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Title: HIST 151-01, American Society to 1877, Spring 1999
Authors: Murray, Gail S.
Keywords: History, Department of;Syllabus;Curriculum;Academic departments;Text;1999 Spring
Issue Date: 13-Jan-1999
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN
Abstract: “American Society to 1877” will not trace the entire development of the American past. That is impossible in one semester. Instead, we will follow a chronological framework, but lift up particular themes or controvesial issues within each period. The emphasis in this course will be on understanding the cultural diversity of America, on recognizing the differences that race, class, and gender bring to the American experience, and in analyzing the development of American myths and values. The course ends with the redefining of the nation during Reconstruction. The basic framework for the course is the textbook TheAmerican Promise, I; this provides the chronological narrative of U. S. history. This narrative will be supplemented by primary documents in Reading the American Past, I and three other monographs. These three studies illustrate different approaches to understanding history: material culture, autobiography, and fiction.The objective in college history is NOT to tell you yet again what happened in the past, but to analyze WHY events happened, HOW historians have interpreted those events, and what meaning they had for people of that time. Each class will begin with the assumption that you KNOW the basic “story” of what happened already. My task is to provoke discussion about the MEANING of the past. Every class will begin with an outline covering the main topics and issues for that day. Wewill not discuss all the points in class but you are responsible for understanding each one. Use the assigned material in your textbook to fill in the gaps. Thus, reading the text is a basic requirement. Reading assignments are designed to take about 3 hours per class session. You will find expectations in this class different from most High School history classes. Knowledge of “facts” is assumed; how you construct those “facts” into an intellible understanding of the past is what counts. The following activites will assure your success in this class: 1. Reading the assigned material 2. Formulating questions about what you read and bringing those to class 3. Making notes in the margins of your readings or in a separate notebook. This will save time when reviewing for the test. 4. Taking notes in class, not just copying down the outline from the board 5. Actively participating in class discussions. No student can expect to make an “A” unless she/he can articulate in both oral and written form the subtleties of interpreting the American experience.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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