Course Syllabus

“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has.”
Abraham Lincoln, August 22, 1864

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

 

[PRINTABLE SYLLABUS]

Books

  • Russell Baker,  Growing Up (New York: Signet, 1982) [WEB GUIDE]

 Additional Readings & Resources

First Essay –Nineteenth Century

On Friday, February 26, students will submit a 3-5 page typed, double-spaced essay on a nineteenth-century topic provided to them near the beginning of that week. All essays must include both primary and secondary source material from the assigned readings properly cited using Chicago-style footnotes. Outside research is allowed but not required. Additional information will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines at the course site. Essays will be graded on depth of analysis, use of evidence, and quality of prose. Late essays will be penalized up to 5 points each day.

Second Essay –Twentieth Century

On Friday, April 2, students will submit a 3-5 page typed, double-spaced essay on a twentieth-century topic provided to them near the beginning of that week. All essays must include both primary and secondary source material from the assigned readings properly cited using Chicago-style footnotes.  Outside research is allowed but not required. Additional information will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines at the course site. Essays will be graded on depth of analysis, use of evidence, and quality of prose. Late essays will be penalized up to 5 points each day.

Oral History Project

The highlight of this semester will be a multi-media oral history project that students will undertake to illustrate an important episode or trend covered in our online textbook, American Yawp.  By Friday, April 23, students should post a transcript (at least 500 words) from their initial interview(s) at the course website.  By Monday, May 10, students should post a full oral history essay that successfully incorporates quoted material from their interview(s) while also putting them into thoughtful historical context using not only American Yawp, but also other relevant primary and secondary sources.  Essays should cover about 4-6 pages and should include Chicago-style footnotes.   Students may submit a video documentary incorporating either audio or video clips from their oral history interviews for up to 5 extra credit points.  Additional information will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines at the course site. Projects will be graded on depth of analysis, research effort, and quality of prose. Late research submissions will be penalized up to 5 points per day.

Grade Distribution

  • Class Participation                              30 percent
  • First Essay (19th-century)                   20 percent
  • Second Essay (20th-century)              20 percent
  • Oral History project                            30 percent

 

Day Date Discussion Topic Reading Assignment
Tuesday 1/26 ZOOM:  Methods & Expectations
Thursday 1/28 EMAIL: Reconstruction Yawp, chap. 15 // Spilsbury site
 
Tuesday 2/2 ZOOM:  Meaning of Freedom Blight article // Prince exhibit
Thursday 2/4 EMAIL: Legacy of Slavery Slavery exhibit (report + legacy)
Tuesday 2/9 ZOOM:  Industrialization and Its Critics Yawp, chap. 16
Thursday 2/11 HUB / EMAIL: Debating Indian Policy Yawp, chap. 17 // Donoghue site
Tuesday 2/16 ZOOM:  New Americans? Yawp, chap. 18
Thursday 2/18 HUB / EMAIL: US Imperialism? Yawp, chap. 19
Tuesday 2/23 ZOOM:  Progressive Reforms Yawp, chap. 20
Thursday 2/25 HUB / EMAIL: World War I Yawp, chap. 21 // Forte site
Friday 2/26 Essay 1 due By 5pm
Tuesday 3/2 ZOOM:  Growing Up // 1920s Yawp, chap. 22 // Baker, chaps. 1-4
Thursday 3/4 HUB / EMAIL: Growing Up // New Deal Yawp, chap. 23 // Baker, chaps. 5-9
 
Tuesday 3/9 ZOOM:  Growing Up // Depression Baker, chaps. 10-12
Thursday 3/11 HUB / EMAIL: World War II Yawp, chap. 24 // Baker, chaps. 13-18
 
Tuesday 3/16 SPRING RECESS
Thursday 3/18 SPRING RECESS
Tuesday 3/23 ZOOM: Origins of Cold War Yawp, chap. 25
Thursday 3/25 HUB / EMAIL: Cold War Lives Forry // Meier // Valentino + Goodman site
Tuesday 3/30 ZOOM:  1950s Yawp, chap. 26
Thursday 4/1 HUB / EMAIL:  Baby Boomers Menkes // Lesher // Pelicano
Friday 4/2 Essay 2 due By 5pm
 
Tuesday 4/6 ZOOM:  1960s Yawp, chap. 27 // Sichel site
Thursday 4/8 HUB / EMAIL: Civil Rights Battles Ferry // Glick // Thornton
Tuesday 4/13 ZOOM:  Vietnam Yawp, chap. 28 (part 1) + Villotti site
Thursday 4/15 HUB / EMAIL:  Combatants Braxton // Huber // Nolan
Tuesday 4/20 ZOOM:  Age of Discontent Yawp, chap. 28 (part 2)
Thursday 4/22 HUB / EMAIL:  Protesters Goldberg // Maltz // McCarthy // Pasquali
Friday 4/23 Oral History interviews due By 5pm
Tuesday 4/27 ZOOM:  1980s Yawp, chap. 29
Thursday 4/29 HUB / EMAIL:  Business & Culture Carr // Cohane // Drabkin // Snyder
 
Tuesday 5/4 ZOOM:  Modern Times Yawp, chap. 30
Thursday 5/6 HUB: Lessons & Legacies
Monday 5/10 Oral History Projects due By 5pm