How might we think about race as a paradoxically fungible yet persistent feature of human history? This mini seminar examines race as a global phenomenon with long and diverse histories. In its migrations, conceptions of race have repeatedly been marshaled, decried, dismissed, and repurposed, reformulating conceptions of kinship and social organization along the way. From ancient empires, medieval religious conflicts, and early modern accounts of “barbarians” and “strangers” to the longue durée of colonial settlement and slavery, and from the revolutions and uprisings of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries to more recent accounts of physiognomy, eugenics, and DNA, the phenomenon of race has interacted dynamically across time and space with conceptions of caste, color, class, language, identity, law, region, and religion. Our class will begin with a conventional genealogy of race as arising from the age of Atlantic Revolutions, the slave trade, and scientific thinking in Europe and the United States before complicating our understandings of the phenomenon as one shaped over centuries of contact and interchange. Our second session will examine a longer history of race and caste in relation to Iberian colonization of the East and West Indies and our third session will investigate race and the littoral in Indian Ocean studies. Registration deadline is August 8th, 2014.