Please answer only 1 of the following QUESTIONS, and then include the REFLECTION described below it, in two paragraphs. Try to include examples from the reading, lecture material, or the course blog. Make sure you are precise in how you describe the details of your examples. If it helps in explaining your ideas, you may include personal anecdotes for the reflection.


  1. Based on what you’ve learned from the Ronald Takaki reading and the lecture notes, describe one of the Native American civilizations that inhabited the North American continent prior to the arrival of the English colonizers. How does this description differ from how Native Americans are usually depicted in American popular culture (e.g. compare to movie & TV depictions, TV, sports mascot stereotypes, Disney’s Pocahontas, the movie The New World, which is currently streaming on the VUDU app)?
  2. What does Ronald Takaki mean when he describes what sociologists often refer to as “the social construction of race?” Explain how this notion emerged in the early history of the U.S. colonies in relation to how the English colonizers described (in their tracts or writings) the culture of the Irish and then later Native Americans.
  3. Explain how and why Takaki refers to Shakespeare’s The Tempest as an allegory for English colonialism and the “racialization of savagery.” Describe the significance of the central characters in relation to Takaki’s


Based on which question you chose to answer, how does what you’ve learned differ from or present a different perspective than what you may have been taught before in school (i.e. K-12 education in the U.S. or primary/secondary school in other countries)?

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