Hist 623 Syllabus

Document Sample
Hist 623 Syllabus Powered By Docstoc
					Dr. Michael Wm. Doyle                  Office Phone: 765-285-8732; Fax: 765-285-5612
Department of History                  E-mail: mwdoyle@bsu.edu
Burkhardt Bldg. 213                    Home Page: http://www.bsu.edu/web/mwdoyle/hist _623
Ball State University                  Office Hours: Wed., 2:00-4:00 P.M. & by appointment
Muncie, IN 47306-0480                                                             [HST623-0.001.F08]

            HISTORY 623 / Section 001: SPECIAL TOPICS IN U.S. HISTORY:
                            THE “LONG SIXTIES,” 1954-1974
              Fall Semester 2008 / Meets Tuesdays, 6:30-9:10 P.M., in BB 201

                                    COURSE DESCRIPTION

This readings seminar is designed for graduate students who are interested in developing a
foundation of knowledge about the United States during the Civil Rights and Vietnam War era.
It will be especially helpful for those who intend to focus on the social and political history of the
post-World War II period for their M.A. comprehensive examinations or thesis research.
Together we will peruse a range of texts that explore phenomena such as the Cold War, the Civil
Rights movement, the New Left, the second-wave Women’s movement, the Counterculture, and
popular music as cultural politics. In addition, we will examine legacies of the Sixties through
the era’s lasting impact on matters as diverse as shifts in the mode of religious expression and
experience, the emergence of identity politics, and the “culture wars.”

                                        COURSE GOALS

Students who complete this seminar will be better equipped to address the following questions in
their own scholarly work on the period:

Chronology and periodization: To what extent was the Sixties a rupture, a watershed period
demarcating a “before-and-after” in contemporary history? Or would it better to conceive of it
as a bridge between two more stable temporal regimes? How does one determine when an era
such “the Sixties” began or ended? Is it possible to write a coherent history of the Sixties
without adopting a “rise and fall” framework? Might other tropes be more perspicacious for
making sense of the Sixties?

Historiography: What are the prevailing interpretations that condition historical analysis of the
Sixties? Where should we situate the texts we’re closely reading in this seminar in the
historiographical literature?

Methodology: How does a chronological period look different when viewed through the lens of
primary source documents instead of secondary sources, or vice versa? What is the most
efficacious way to balance the sometimes complementary, sometimes contradictory perspectives
of primary and secondary sources when exploring the nature and meaning of past events?
Modes of historical narrative: Do historical studies written by people who experienced the
events at issue, such as the genre of “memoir-history,” inherently possess more cultural authority
or veracity than monographs by historians who did not? Are the concepts of generations or
zeitgeist useful in framing and assessing the Sixties as a historical period?

Topical issues: Although much of what has been written about the Sixties emphasizes its radical
bent, to what extent might this approach mask the fundamentally conservative nature of the
period? Are the Sixties best understood as representing the final crisis of modernity and the birth
of the postmodern? How might one synthesize the plethora of “new social histories,” “histories
from the bottom up,” and micro studies to arrive at a more comprehensive perspective of this
complex era?

                                      REQUIRED TEXTS

James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (1996)

Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines, eds., “Takin’ It to the Streets”: A Sixties Reader
(2nd ed.; 2003)

John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (1994)

Suzanne E. Smith, Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit (2001)

George Donelson Moss, Vietnam: An American Ordeal (5th ed., 2005)

Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (1993)

Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America

Andrew G. Kirk, Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American
Environmentalism (2007)

Mark Oppenheimer, Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of
Counterculture (2003)

Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (2002)

                             GRADING PERCENTAGE SCALE

A 93-100%       B+    87-89 %         C+ 77-79%        D+ 67-69%            F 0-59%
A- 90-92 %      B     83-86 %         C 73-76%         D  63-66%
                B-    80-82 %         C- 70-72%        D- 60-62%

Points                                GRADING CRITERIA

   70          Attendance and Participation

 130           Quality of 13 Weekly Written Discussion Questions (@ 10 points each)

 200           Performance as Seminar Discussion Co-Leader on One Week’s Readings

 300           Four 5-pp. Book Reports on Weekly Assigned Monograph (@75 points each)

  300          12-pp. Synthetic College-level Lecture on a Topic Related to the Sixties and
+                     8-minute Oral Report both due in seminar on 9 December
_____          __________________________________________________________________

1000           Total Number of Possible Points = Course Grade of “A”

[See also the “Policy on Attendance and Participation” below concerning penalty points.
Students must satisfactorily complete all course requirements in order to qualify for a passing
grade including the submission of all writing assignments and co-leading a weekly discussion.]


Students are expected to attend all of the seminar meetings, to arrive punctually and ready for
discussion. The importance of this requirement is attested to by the seventy course grade points
that may be earned by regularly attending and actively participating in class. You will be
permitted one unexcused absence during the session. Missing more than that for unexcused
reasons will result in the lowering of your final grade by three percentage points (3%) per
additional class meeting missed. Excused absences as defined by the University include serious
illness (attested to by a physician’s note), a death in one’s immediate family, and recognized
religious observance. In the event that you will be absent, it is your responsibility to contact me
in advance about making up the work you will miss.


Students must turn off the following electronic devices when our class meetings are in session
including cellular phones; pagers; personal digital assistants; MP3, audiocassette, DVD, and
videogame players; etc. (Those who have emergency need of such devices must make
arrangements in advance with me.) Audio recording of my lectures by any means are permitted
only with my advance consent to e-mailed requests. Laptop computers may be used for note
taking purposes only. Using a laptop for non-course related activities such as reading or
answering e-mails or instant messages, surfing the web, checking one’s Facebook or MySpace
profile, watching videos, playing games, etc. will be punished by the confiscation of the
computer until the end of class. A second infraction will result in the banning of laptop use by
all students enrolled in the course for the remainder of the semester. This draconian policy has
been fashioned in response to complaints by students in their course evaluations about the
distractions to learning caused by the promiscuous use of such gadgets in the classroom.

                          WRITING ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES

[Specific instructions on all writing assignments accompany this syllabus.]

All out-of-class writing assignments must be neatly typed in a 12-point font and double-spaced.
Top, bottom, and side margins should be set at approximately one and one-quarter inches.
Besides listing your name, the course name and section number; the date, and assignment topic
on the first page, your paper should be titled, paginated, and stapled. Citation style (only
endnotes are acceptable) should conform to one of the following: Kate L. Turabian, A Manual
for Writers of Term Papers or The Chicago Manual of Style. Do not use The MLA Handbook.
It is essential that you observe the standard rules of communicating clearly, concisely, and
correctly. Points will be deducted for errors in grammar and mechanics. Always proofread and
run the spelling-checker utility on your draft before printing it out for submission.

Writing assignments will be penalized a one-third grade level for each twenty-four hour period
(or part thereof) the assignment is late, including weekends unless an extension has been granted
in advance by the Instructor. For example, a paper due on a Tuesday that is turned in on the
following Monday would be counted as six days late; if it merited a grade of B+, that grade
would be reduced six levels to a D+.


If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have
emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the
building must be evacuated in an emergency, please notify me as soon as possible.

                                 READING ASSIGNMENTS

You should plan to read carefully all selections by the date they are assigned, regularly
consulting a dictionary for any terms that are unfamiliar. If you buy the books, bring them with
you to class and be prepared to discuss the readings in depth.


The reading assignments are subject to change as the course progresses. I will always let students
know at least a week in advance of any alteration. I may also supplement the readings below
with other articles that will be distributed ahead of schedule in class or via my office bulletin
board. Whenever you are absent you should check with me to verify the assignments for the
succeeding weeks.

Week 1 (Tuesday, 26 August 2008): Course Introduction.

Week 2 (Tuesday, 2 September 2008): James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: prologue and
chapters 1-8; plus set of documents to be distributed in seminar on Week 1.

Week 3 (Tuesday, 5 September 2008): James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: chapters 9-13;
Bloom and Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 1-11, 145-147, 153-160, 388-393; plus set of
documents to be distributed in seminar on Week 2.

Week 4 (Tuesday, 12 September 2008): James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: chapters 14-
17; Bloom and Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 13-29, 148-150, 160-162; plus set of
documents to be distributed in seminar on Week 3.

Week 5 (Tuesday, 19 September 2008): James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: chapters 18-
22; Bloom and Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 103-116, 150-152, 163-174, 208-209,
291-310, 313-317, 353-365; plus set of documents to be distributed in seminar on Week 4.

Week 6 (Tuesday, 26 September 2008): James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: chapters 23-
25; Bloom and Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 135-145, 209-226, 310-312, 317-324,
476-493, 520-525; plus set of documents to be distributed in seminar on Week 5.

Week 7 (Tuesday, 3 October 2008): John Dittmer, Local People; Bloom and Breines,
eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 29-48; plus set of documents to be distributed in seminar on
Week 6.

Week 8 (Tuesday, 10 October 2008): Suzanne E. Smith, Dancing in the Street; Bloom and
Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 237-246, 324-329, 508-520; plus set of documents to be
distributed in seminar on Week 7.

Week 9 (Tuesday, 17 October 2008): George Donelson Moss, Vietnam: An American Ordeal;
Bloom and Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 287-291, 346-353; plus set of documents to
be distributed in seminar on Week 8.

Week 10 (Tuesday, 24 October 2008): Todd Gitlin, The Sixties; Bloom and Breines,
eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 49-102, 116-135, 174-208, 331-345, 366-382, 529-533 [and no
additional documents].

Week 11 (Tuesday, 4 November 2008): Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open; Bloom and Breines,
eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”:141-142, 264-268, 383-386, 394-421, 422-463, 493-508; [and no
additional documents].

Week 12 (Tuesday, 11 November 2008): Andrew G. Kirk, Counterculture Green; Bloom and
Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 227-237, 254-264; 268-282, 465-476, 526-529; plus set
of documents to be distributed in seminar on Week 11.

Week 13 (Tuesday, 18 November 2008): Mark Oppenheimer, Knocking on Heaven’s Door;
Bloom and Breines, eds.,“Takin’ It to the Streets”: 246-254, 283-286; plus set of documents to
be distributed in seminar on Week 12.

Week 14 (Tuesday, 25 November 2008): No Seminar Meeting due to “Fruesday” schedule.

Week 15 (Tuesday, 2 December 2008): Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors; plus set of documents
to be distributed in seminar on Week 13.

Week 16 (Tuesday, 9 December 2008): Writing assignment: 12-pp. Sixties Lecture due today
along with 8-minute oral report on that paper topic. No additional reading assignment.


Course grades are due at the Registrar’s Office by noon on Mon., 22 December. They are
usually accessible on-line within 24 hours via one’s student account on the BSU website.
Please do not contact the Instructor about your grade until it has been posted on-line.