Writing Westward Podcast Episode 015
Manu Karuka is Assistant Professor of American Studies, and affiliated faculty with Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Barnard College. Empire's Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad was published by the University of California Press in 2019 in their "American Crossroads" series.
Empire's Tracks takes familiar histories of American westward expansion and transcontinental railroad construction and retells them through the often missing contexts of captialism, finance, and what Karuka terms a "military-finance nexus." Viewed as "continental imperialism," Karuka shows how the entreprises of expansion, military conquest, and capitalist enterprise were intertwined and that their continental extension unfolded over colonized territories, not American homelands. By featuring histories of how Natives peoples and Chinese laborers experienced the transcontinetnal railroad story, Empire's Tracks expands our view of history. Integrations of global economic networks, political and economic philosophy, and post-colonial literature and theory offer a powerful set of lenses through which to read old stories anew.
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- Host and Producer Brenden W. Rensink is Associate Director of the Redd Center, an Associate Professor of History at BYU, General Editor of the Intermountain Histories project, and author of the 2018 book Native but Foreign: Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands.
- Podcast Music was written and recorded by local Provo composer by Micah Dahl Anderson.
- Episodes are recorded via Skype or in person and amateurishly engineered by Rensink.
- To submit a book to be considered for a podcast episode, email firstname.lastname@example.org.