigured on the historical construction and operation of racial ideas and their consequences over time. But race works in another way as well: historians regularly write the history of the United States in racial language similar to the times they study. "Black," "White," and "Indian" are as ubiquitous in modern scholarship as they are in historical documents.
When scholars use present-day racial language to articulate past histories of race and society, they collapse different historical significations of skin color into a transhistorical and essential notion of race that implicates their work in the histories that they endeavor to study. Such a constant and conventional reliance on the language of race means that in many ways the practice of United States history reproduces the same racial categories it seeks to critique, displace, and demolish. It is a circle that needs to be exposed before it can be broken.

Author Biography

James Carson is Chair of the Department of the History at Queen's University, Canada.

Table of Contents

1. Colonial Histories

2. National Histories

3. Modern Histories

4. Other Histories

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