United States

280D.002 Fall 2005 Vietnam War Perspectives

This seminar will examine the Vietnam War from a variety of perspectives. We will use Marilyn Young's, The Vietnam Wars, to provide an overall continuity from 1945 to 1990, Eric Bergerud's Red Thunder, Tropic Lightning : The World of a Combat Division in Vietnam to examine oral histories and their nature as they cover one unit in the American escalation and intervention, Fredrik Logevall's Choosing War: The Last Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam

24.002 Fall 2005 The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements

This course will examine the origins, development, and consequences of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Our discussions will build upon a selection of short readings, documentary films, musical texts, and visual artifacts. Our major intellectual preoccupation will be analyzing historical and cultural representations of this watershed moment.

7A Fall 2005 United States

This course is an introduction to the history of the United States from the beginning of European colonization to the end of the Civil War. It is also an introduction to the study of history: the ways historians look at the past and think about evidence. It has two major themes. One is to understand the process through which democratic political institutions emerged in the U.S. in this period.

103D(R.007 Fall 2005 Religion in 20th century American life

Drawing upon a mixture of primary and secondary sources, this seminar will consider the place of religion in 20th century American life. The seminar will move chronologically, but will center thematically on the problem of secularization, particularly among intellectuals; increased religious diversity twinned with the continued assertion of America's identity as a Christian nation; and the rise of the religious right.

103D.009 Fall 2005 Post World War II US: the Unheralded Revolution

Did the formative years of 1945-1960 represent a revolution in progressive reform or the birth of a dynamic conservative movement? Did the US expand its empire "by invitation" or merely resist Soviet expansionism? Did Americans grudgingly accept federal power or did this new Leviathan antagonize its subjects? Those who long for simplicity will be disappointed to learn that the readings for this course will, to some degree, support all of the options enumerated above.

101.01 Fall 2005 The U.S. Supreme Court in Historical Context, 1954-1973

From 1954 to 1973, a series of Supreme Court decisions fundamentally reshaped American society. To name a few, Brown vs. Board of Education ended legal racial segregation in schools, Miranda vs. Arizona established the rights of criminal defendants, and Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion. These decisions were seen by some as fulfilling the true values of America, and by others as a grave threat to the social order. As such, the decisions provide an ideal setting to examine competing definitions of the nation and the national good.

103D.008 Fall 2005 Readings on Business in the History of American Life

";The business of America is business,"; Calvin Coolidge is supposed to have remarked, in his crass and laconic way. Probably most American academicians--especially those who labor in the humanities and give themselves to the life of the mind and aesthetic appreciation--have at some time or other snickered in disapproval. But they also probably acknowledge that it would be hard to dispute what for them may seem to be its drab truth. In their study of American life, however, they have on the whole chosen simply to ignore it.

103D.004 Fall 2005 Spectatorship and Performance in American Culture, 1800-1945

It has become commonplace to assert that the spectacles of violence we encounter on television or at the movies desensitize us and encourage us to experience real-life violence as voyeuristic spectators. In fact, movie-going, television watching, and other acts of modern spectatorship affect us in myriad and complex ways; they can both engage and alienate us, give us a sense of vicarious experience, horrify us, amuse us, and inspire feelings of sympathy, anger, and moral responsibility.

101.004 Fall 2005 Crime and Punishment in American History

This research seminar explores the social, political, and cultural history of crime, criminal law, policing, and punishment in the United States, from 1609 to the present, and guides students through the process of writing a senior thesis in the field. In the first few weeks, we will orient ourselves in the crime and punishment historiography, chiefly by reading and discussing some of its most innovative scholarship.

103D.006 Fall 2005 Brave New Worlds: Biology and American History from the 1860s to the 1990s

At the turn of the 21st century, with the sequencing of the human genome complete, scientists and politicians hailed the coming of a new biotechnological age. Craig Venter prophesied "a new starting point" in human history, while James Watson promised a "giant resource that will change mankind, like the printing press." President Clinton announced that "today we are learning the language in which God created life." These bold visions were accompanied by deep anxieties and fears.


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