Spring 2016 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Hill, Kim
Discipline and Number
HIST 6325 Section 001
R Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Reforming the American Dream

Description of Course:

HIST 6325 America in the 20th Century: Reforming the American Dream
To study the development of the modern United States fully, we need to analyze Americans' expectations for how the nation should have changed in the past century. This course explores major shifts in U.S. history through the activism of reformers from the 1890s through the 1990s. We will consider how these reformers used strategies including politics, civil disobedience, entertainment, religion, and environmental activism to promote their visions of an improved society. Specifically, these reformers’ actions reveal various interpretations of "the American Dream" and its implications for family life, urban planning, race relations, and economics. The assignments will strengthen your historical synthesis skills and help you prepare to teach cultural history at the secondary or post-secondary level.

Required Texts:

1. Barkan, Elliott. From Arrival to Incorporation: Migrants to the US in a Global Era. New York: NYU Press, 2007. 9780814799604. Available as an e-book through UTD Library.
2. Cohen, Nancy. Making a New Deal. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 978-0521715355
3. Dudziak, Mary L. Cold War Civil Rights. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. 9780691152431
4. Glave, Diana and Mark Stoll. To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006. 0822958996. Available as an e-book through UTD Library.
5. Horne, Gerald. Fire this Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s. Boston: Da Capo Press, 1997. 978-0306807923
6. Kruse, Kevin. One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America. New York: Basic Books, 2015. 978-0465049493
7. Larson, Edward. Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. New York: Basic Books, 2008. 978-0465075102. Available as an e-book through UTD Library.
8. May, Elaine Tyler. America and the Pill. New York: Basic Books, 2010. 978-0465024599. Available as an e-book through UTD Library.
9. McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. 9780691165738. Available as an e-book through UTD Library.
10. Mettler, Suzanne. Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest
Generation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 9780195331301. Available
as an e-book through UTD Library.
11. Nachman, Gerald. Seriously Funny: Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s.
New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2009. 978-0823047864
12. Sugrue, Thomas. Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Post-War Detroit. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014. 978-0691162553. Available as an e-book through UTD Library.
13. Tyrrell, Ian. Reforming the World: The Creation of America's Moral Empire. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. 978-691145211

1. Anderson, Karen. Teaching Gender in US History. Washington, DC: American
Historical Association, 1997. 978-0-87229-078-5.

2. Blackey, Robert. Perspectives on Teaching to Think Historically. Washington, DC:
American Historical Association, 1999. 978-0-87229-113-3.

3. Blackey, Robert. Perspectives on Teaching World and Global History. Washington,
DC: American Historical Association, 1999. 978-0-87229-113-3.

4. Chafe, William H. The Rise and Fall of the Twentieth Century: The United States
from 1890-2009. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 9780195382624

5. McClymer, John. The AHA Guide to Teaching and Learning with New Media.
Washington, DC: American Historical Association, 2005. 978-0-87229-137-9.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Participation: Facilitate discussion during the week of your choice by introducing the assigned book and asking six questions about it. (12%)
Vignette Essay: Introduce one historic reform strategy and summarize what your audience gains from learning about it. Incorporate a relevant quote, historical object analysis, or current event. Also define one key term that helps readers understand this example of reform. (1.5-2 pages, 8%)
Comparative Essay: Trace the development of a specific interpretation of “the American Dream” over the 20th century, then explain its connection to a specific reform strategy. Use evidence from two class readings, a textbook, and your choice of two primary sources. (6-7 pages, 20%)
Biographical Essay: Identify a specific person affiliated with one of the reform strategies covered in this class, and evaluate the historiographical interpretation of that person's work. Suggest 3 key terms that describe that person's work and explain how you could teach them in a U.S. history survey course. (5-6 pages, 20%)
Lesson Plan Assignment: Write a potential lesson plan describing one reform strategy, explaining its influence on American society, and tracing its development throughout the 20th century. Incorporate a teaching strategy from the AHA pamphlet of your choice. Revise your previous assignments to include a vignette introduction, a biographical feature, key terms, and explanations of change over time. Use historical details from at least three primary sources and at least three class readings. (14-16 pages, 40%)

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