Course Description: From the late 15th century onward, European imperialism left a legacy of racism and cultural antagonism as European powers sought to exploit the human, cultural and economic resources of societies across the globe. In recent years, the issue of reckoning with this legacy has provoked intense debate worldwide. Should governments apologize and pay reparations for their actions? Should looted artwork be returned to its country of origin? Should statues associated with racism and colonialism be torn down? Should reparations be paid to the descendants of the enslaved?
Following the example of the Nuremberg trials after World War II, national governments and local communities have taken a range of actions to address this legacy. This class will explore these topics through lecture and discussion.
February 15: Five-Hundred Years of European Colonialism: A Very Short History
February 22: The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
February 29: Monuments and Artwork
March 7: Reparations
Location: Harbor Club
Dates/Times: Thursdays Feb 15 to Mar 7, from 9:30 am -10:45 am
Instructor: Iris Berger
Iris Berger is Professor Emerita of History at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where she held joint appointments in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies. After receiving her B.A. in history at the University of Michigan, she taught in a girls’ high school in Kenya for two years and then received her Ph.D. in African history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has written extensively on African history with a special focus on women’s history and the history of South Africa.
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