“How to Hide an Empire”: Daniel Immerwahr on the History of the Greater United States

“How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” That’s the title of a new book examining a part of the U.S. that is often overlooked: the nation’s overseas territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, former territories like the Philippines, and its hundreds of military bases scattered across the globe. We speak with the book’s author, Daniel Immerwahr, who writes, “At various times, the inhabitants of the U.S. Empire have been shot, shelled, starved, interned, dispossessed, tortured and experimented on. What they haven’t been, by and large, is seen.” Immerwahr is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University.

How Beijing Is Redefining What It Means to Be Chinese, from Xinjiang to Inner Mongolia

Although Article 4 of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China theoretically guarantees equality for all its 56 ethnic groups, in reality the Chinese Communist Party rules according to a Han Chinese orthodoxy, which claims a direct lineage from the early Yellow River basin tribes and alone defines the national vision. It is this ideology that drives not just the assault on religion in Xinjiang but also the erosion of freedoms in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, curbs on local language in Inner Mongolia and the corralling of 2.8 million Tibetans into urban work groups under the guise of “poverty alleviation.”

The goal, according to an official ordinance on the government website for the Xinjiang city of Kashgar, is to “break lineage, break roots, break connections and break origins.”


Indicator Podcasts on Water Scarcity

Here is a series of four 9 minute podcasts exploring different aspects of water security, scarcity, access, and other related issues. This topic provides great connections to HLX concepts like Health, Environment, Borders, and Security along with issues related to economic development.

Here are some other articles under the category of “water”

Water In The West: Bankrupt?


Liquid Markets


Water’s Cheap… Should It Be?


Should The Lawns In Vegas, Stay In Vegas?


Resources on the National Register of Citizens in Assam, India

Citizenship Amendment Bill: India’s new ‘anti-Muslim’ law explained

Opponents of the bill say it is exclusionary and violates the secular principles enshrined in the constitution. They say faith cannot be made a condition of citizenship.

The constitution prohibits religious discrimination against its citizens, and guarantees all persons equality before the law and equal protection of the law.


The Foreigner: Soldier, engineer, Assam Border Police official: Mohammed Sanaullah was the model Indian citizen. Then his employers decided he wasn’t.

Waves of migration from East Bengal in the twentieth century have, indeed, caused a significant demographic shift. At the beginning of the century, Assam’s Muslim population was 12.4 percent. At the start of the twenty-first century, it was 30.92 per cent. This rate of growth is compared with the rest of India to make a case for unchecked illegal migration from Bangladesh. That is why being a Bengali-speaking Muslim in Assam is a presumption against being an ‘original inhabitant.’


Why has India’s Assam erupted over an ‘anti-Muslim’ law?


How the National Citizenship Registration in Assam is shaping a new national identity in India


Citizenship Amendment Bill Negatively Impacts Indigenous Peoples of Northeast India




Migration, Refugee Lessons and Resources

Misc. Links

Refugee Processing Center

Great resource for data and research



Good general facts and figures about refugees


“Abdi and the Golden Ticket”

This American Life Podcast, “A story about someone who’s desperately trying – against long odds – to make it to the United States and become an American. Abdi is a Somali refugee living in Kenya and gets the luckiest break of his life: he wins a lottery that puts him on a short list for a U.S. visa. This is his ticket out. But before he can cash in his golden ticket, the police start raiding his neighborhood, targeting refugees.”


U.S. Sued by Its Iraqi Helpers Over Visa Delays


Mexican Opium Prices Plummet, Driving Poppy Farmers to Migrate

NY Times article about the drop in prices is leading poppy farmers to seek work in the United States and other places

Lesson Plan: The Crisis in Ukraine

This lesson examines the crisis in Ukraine. First, students hold a brief discussion on what they think
is the most important news story going on. Then they read and discuss a background piece on the
crisis in Ukraine. Next, in small groups, they role play international lawyers and analyze Ukraine’s
1994 Budapest Memorandum, an agreement among Ukraine, Russia, the U.S., and the U.K.

Israel-Palestine Resources

Israeli occupation turns 50: A Palestinian’s commute through Checkpoint 300

Occupied: Year 50 | Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began five decades ago, when Israel defeated three Arab armies. Today, millions of Palestinians still face concrete walls, checkpoints and other Israeli controls. What does it feel like to be “occupied” in 2017? The lives of three people – a construction worker, a cancer patient and a tycoon – offer some answers.

The Arab World Has Never Recovered From the Loss of 1967

Fifty years after Azm and other Arab intellectuals started to mercilessly deconstruct their ossified political orders, reactionary and primitive religious structures, and stagnant societies, the Arab world has descended further into darkness. Physical, intellectual, and political desolation has claimed many of the once lively metropolises of the Arab region — Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Mosul, Cairo, and Alexandria — with only Beirut still resisting, albeit teetering on the edge. For centuries, these cities constituted a rich human and linguistic mosaic of ancient communities including Muslims, Christians, Jews, Druze, Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, and Circassians. In modern times, they were joined by Greek, Armenian, and Italian communities. A vibrant cosmopolitanism found home in the port cities of Alexandria and Beirut and the cities of the hinterland, such as Aleppo, Damascus, and Baghdad.

Continue reading “Israel-Palestine Resources”