"Empire's Tracks", a Native American History talk by Manu Karaka

Department: History

Date and Time: January 14, 2020 | 2:00 PM-4:30 PM

Event Location: HG 1030

Event Details

"Empire's Tracks", a talk by Manu Karaka

January 14, 2020
Humanities Gateway 1030

Talk Abstract:
Empire’s Tracks boldly reframes the history of the transcontinental railroad from the perspectives of the Cheyenne, Lakota, and Pawnee Native American tribes, and the Chinese migrants who toiled on its path. In this meticulously researched book, Manu Karuka situates the railroad within the violent global histories of colonialism and capitalism. Through an examination of legislative, military, and business records, Karuka deftly explains the imperial foundations of U.S. political economy. Tracing the shared paths of Indigenous and Asian American histories, this multisited interdisciplinary study connects military occupation to exclusionary border policies, a linked chain spanning the heart of U.S. imperialism.

About the Presenter: 
Manu Karuka is the author of Empire's Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad (University of California Press, 2019). He is a co-editor, with Juliana Hu Pegues and Alyosha Goldstein, of “On Colonial Unknowing,” a special issue of Theory & Event, and with Vivek Bald, Miabi Chatterji, and Sujani Reddy, he is a co-editor of The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (NYU Press, 2013). His work appears in Critical Ethnic Studies, J19, Settler Colonial Studies, The Settler Complex: Recuperating Binarism in Colonial Studies (UCLA American Indians Studies Center, 2016, edited by Patrick Wolfe), and Formations of United States Colonialism (Duke University Press, 2014, edited by Alyosha Goldstein). He is an assistant professor of American Studies at Barnard College.

This talk is sponsored by the Humanities Center, the Department of History, and the Native American Studies Program.