Professor Michael Levine

An examination of current slavery reparations debates in the US, the course seeks to situate these initiatives in a broader international context. We will thus study the Jewish material claims against Germany brought in the aftermath of the Holocaust, the history of Indigenous children in Canada, the "Stolen Generation" in Australia, and the children torn from their parents in the Belgian Congo. Our investigation will include the study of legal arguments and precedents, survivor accounts and historical reports. We will also examine related debates about the restitution of artwork and cultural artifacts in the aftermath of colonial exploitation and spoilation. As noted, these cases, important in their own right, will be examined with an eye to the complex issues involved in US reparations debates. In addition to the international cases, we will look at historical and legal precedents within the US including reparations made to Japanese-Americans interned during WWII and the families of 9/11 victims.