Fall 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
The United States has often been called a "nation of immigrants." This course traces mass migrations within and from the U.S. for insight into definitions of "American civilization." Within this broad topic, you will have several opportunities to consider how historians determine the characteristics of social groups. The travelers we will study include enslaved workers, soldiers, homemakers, entertainers, political exiles, businesspeople, and missionaries. We will discuss various types of research techniques within social history and develop academic responses to current controversies regarding immigration.
Rather than a broad survey, the class schedule focuses on analyzing specific migrations from the increasing European immigration and domestic slave trade in the 1830s through immigration reform and military deployment in the 1960s. While comparing the strategies of social historians, we will trace the creation and development of civilization theories. You will also practice social history by analyzing primary sources in participation activities, short essays, one test, a media-based assignment, and one research paper. These assignments will prepare you to articulate and defend a unique interpretation of American civilization in your final essay.
- Desmond King, Making Americans: Immigration, Race, and the Origins of the Diverse Democracy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000). ISBN 0674000889
- Ronald Takaki, A Larger Memory: A History of Our Diversity, with Voices (New York: Little, Brown, and Co., 1998). ISBN: 0316311626
- Ian Tyrell, Reforming the World: The Creation of America's Moral Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013). ISBN: 978-0691162010
- Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (New York: Random House, 2010). ISBN 0679444327
Other assigned book chapters and primary sources will be posted on the course E-Learning page throughout the semester. See Coursebook for the full syllabus.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
â€¢Participation in class discussions and/or activities 12%
â€¢1-1.5 pages of Short Answers to an online activity on forced migration in the 17th-18th centuries (due Sept. 8) 5%
â€¢2 page Analysis Essay evaluating a primary source and relating it to a broader historical context (due Oct. 1) 10%
â€¢Key Term Review Test and In-Class Response Essay analyzing class details and a relevant current event (due Oct. 15) 20%
â€¢4 page Media Assignment using a primary and a secondary source to explain how a certain image, object, sound, etc. helps you link American civilization to migration experiences (due Nov. 19) 13%
â€¢10-11 page Final Research Essay analyzing a specific aspect of U.S. social history using at least six primary and secondary sources and identifying your research strategy (due Dec. 12th) 40%