Manu Karuka is the author of Empire's Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad (2019). He is a co-editor, with Juliana Hu Pegues and Alyosha Goldstein, of “On Colonial Unknowing,” a special issue of Theory & Event, and with Vivek Bald, Miabi Chatterji, and Sujani Reddy, he is a co-editor of The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (2013). His work appears in Critical Ethnic Studies, J19, Settler Colonial Studies, The Settler Complex: Recuperating Binarism in Colonial Studies (2016), edited by Patrick Wolfe, and Formations of United States Colonialism (2014), edited by Alyosha Goldstein. He is a member of the Council for Collaborative Inquiry, and an assistant professor of American Studies at Barnard College.
The history of North America can be understood as a history of imperialism, in relation to the histories of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The transcontinental railroad is a useful site to consider these historical links. This lecture draws out the concepts of continental imperialism, counter-sovereignty, and modes of relationship, from my book, Empire's Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad (University of California Press, 2019), to draw out the significance of imperialism in the history of North America.