The Imperialist Roots of the U.S.A.

Oct 3, 6pm EDT
UMass Amherst Student Union Ballroom & Online

Manu Karuka

Assistant Professor of American Studies, Barnard College

Historian Manu Karuka (Department of American Studies at Barnard College) explores the foundations of the U.S. in settler colonialism and slavery. The lecture traces the evolution of U.S. imperialism through wars to control land and labor, from the conquest of North America to expansion into the Caribbean and the Pacific by the close of the nineteenth century. Karuka offers a definition of imperialism and explores its centrality to understanding and overcoming the major crises of our moment.

Top photo: John Carbutt, photographer. Westward, the Monarch Capital Makes Its Way. 1866. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The Recording

The Presenter

Manu Karuka is the author of Empire’s Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad (University of California Press). He is assistant professor of American Studies at Barnard College, and a co-editor of 1804 Books.

Recommended Reading

W.E.B. Du Bois, “The African Roots of War,” The Atlantic, May 1915.

Followup Discussion

Monday, October 10, 9:30am-11:00am EDT

Join the Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst for a reading and discussion of W.E.B. Du Bois, “The African Roots of War”, The Atlantic, 1915. This event is part of the ongoing “Breakfast with Du Bois” series, a weekly Zoom event where a text by or about W. E. B. Du Bois is read aloud and discussed. The weekly sessions are an excellent way to learn more about W. E. B. Du Bois, engage in productive dialogue, and build community. No prior knowledge of Du Bois or the text is required or assumed.

Register here:

Location Information

The UMass Amherst Student Union (41 Campus Center Way) is a short distance from the Campus Parking Garage (1 Campus Center Way, off of Commonwealth Ave, $1.75/hour). See map for free parking. Bus Schedule | Campus Map with Venue and Parking Indicated | Directions to the Student Union | Accessible Parking

The Feinberg Series

The 2022-2023 Feinberg Series is exploring histories of U.S. imperialism and anti-imperialist resistance. It is presented by the UMass Amherst Department of History in collaboration with the Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy and in partnership with more than two dozen co-sponsors. The Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of UMass Amherst history department alumnus Kenneth R. Feinberg ’67 and associates.