Fall 2012 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course will analyze the American experience in Vietnam, 1950-1975. We will examine why the United States devoted enormous amounts of blood and treasure to its lengthy, unsuccessful venture to create an independent, non-Communist South Vietnam. In analyzing the American experience in Vietnam, we will also want to give proper attention to the nature and character of Vietnamese society and consider the Vietnamese perspective on all issues.
The course will take a multi-disciplinary approach to these issues. We will read the views of political and military officials and historians and political scientists. We will further want to analyze how novelists, filmmakers, dramatists, poets, philosophers, musicians, media critics, anti-war activists, and veterans have attempted to explain Vietnam.
During the semester, we will also be viewing documentaries such as Hearts and Minds, Remember My-Lai, The War at Home, and Regret to Inform, and excerpts from feature films such as Apocalypse Now and Hamburger Hill.
Textbooks (All Paperbacks):
George Herring, America's Longest War. 4th ed.
Duong Van Mai Elliot, The Sacred Willow.
David Halberstam, Ho.
Philip Caputo, A Rumor of War.
Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried.
Duong Thu Huong, Novel Without a Name.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
The student will be asked to purchase six paperbacks. Written work will consist of three (3-4 page) critical essays, and two examinations.
Please note that the instructor places a high value on class attendance and participation. Class attendance is MANDATORY. Attendance will be taken each day.