Course Syllabus

“I shall not surrender this game leaving any available card unplayed.”

–Abraham Lincoln, July 26, 1862

[PRINTABLE SYLLABUS]

Required  Text

  • Herring, George C. From Colony to Superpower: US Foreign Relations Since 1776. New York:  Oxford University Press, 2008. [LIBRARY ONLINE]

Additional Readings

Early American Diplomatic Profile

By Friday, September 25, students will submit a 6 to 8 page essay that analyzes a significant diplomatic contribution from an American historical figure (not serving as president) during the period between 1776 and 1920.  Each essay should provide background on the person as well as thoughtful context about that period.  All essays should use George Herring’s From Colony to Superpower (2008) as a starting point, but they should also employ a wide-ranging combination of other high quality primary and secondary sources. All essays should be typed and double-spaced as a Word or PDF document with title page and Chicago-style footnotes (no bibliography required).  In addition to the essay, students should also submit a custom-made Google Map, StorymapJS or TimelineJS on their chosen diplomatic episode.  Well-designed maps or timelines are required but can receive up to 5 extra-credit points.  Additional information and guidance will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines at the course site. Both essay and map / timeline links should be submitted by email to Prof. Pinsker by 5pm on the due date.  Student work will be graded on research effort, depth of analysis and prose quality. Late essays will be penalized up to 5 points per day.

Modern American Diplomatic Profile

By SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1 [REVISED], students will submit a 6 to 8 page essay that analyzes a significant diplomatic contribution from an American historical figure (not serving as president) during the period between 1921 and 2001.  Each essay should provide background on the person as well as thoughtful context about that period.  All essays should use George Herring’s From Colony to Superpower (2008) as a starting point, but they should also employ a wide-ranging combination of other high quality primary and secondary sources. All essays should also be typed and double-spaced as a Word or PDF document with title page and Chicago-style footnotes (no bibliography required).  In addition to the essay, students should also submit a short documentary-style video (about 2 to 3 minutes) on their chosen diplomatic figure.  Well-designed videos are required but can receive up to 5 extra-credit points.  Additional information and guidance will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines posted at the course site. Both essay and video link should be submitted by email to Prof. Pinsker by 5pm on the due date.  Student work will be graded on research effort, depth of analysis and prose quality. Late essays will be penalized up to 5 points per day.

Profiles in Diplomacy Web Project

By Wednesday, December 2, students should post a profiles in diplomacy project on their own Weebly site that explains a major diplomatic contribution from an American historical figure (not serving as president).  Each project should be designed as an online teaching exhibit, revised from material submitted earlier in one of the previous profiles papers, but now focusing on conveying a more wide-ranging multi-institutional (executive branch, congress, political parties, media, etc.) and multi-dimensional perspectives (both American and international).  Once again, students should employ a variety of primary and secondary sources, but now benefiting from the online platform, they should also strive to find ways for providing full-text access to those primary sources whenever available.  Most important, students should also strive to engage classroom audiences with a host of visual and multi-media tools such as timelines, maps and short videos.  Students may embed and curate multi-media elements from outside sources, but they must take care to credit and caption those sources properly.  All text content at the student-produced websites should be original and cited with Chicago-style footnotes.  Students should submit a link to their website by email to Prof. Pinsker.  Late projects will be penalized up to 5 points per day.

Grade Distribution

Class Participation                              30 percent

Early American Profile                        20 percent

Modern American Profile                    20 percent

Profiles in Diplomacy project              30 percent

 

Day Date Discussion Topic Reading Assignment
Tuesday 8/18 ZOOM –Methods & Expectations
Thursday 8/20 Email —Mapping American Diplomacy Mead article
Tuesday 8/25 Email —Revolutionary Diplomacy

US-French Alliance // Treaty of Paris

Herring, chapter 1

 

Thursday 8/27 ZOOM –Constitutional Diplomacy LaFeber article
Tuesday 9/1 Email —Partisan Diplomacy

Farewell Address // Alien & Sedition

Herring, chapter 2

 

Thursday 9/3 ZOOM —Jeffersonian Diplomacy

Louisiana Purchase // War of 1812

Herring, chapter 3
Tuesday 9/8 Email —Jacksonian Diplomacy

Monroe Doctrine

Herring, chapter 4
Thursday 9/10 ZOOM —Expansionist Diplomacy

Manifest Destiny // Mexican War

Herring, chapter 5

Nelligan post

Tuesday 9/15 Email —Lincolnian Diplomacy

Trent Affair // Seward’s Folly

Herring, ch. 6

 

Thursday 9/17 ZOOM —Debating War Powers

Lieber Code

Pinsker, exhibit

Aillon and Schauffler posts

Tuesday 9/22 Email —Global Diplomacy

Chinese Exclusion 

Herring, chapter 7
Thursday 9/24 ZOOM —Imperial Diplomacy

War of 1898 // Open Door

Herring, chapter 8

Greco post

Friday 9/25 First profile papers due By 5pm
Tuesday 9/29 Email —Progressive Diplomacy

Panama Canal // Dollar Diplomacy

Herring, chapter 9

Kennedy post

Thursday 10/1 ZOOM —Wilsonian Diplomacy

Fourteen Points // Treaty of Versailles

Herring, chapter 10

 

Tuesday 10/6 NO CLASS (Fall Pause)
Thursday 10/8 ZOOM —Commercial Diplomacy

Washington Naval Conference // Dawes Plan

Herring, chapter 11
 
Tuesday 10/13 Email –FDR Diplomacy

Good Neighbor // America First

Herring, chapter 12

 

Thursday 10/15 ZOOM —Alliance Diplomacy

Casablanca // Yalta

Herring, chapter 13

Solnit, India Lobby project

Tuesday 10/20 Email —Containment Diplomacy

Long Telegram // Berlin Blockade

Herring, ch. 14 (pp. 595-626)

 

Thursday 10/22 ZOOM —Cold War Diplomacy

NSC 68 // Korean War

Herring, ch. 14 (pp. 626-650)

Weisman post

Tuesday 10/27 Email —Brinksmanship Diplomacy

Suez Crisis // U2 Affair

Herring, chapter 15

Aillon, Dulles project

Thursday 10/29 ZOOM —Crisis Diplomacy

Cuban Missile Crisis

Herring, ch. 16 (pp.702-729)

 

SUNDAY 11/1 Second profile papers due By 5pm
Tuesday 11/3 Email —Vietnam Diplomacy

Gulf of Tonkin

Herring, ch. 16 (pp. 729-759)

 

Thursday 11/5 ZOOM –Nixonian Diplomacy

Détente // China Opening

Herring, chapter 17

Goldberg post

Tuesday 11/10 Email —Human Rights Diplomacy

Helsinki // Iran Hostage Crisis

Herring, chapter 18

 

Thursday 11/12 ZOOM –Reaganite Diplomacy

Star Wars // First Gulf War

Herring, chapter 19

Bisbjerg post // Marecheau and Warzecha Grenada posts

Tuesday 11/17 Email —Interventionist Diplomacy Herring, ch. 20 (pp. 917-938)

Schauffler, Albright profile

Thursday 11/19 ZOOM –Post 9/11 Diplomacy Herring, ch. 20 (pp. 938-964)
Tuesday 11/24 ZOOM —Lessons & Legacies  
Wednesday 12/2 Final projects due By email by 5pm