Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session
This seminar will enable you to become familiar with the major questions of modern U.S. history from post-Reconstruction to the present. The course aims to introduce you to multiple approaches and interpretations in many sub-fields of American history.
Every week we will explore what question the author is trying to answer and discuss the methodology, conclusions, and alternative arguments. In addition to the assigned book, there are also recommended readings.
The class will depend upon and require active participation in discussions (25%). Periodically, you will be responsible for giving a presentation on the weekly reading and the relevant literature. To facilitate discussion, please submit questions about the readings to me and to the presenter ahead of time.
In addition to reading and discussion, you will have to write three five-page papers (25% each). One will be a book review, another will be a comparison of two books, and the last will be a discussion of a historiographical theme. You may choose to write these papers in any week you like, provided that you write at least one paper before fall break. See the assignments section for further details.