Syllabus: Modern America

fall 2020 edition @ suny brockport.

Welcome to HST 212 Modern America

Welcome to Modern America.

In this course we explore US history since the Civil War ended in 1865. Yes, you will acquire more knowledge of events and people—all those names and dates that you might think constitute history.

But, WAIT! Before you hit the snooze button, note this: we also will be studying something far more WEIRD, interesting, and important: the questions of what the heck is history, anyway? Who gets to determine it? Who gets to make it? What do we use as evidence? How do we argue about interpretations of the past?

We’ll be…

engaging with the facts (the names and dates)

AND

the larger questions of what history is in this course will help you wherever you go.

How will it do that, you ask?

By engaging wholeheartedly with the material in this course:

  • You’ll become a better thinker, writer, and speaker. 
  • You’ll be able to handle complexity of evidence and organize facts into a narrative and an argument.
  • Some of you might decide to become history majors or minors.
  • Others of you might carry what you learn in this class into other courses, activities, jobs, personal experiences, and your role as a citizen in the future.

So let’s dive in.

Required Materials To Purchase

Available from Brockport Bookstore.

  • Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty!: An American History Volume 2 Brief Sixth Edition. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2020.
  • Eric Foner, Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History Volume 2 Sixth Edition. WW Norton & Company, 2020.
  • InQuizitive digital tool. A code comes with your textbook purchase or you can purchase access separately through the WW Norton website landing page for the book. Then, be sure to log in to our course once you register your access code. The ID number is 284233 and the course title is HST 212 Modern America.
  • Additional material online.
More information
  • Only NEW printed copies of Give Me Liberty! 6e Brief Vol. 2 will include an ebook + InQuizitive access card. 
  • Unless purchased from the bookstore package (Option 1), print copies of Voices of Freedom 6e Vol. 2 do not automatically come with an ebook access card. You can purchase one separately.

Option 1: Purchase all of the required course materials from the Brockport bookstore in one combined NEW package (ISBN 978-0-393-86884-5). This will include:

  • Give Me Liberty! 6e Brief Vol. 2 Paperback book (includes ebook + InQuizitive access card)
  • Voices of Freedom 6e Vol. 2 Paperback book (includes ebook access card)

Option 2: Go All Digital. Purchase ebook access for both books (which includes InQuizitive for Give Me Liberty!) directly from WW Norton at the Digital Landing Page links below:

Option 3: Get Print Books Elsewhere (Amazon, Chegg, etc.) and Purchase InQuizitive Separately (be sure to purchase the proper sixth editions, not earlier editions)

How This Course Works

This is a hybrid online course.

It is partly asynchronous and self-directed. You will complete assignments and process readings, lectures, and other materials on your own, independently, following the deadlines listed on the course website.

It is also partly synchronous, with required discussion sessions using the Collaborate tool through Blackboard (which is very similar to Zoom). These will take place during our Wednesday scheduled meeting time, which is 11:15am-12:05pm. These are required. Sometimes we will talk as a group, sometimes we will break out into smaller discussion groups.

HST 212 Fall 2020 edition uses a number of digital tools:

  • You may have noticed that I use Canvas instead of Blackboard because I think it is slightly better designed. It’s not perfect, but more pleasant to look at and navigate and use as both an instructor and, I think, as a student (I’ll be curious to hear what you think at the end of the semester).
  • We also use online software such as VoiceThread (for lectures, documentary films, and annotation assignments), Collaborate (for synchronous discussion), MS Word (which you can download for free through Brockport On the Hub, and Google Docs (which you can create a free account to use).
  • You’ll need access to a computer and to a digital camera of some sort (a smartphone camera is fine).

If you have questions about the technical details of the course, or about the hybrid nature of the course, please feel free to contact me.

What You Will Learn

In this introductory history course, you will learn many things. They are all related to improving your knowledge of the past and how to interpret it convincingly and compellingly as you improve your analytic writing skills.

You will learn:

  • what happened when and who did it in the American past.
  • why it matters, what the stakes are of the American past.
  • how to notice and analyze change and continuity over time.
  • how to notice and analyze structures of power, how they have developed over time, and why.
  • how to handle historical complexity through close analysis, paraphrasing, and interpretive questioning.
  • how others have interpreted and debated the past (what we call historiography).
  • how to describe this historiography accurately and put different interpretations into conversation with each other.
  • how to frame your own historical questions.
  • how to develop close, accurate, compelling interpretations of historical evidence yourself.
  • how to improve your skills of developing a historical narrative.
  • how to use evidence to develop a historical thesis, an argument-driven, evidence-based historical narrative.
  • how to position your historical thesis in relation to historiographical debates, or the disagreements other historians have had about the past.
  • how to paraphrase effectively.
  • how to use source citation using Chicago Manual of Style effectively and accurately.

By exploring how our world came to be, the study of history fosters the critical knowledge, breadth of perspective, intellectual growth, and communication and problem-solving skills that will help you lead a purposeful life, be an active citizen, and achieve career success.

Who Is Your Professor?

Dr. Michael Kramer

Assistant Professor, Department of History Department, SUNY Brockport

Office hours: Remotely, by appointment

Email: mkramer@brockport.edu

Bio: Michael J. Kramer is an assistant professor in the Department of History at SUNY Brockport. He specializes in modern US cultural and intellectual history, transnational history, and public and digital history. He is the author of The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture (Oxford University Press, 2013) and is currently writing a book about technology and tradition in the US folk music movement, This Machine Kills Fascists: What the Folk Music Revival Can Teach Us About the Digital Age. He is also at work on a digital public history project about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival and the Sixties Folk Music Revival on the US West Coast. In addition to experience as an editor, museum professional, and dance dramaturg, he has written numerous essays and articles for publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, First of the Month, The National Memo, The Point, TheaterNewsday, and US Intellectual History Book Reviews. Kramer blogs at Culture Rover and Issues in Digital History. More information about his research, teaching, and public scholarship can be found at his website, michaeljkramer.net.

More about what I research and teach in modern US intellectual and cultural history.

More about the SUNY Brockport History Department.

What Makes for Good Work?

Rubric

There is a craft to historical interpretation. The assignments will help you approach this craft and continue to improve your practice of it. Your task in each assignment is to develop effective, compelling, evidence-driven arguments informed by historical awareness and thinking. These will often work by applying your judgment and assessment to consider how things connect or contrast to each other: how do different or similar artifacts, documents, quotations, details, facts, and perspectives relate to each other? And most importantly, why? What are the implicit ideas and beliefs behind the evidence you locate and analyze?

Aspire to make your assignments communicate a convincing, compelling, and precise argument. The argument, to succeed, should display close analysis of details found in the evidence. These should be contextualized effectively: what else was happening at the time? How does the evidence relate to the broader framework of its historical moment?

Try to write, edit, and revise to achieve clarity of expression in graceful, stylish, logical, well- reasoned prose. Evaluation of assignments will be based on the following rubric:  

  1. Argument – presence of an articulated argument that makes an evidence-based claim and expresses the significance of that claim .
  2. Evidence – presence of specific evidence from primary sources to support the argument.
  3. Argumentation – presence of convincingly connection between evidence and argument, which is to say effective explanation of the evidence that links its details to the larger argument and its sub-arguments with logic and precision.
  4. Contextualization – presence of contextualization, which is to say an accurate portrayal of historical contexts in which evidence appeared.
  5. Style – presence of logical flow of reasoning and grace of prose, including:
    • (a) an effective introduction that hooks the reader with originality and states the argument of the assignment and its significance
    • (b) clear topic sentences that provide sub-arguments and their significance in relation to the overall argument.
    • (c) effective transitions between paragraphs
    • (d) a compelling conclusion that restates argument and adds a final point
    • (e) accurate phrasing and word choice
    • (f) use of active rather than passive voice sentence constructions

Lecture Annotations

For each asynchronous lecture, please enter at least one annotation in VoiceThread. Your annotation can be a question, comment, hyperlink, short recorded audio comment, or short recorded video comment.

For instructions on how to create annotations in VoiceThread, see the How to Comment page.

Writing Consultation

Writing Tutors are available through the Academic Success Center and are always helpful at any stage of writing.

The history writing tutor specialists are:

  • Jacob Tynan: M 12:30-5:30; T 10-3; Th 10-3
  • Glenn Dowdle: M 12-1; T 12-2; W 12-4; Th 12-2; F 12-1

You can request them specifically or work with one of the other tutors as needed.

Don’t hesitate to consult with someone! Be sure to show them the assignment so they grasp clearly what I am asking you to do as a writer.

Do the best you can to write citations in Chicago style of any materials you reference or quote.

Remember not to plagiarize according to Brockport’s Academic Honesty policy.

For additional information see the What Makes for Good Work? page of the course website.

Grading Standards

Remember to honor the Academic Honesty Policy at Brockport, including no plagiarism. Confused about what constitutes plagiarism? Don’t hesitate to ask.

A-level work is outstanding and reflects a student’s:

  • regular attendance, timely preparation, and on-time submission of assignments
  • thorough understanding of required course material
  • insightful, constructive, respectful and regular participation in class discussion
  • clear, compelling, and well-written assignments that include
    • a credible argument with some originality
    • argument supported by relevant, accurate and complete evidence
    • integration of argument and evidence in an insightful analysis
    • excellent organization: introduction, coherent paragraphs, smooth transitions, conclusion
    • sophisticated prose free of spelling and grammatical errors
    • correct page formatting when relevant
    • excellent formatting of footnotes or other form of required documentation

B-level work is good, but with minor problems in one or more areas

C-level work is acceptable, but with minor problems in several areas or major problems in at least one area

D-level work is poor, with major problems in more than one area

E-level work is unacceptable, failing to meet basic course requirements and/or standards of academic integrity/honesty

As my colleague Jason Mittell likes to say, we use grades to evaluate specific work in a class and to try to improve our abilities with a topic of study. They are never a judgment of you as a person. I value and respect all of you no matter what grade you receive.

Grade Breakdown

  • Assignment 01 Course Contract and Student Info Card = 2%
  • Assignment 02 History on the Line = 8%
  • Assignment 03 Writing History and Historiography—Primary Source Meet Secondary Source Take One = 10%
  • Assignment 04 Writing History and Historiography—Primary Source Meet Secondary Source Take Two = 10%
  • Assignment 05 Writing History and Historiography Take Three = 15%
  • Final Revise a History and Historiography Essay = 15%
  • InQuizitives 2×15 = 30%
  • Attendance and Participation (including annotations on VoiceThreads and thoughtful comments in synchronous discussions)  = 10%
  • Extra Credit Brockport Faculty Historians Essay = 5%

Attendance Policy

Attendance is mandatory. Students are allowed two absences for the semester, no questions asked. These include absences for any reason. Each additional absence may lower your grade at the instructor’s discretion. Please contact the instructor if you have questions. Four unexcused absences are grounds for course failure.

The Importance of Academic Honesty

Academic dishonesty, particularly in the form of plagiarized assignments (question sheets, essays), will result in failed assignments, possible course failure, official reporting, and potential expulsion from Brockport. The Brockport Academic Honesty policy applies to all work in this course. To be certain about its stipulations, rather than risk severe penalties, consult it on the College website. If you have additional questions about the Academic Honesty policy, please consult the instructor.

Disabilities and Accommodations

As the father of a child with neuroatypicality, Professor Kramer recognizes that students may require accommodations to learn effectively. In accord with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Brockport Faculty Senate legislation, students with documented disabilities may be entitled to specific accommodations. SUNY Brockport is committed to fostering an optimal learning environment by applying current principles and practices of equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are a student with a disability and want to utilize academic accommodations, you must register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to obtain an official accommodation letter which must be submitted to faculty for accommodation implementation. If you think you have a disability, you may want to meet with SAS to learn about related resources. You can find out more about Student Accessibility Services, or by contacting SAS via sasoffice@brockport.edu, or (585) 395-5409. Students, faculty, staff, and SAS work together to create an inclusive learning environment. As always, feel free to contact the instructor with any questions.

Discrimination and Harassment Policies

Sex and gender discrimination, including sexual harassment, are prohibited in educational programs and activities, including classes. Title IX legislation and College policy require the College to provide sex and gender equity in all areas of campus life. If you or someone you know has experienced sex or gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, or stalking, we encourage you to seek assistance and to report the incident through these resources. Confidential assistance is available on campus at Hazen Center for Integrated Care and RESTORE. Faculty are NOT confidential under Title IX and will need to share information with the Title IX & College Compliance Officer. For these and other policies governing campus life, please visit the College-Wide Student Policies webpage.

Additional Policies

History Department Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Articulate a thesis (a response to a historical problem).
  2. Advance in logical sequence principal arguments in defense of a historical thesis.
  3. Provide relevant evidence drawn from the evaluation of primary and/or secondary sources that supports the primary arguments in defense of a historical thesis.
  4. Evaluate the significance of a historical thesis by relating it to a broader field of historical knowledge.
  5. Express themselves clearly in writing that forwards a historical analysis.
  6. Use disciplinary standards (Chicago Style) of documentation when referencing historical sources.
  7. Students will identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments as they appear in their own and others’ work.
  8. Students will write and reflect on the writing conventions of the disciplinary area, with multiple opportunities for feedback and revision or multiple opportunities for feedback.
  9. Students will demonstrate understanding of the methods social scientists use to explore social phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of interpretive analysis.
  10. Students will demonstrate knowledge of major concepts, models and issues of history.
Emergency Alert System

In case of emergency, the Emergency Alert System at The College at Brockport will be activated. Students are encouraged to maintain updated contact information using the link on the College’s Emergency Information website. Included on the website is detailed information about the College’s emergency operations plan, classroom emergency preparedness, evacuation procedures, emergency numbers, and safety videos. In addition, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Emergency Procedures posted in classrooms, halls, and buildings and all college facilities.

Mandatory Covid-19 Safety Measures to Protect You and Our SUNY Brockport Community

SUNY Brockport’s primary concern during this COVID-19 pandemic focuses on the safety, health, and well-being of students and the college community.

Your compliance with these mandatory safety measures will help reduce the likelihood of COVID cases and keep our campus safe so we can convene in-person classes and student activities. Failure to follow the directive of a college official will result in a referral to the Student Conduct Board and appropriate actions will be taken. Please note, you will be asked to leave the classroom if your behavior endangers yourself or others by not following safety directives set by the college and a referral to the Student Conduct Board will be made.  As per the Code of Student Conduct, Failure to Comply with the directive of a college official could result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to removal from the residence halls and/or suspension.

Student cleaning requirements: Wipe your work surface (desk or table) and seat prior to use with the disinfectant wipe effective against COVID19 provided in the classroom.  Deposit the used wipe in a classroom garbage receptacle.  If shared items are used in the classroom, disinfect them before and after use.   

Seating & Social Distancing:

  • Do not occupy seats that are marked “Do not sit.”   
  • Maintain social distance (stay 6’ apart) from others in the classroom to the extent possible. 

Face covering: Wear an appropriate face covering that covers your nose and mouth at all times. You may lift your mask briefly to take a drink.  Eating is not permitted inside the classroom. Please see the attached link for specific information regarding Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy.

Healthy Practices:

  • Do not report to class if you are feeling ill.  Leave class quietly and immediately if you are feeling unwell and notify your instructor as soon as you able to.
  • Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face. Cover coughs and sneezes.  Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  While hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is widely available throughout the campus, it is less effective than washing with soap and water.  Washing your hands often is considered the best practice. 

Any student who feels ill or has any medical needs should contact the Student Health Center at (585) 395-2414 or your personal physician to discuss your symptoms. If you think you need to see a medical professional, contact the Student Health Center to make an appointment first as there are no walk in hours at this time. Students who experience significant cough, worsening of chronic asthma symptoms, a fever that lasts more than two to three days, dizziness, and/or dehydration should be evaluated. If symptoms are severe and urgent assistance is needed, contact the Student Health Center and/or University Police on campus (585) 395-2222 or 911 if off campus.

Emergency evacuation considerations:

In the event of an evacuation alarm, everyone should immediately find the nearest exit, leave the building, and proceed to an assembly area with a face covering on and maintain social distance from others to the extent possible.  While it is important to maintain social distance, you should not delay exiting the building in order to do so in the event of any emergency.  In areas where separate entrances/exits have been established, it is important to note that these do not apply in the event of an emergency.  Individuals should use the nearest exit.  When re-entering the building, maintain social distance from others.  Upon re-entering the building, avoid congregating in the entranceway or lobby.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.

Assignment 01 Course Contract and Student Info Card

Please create a Word document and respond to the following questions so I can begin to get to know each of you a little better.

This document also serves as a Course Contract acknowledging that you have thoroughly read the Start Here module of the website.

Paste the following template and then respond.

Name:

Year at Brockport:

Circle the pronoun you prefer— he/him, she/her, they/them — or if another referral form you wish me to use, let me know here:

Best contact info in an emergency (phone, email, text):

What do you most want to get out of the content of this course (other than an A)?

What is one historical event in American history you want to learn more about?

When is the furthest back you can trace your own family’s history? To where?

What other things should I know about you as your professor in this class (interests, concerns, special needs, worries, hopes)?

Any other questions right now for me (you can always ask me questions as they arise during the semester)?

Review the Start Here module on Canvas. What did you notice most about it? What questions do you have about it?

I have read the Start Here module of the course website and agree to honor the policies and rules for the course.

Sign here (you may draw your signature or type your name):

Welcome to HST 212 Modern America Fall 2020 Edition! I am excited to work with you this semester. Prof. Kramer

Week 01 Planting A Flag in Modern America

Asynchronous Lecture 01 Planting a Flag
Assignment 02 History on the Line

This four-part assignment asks you to do some sketching and timeline building to consider two points:

  • what is history, exactly? How do we imagine historical cause and effect? How do we picture and construct change and continuity over time?
  • what do you use as the details to create historical narrative and interpretation? What is historical evidence?

Instructions

Part 01

1. Take out a piece of paper and draw a shape of your sense of progress in US history since 1865 on it.

2. How does this history of progress in US history look?

3. Is it a line? Does the line go up or down? Does it spiral? Is it a line at all?! If not how else do you visualize history?

4. Now place three events on the line. They can be events such as WWII or the 19th Amendment (Women get the vote–although not all women did with the passage of this amendment!) or a presidential election of note or something like the Progressive Era or the Civil Rights Movement or 9/11 or Black Lives Matter or the covid-19 pandemic.

5. Take a picture of your sketch and save it.

Part 02

6. Now take out a new piece of paper.

7. Sketch a different shape for history. In this one sketch a version of historical time that is about the opposite of progress in US history since 1865.

8. What is the new shape? Why did you choose this new shape? What does it symbolize?

9. Place three new events on your new shape of historical time.

10. Take a picture of your sketch and save it.

Part 03

11. Now take out a final new piece of paper.

12. Sketch a different shape for history. In this one sketch a version of historical time that is neither a picture of progress, nor the opposite of progress in US history since 1865.

13. What is the new shape? Why did you choose this new shape? What does it symbolize?

14. Place three new events on your new shape of historical time.

15. Take a picture of your sketch and save it.

Part 04

16. Email your three pictures from your phone camera to your computer and paste them into a Word document (you can obtain a free copy of Word from Brockport On the Hub). Size the images to fit on the standard margin page of Word.

17. Below the three images in your Word document, time to write and reflect! Write a one-two paragraph reflection in which you develop a clear and cogent response to the following prompts: What was different about your progress, opposite of progress, and neither progress nor opposite of progress timelines? Did the three timelines suggest different understandings of cause and effect? Did they suggest different ways of thinking about change and continuity over time? If history isn’t always about progress, what is it about? How did the particular events that you chose relate to the shapes of your three timelines? Try to develop an argument or a thesis about what you noticed in sketching these three timelines. Compare specific aspects of the timelines to generate your argument about historical time in your written reflection.

18. Optional paragraph: any other thoughts about history and US history since 1865 in particular? About this assignment? About what you are wondering about with this course?

19. Remember to put your name on your Word document assignment.

20. Upload your Word assignment to Canvas, with three timeline sketch photos and your written response.

Synchronous Discussion—Planting a Flag When History Is On the Line
How To Use InQuizitive

Week 02 Is Reconstruction Unfinished? America After the Civil War, 1865-1877

Week 02 Required Reading
Asynchronous Lecture 02 What Was Reconstruction? Is it Over or Still Going On?
Synchronous Discussion—”What Is Freedom?”: Reconstruction, 1865-1877
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 15, “What Is Freedom?”: Reconstruction, 1865-1877

Week 03 America’s Gilded Age, 1877-1890

Week 03 Required Reading
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 16, “‘America’s Gilded Age, 1870-1890,” 447-505
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 16, 28-52, pay particular attention to Carnegie (104), Second Declaration of Independence (106), George (107), and Saum Song Bo (109, especially in relation to Douglass, “The Composite Nation”)
Asynchronous Lecture 03 The Hog Squeal of the Universe: Industrialization, Urbanization, and Commodification
Asynchronous Lecture 04 Where Does the Weekend Come From? Americans Respond to Industrialization
Synchronous Discussion—America’s Gilded Age
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 16, America’s Gilded Age, 1870-1890
Assignment
Assignment 03 Writing History and Historiography—Primary Source Meet Secondary Source Take One

Your first major writing assignment in the course asks you to develop a close reading of language in one primary source from Voices of Freedom in relation to one paragraph from the secondary source of Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty!

Use material from Weeks 01-03.

Primary sources are documents and artifacts from the past that historians use for evidence. They give us a window into a time gone by if we pay close attention to their specific language and show a reader logically and convincingly how that language relates to a larger historical interpretation. Secondary sources are the already-existing interpretations of other historians. The documents in Voices of Freedom might be thought of as primary sources; the writing of Eric Foner in his book Give Me Liberty! can be thought of as a secondary source. (Although note that one day in the future a history student such as you could read Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! as historical evidence of what a historian was thinking in 2020. All secondary sources will one day be primary sources!)

Follow these instructions for your assignment.

  1. Use Microsoft Word. Be sure to save often as you work on the assignment so you do not lose your work.
  2. Your assignment should use 12-point font, double-spaced, and standard width.
  3. Select one primary source that has most interested you from our reading thus far in Voices of Freedom.
  4. Select one paragraph from Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! that you think has something to say about the content and theme of the primary source document.
  5. In a cogent, well-argued, four-paragraph essay, explain what specific language in the primary source has to do with specific language in the secondary source (Give Me Liberty!).
  6. Be sure to include citations when you refer to a source (primary or secondary). Use Chicago Manual of Style.
  7. Your essay should have:
    • A sharp, revealing, and enticing title.
    • In the opening paragraph, a thesis, or argument that fully and convincingly explains the connection (it can be a similarity or a distinction between the primary source and Give Me Liberty! as the secondary source; it can be a way in which the primary source offers a new “wrinkle” to the argument put forward by Foner; it can be a way in which the primary source contradicts Foner; it can be a particular theme or point that Foner makes which the primary source affirms and provides proof).
    • A second and third paragraph that break down your thesis into two specific examples from the primary source that relate to your main argument. Think about these as using specific words or quotes to explain the argument of your thesis in detail, using evidence (quotes) from the primary and secondary sources (your document and Give Me Liberty!). Each paragraph should have a topic sentence.
    • A closing paragraph which reiterates your thesis in fresh language and ends with a strong punch about your main point.
    • Stylish and clear prose that communicates your ideas effectively.
    • The following is banned from your essay (points will be deducted):
      • No use of the phrase “Founding Fathers” (BANNED!)
      • No use of the phrase “Throughout history” (BANNED!)
      • Avoid the passive voice (BANNED! “The passive voice was avoided”…that’s passive voice, see the difference?); be sure to assign agency to someone or something (He used the passive voice, not the passive voice was used)
      • No use of the word “societal” (BANNED!)…use the word “society” instead
  8. Get some writing consultation! Consult with a writing tutor, especially one who specializes in historical writing, at any stage of the writing process. Leave yourself time to revise.
  9. Submit your Word document on Canvas.

Week 04 Freedom’s Boundaries, At Home and Abroad, 1865-1900

Week 04 Required Reading
Asynchronous Lecture 05 From US Settler Colonialism to Formal Empire
Asynchronous Lecture 06 The Nadir: Jim Crow
Synchronous Discussion—Freedom’s Boundaries, At Home and Abroad, 1865-1900
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 17: Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad, 1890-1900

Week 05 The Progressive Era, 1900-1916

Week 05 Required Reading
Asynchronous Lecture 07 Did the Progressive Era Make Progress in Modern America, or Not?
Synchronous Discussion—1900-1916: The Progressive Era
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 18: The Progressive Era, 1900-1916

Week 06 Safe for Democracy? The Great War and Its Aftermath, 1916-1920

Week 06 Required Reading
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 19: Safe for Democracy: The United States and World War I, 1916-1920, 572-605
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 19, 104-133, pay particular attention to Bourne (106, in relation to Douglass, “The Composite Nation)
Asynchronous Lecture 08 The Wartime State and Its Aftermath: Making the World Safe for Democracy?
Synchronous Discussion—Safe for Democracy: The United States and World War I, 1916-1920
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 19: Safe for Democracy: The United States and World War I, 1916-1920

Week 07 From Business Culture to Great Depression in the “Roaring” Twenties, 1920-1932

Week 07 Required Reading
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 20, 1920-1932: From Business Culture to Great Depression in the “Roaring” Twenties, 606-636
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 20, 134-159, pay particular attention to Congress Debates Immigtation (138) and Hill and Kelley Debate the ERA (1922)
Asynchronous Lecture 09 What Made the “Roaring” Twenties Roaring?
Asynchronous Lecture 10 From Roaring Twenties to Great Depression
Synchronous Discussion—From Business Culture to Great Depression in the “Roaring” Twenties, 1920-1932
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 20: From Business Culture to Great Depression in the “Roaring” Twenties, 1920-1932
Assignment 04 Writing History and Historiography Take Two

Your second major writing assignment in the course asks you to develop a close reading of language in one primary source from Voices of Freedom in relation to one paragraph from the secondary source of Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! 

Use materials from Weeks 04-07.

Primary sources are documents and artifacts from the past that historians use for evidence. They give us a window into a time gone by if we pay close attention to their specific language and show a reader logically and convincingly how that language relates to a larger historical interpretation. Secondary sources are the already-existing interpretations of other historians. The documents in Voices of Freedom might be thought of as primary sources; the writing of Eric Foner in his book Give Me Liberty! can be thought of as a secondary source. (Although note that one day in the future a history student such as you could read Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! as historical evidence of what a historian was thinking in 2020. All secondary sources will one day be primary sources!)

Follow these instructions for your assignment.

  1. Use Microsoft Word. Be sure to save often as you work on the assignment so you do not lose your work.
  2. Your assignment should use 12-point font, double-spaced, and standard width.
  3. Select one primary source that has most interested you from our reading thus far in Voices of Freedom.
  4. Select one paragraph from Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! that you think has something to say about the content and theme of the primary source document.
  5. In a cogent, well-argued, four-paragraph essay, explain what specific language in the primary source has to do with specific language in the secondary source (Give Me Liberty!).
  6. Be sure to include citations when you refer to a source (primary or secondary). Use Chicago Manual of Style.
  7. Your essay should have:
    • A sharp, revealing, and enticing title.
    • In the opening paragraph, a thesis, or argument that fully and convincingly explains the connection (it can be a similarity or a distinction between the primary source and Give Me Liberty! as the secondary source; it can be a way in which the primary source offers a new “wrinkle” to the argument put forward by Foner; it can be a way in which the primary source contradicts Foner; it can be a particular theme or point that Foner makes which the primary source affirms and provides proof).
    • A second and third paragraph that break down your thesis into two specific examples from the primary source that relate to your main argument. Think about these as using specific words or quotes to explain the argument of your thesis in detail, using evidence (quotes) from the primary and secondary sources (your document and Give Me Liberty!). Each paragraph should have a topic sentence.
    • A closing paragraph which reiterates your thesis in fresh language and ends with a strong punch about your main point.
    • Stylish and clear prose that communicates your ideas effectively.
    • The following is banned from your essay (points will be deducted):
      • No use of the phrase “Founding Fathers” (BANNED!)
      • No use of the phrase “Throughout history” (BANNED!)
      • Avoid the passive voice (BANNED! “The passive voice was avoided”…that’s passive voice, see the difference?); be sure to assign agency to someone or something (He used the passive voice, not the passive voice was used)
      • No use of the word “societal” (BANNED!)…use the word “society” instead
  8. Get some writing consultation! Consult with a writing tutor, especially one who specializes in historical writing, at any stage of the writing process. Leave yourself time to revise.
  9. Submit your Word document on Canvas.

Week 08 The New Deal, 1932-1940

Week 08 Required Reading
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 21: The New Deal, 1932-1940, 637-669
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 21, 160-186, pay particular attention to FDR (145), Hoover (146), Hill on Indian New Deal (148)
  • Optional Brockport Faculty Reading:
    • Anne S. Macpherson, “Birth of the U.S. Colonial Minimum Wage: The Struggle over the Fair Labor Standards Act in Puerto Rico, 1938– 1941,” Journal of American History 104, 3 (December 2017), 656-680
Asynchronous Lecture 11 FDR’s New Deal and the Making of Modern Liberalism
Synchronous Discussion—1932-1940: The New Deal
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 21: The New Deal, 1932-1940

Week 09 Fighting for the Four Freedoms: World War II, 1941-1945

Week 09 Required Reading
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 22: Fighting for the Four Freedoms: World War II, 1941-1945, 670-704
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 22, 187-207, pay particular attention to FDR on the Four Freedoms (150), Luce, American Century (152), Wallace, Century of the Common Man (153), WWII and Mexican Americans (155), and Jackson, Dissent in Korematsu (157)
Asynchronous Lecture 12 Was World War II the Actual New Deal?

Synchronous Discussion—Fighting for the Four Freedoms: World War II, 1941-1945

InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 22: Fighting for the Four Freedoms: World War II, 1941-1945

Week 10 The Cold War at Abroad and at Home, 1945-1960

Week 10 Required Reading
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 23: The United States and the Cold War, 1945-1953, 705-733
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 24: Chapter 24: An Affluent Society, 1953-1960, 734-765
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 23, 208-239, pay particular attention to The Truman Doctrine (159) and Lippmann, A Critique of Containment (161)
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 24, 240-263, pay particular attention to Mills (171)
  • Optional Brockport Faculty Reading:
    • Bruce Leslie (and John Halsey), “A College Upon a Hill: Exceptionalism & American Higher Education,” in Marks of Distinction: American Exceptionalism Revisited, ed. Dale Carter (Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 2001), 197-228
Asynchronous Lecture 13 Cold War Containments
Asynchronous Lecture 14 Cold War Rebellions
Synchronous Discussion—The Cold War at Abroad and at Home, 1945-1960
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 23: The United States and the Cold War, 1945-1953
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 24: An Affluent Society, 1953-1960

Week 11 Abundance and Its Discontents, 1960-1969

Week 11 Required Reading
Asynchronous Lecture 15 A Second Reconstruction? The Modern African-American Civil Rights Movement
Asynchronous Lecture 16 Dreams and Challenges of “the Great Society” and the Quagmire of the Vietnam War
Synchronous Discussion—Abundance and Its Discontents, 1960-1969
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 25: The Sixties, 1960-1968

Week 12 Disco Demolitions and the Rise of the New Right, 1970-1989

Week 12 Required Reading
Asynchronous Lecture 17 Disco Demolition: The 1970s From Watergate to the Malaise Speech
Asynchronous Lecture 18 The Reagan Revolution: Modern Conservatism as Revolution—The Rise of the New Right
Synchronous Discussion—Week 12 Disco Demolitions and the Rise of the New Right, 1970-1989
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 26: The Conservative Turn, 1969-1988

Week 13 Thanksgiving – No Class

Week 14 Between Two Falls: The End of the Cold War to 9/11, 1989-2001

Week 14 Required Reading
  • Foner, Give Me Liberty!, Chapter 27: From Triumph to Tragedy, 1989-2004, 840-879
  • Foner, ed., Voices of Freedom, Chapter 27, 323-340, pay particular attention to Clinton on NAFTA (192), Oro and Los Tigres del Norte (195)
  • Optional Brockport Faculty Reading:
    • James Spiller, “Nostalgia for the Right Stuff: Astronauts and Public Anxiety about a Changing Nation,” in Michael Neufeld ed., Spacefarers: Images of Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the Heroic Era of Spaceflight (Smithsonian Scholarly Press, 2013), 57-76
Asynchronous Lecture 19 The 1990s: An Era of Uncertainty
Asynchronous Lecture 20 The End of the Twentieth Century: Globalization and Its Discontents
Synchronous Discussion—Between Two Falls: The End of the Cold War to 9/11
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 27: From Triumph to Tragedy, 1989-2004
Assignment
Assignment 05 Writing History and Historiography Take Three

Your third major writing assignment in the course asks you to develop a close reading of language in one primary source from Voices of Freedom in relation to one paragraph from the secondary source of Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! 

Use materials from Weeks 08-14.

Primary sources are documents and artifacts from the past that historians use for evidence. They give us a window into a time gone by if we pay close attention to their specific language and show a reader logically and convincingly how that language relates to a larger historical interpretation. Secondary sources are the already-existing interpretations of other historians. The documents in Voices of Freedom might be thought of as primary sources; the writing of Eric Foner in his book Give Me Liberty! can be thought of as a secondary source. (Although note that one day in the future a history student such as you could read Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! as historical evidence of what a historian was thinking in 2020. All secondary sources will one day be primary sources!)

Follow these instructions for your assignment.

  1. Use Microsoft Word. Be sure to save often as you work on the assignment so you do not lose your work.
  2. Your assignment should use 12-point font, double-spaced, and standard width.
  3. Select one primary source that has most interested you from our reading thus far in Voices of Freedom.
  4. Select one paragraph from Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty! that you think has something to say about the content and theme of the primary source document.
  5. In a cogent, well-argued, four-paragraph essay, explain what specific language in the primary source has to do with specific language in the secondary source (Give Me Liberty!).
  6. Be sure to include citations when you refer to a source (primary or secondary). Use Chicago Manual of Style.
  7. Your essay should have:
    • A sharp, revealing, and enticing title.
    • In the opening paragraph, a thesis, or argument that fully and convincingly explains the connection (it can be a similarity or a distinction between the primary source and Give Me Liberty! as the secondary source; it can be a way in which the primary source offers a new “wrinkle” to the argument put forward by Foner; it can be a way in which the primary source contradicts Foner; it can be a particular theme or point that Foner makes which the primary source affirms and provides proof).
    • A second and third paragraph that break down your thesis into two specific examples from the primary source that relate to your main argument. Think about these as using specific words or quotes to explain the argument of your thesis in detail, using evidence (quotes) from the primary and secondary sources (your document and Give Me Liberty!). Each paragraph should have a topic sentence.
    • A closing paragraph which reiterates your thesis in fresh language and ends with a strong punch about your main point.
    • Stylish and clear prose that communicates your ideas effectively.
    • The following is banned from your essay (points will be deducted):
      • No use of the phrase “Founding Fathers” (BANNED!)
      • No use of the phrase “Throughout history” (BANNED!)
      • Avoid the passive voice (BANNED! “The passive voice was avoided”…that’s passive voice, see the difference?); be sure to assign agency to someone or something (He used the passive voice, not the passive voice was used)
      • No use of the word “societal” (BANNED!)…use the word “society” instead
  8. Get some writing consultation! Consult with a writing tutor, especially one who specializes in historical writing, at any stage of the writing process. Leave yourself time to revise.
  9. Submit your Word document on Canvas.

Week 15 Is America Now Postmodern?, 2001-2020

Week 15 Required Reading
Asynchronous Lecture 21 From the Great Recession to Make America Great Again
Synchronous Discussion—Is America Still Modern?, 2001-2020
InQuizitive—Foner, Chapter 28: A Divided Nation

Final

Final Revise a History and Historiography Essay

Revise and resubmit one of your History and Historiography essays, following the guidelines from those assignments.

Get some writing consultation! Consult with a writing tutor, especially one who specializes in historical writing, at any stage of the writing process. Leave yourself time to revise.

Extra Credit Brockport Faculty Historians Essay

Develop a compelling interpretive essay analyzing three of the Brockport historian optional readings. When you bring the three readings together to compare their similarities and differences (of argument, evidence, perspective), what theme emerges about the history of modern America since the Civil War? 

Your essay should be 3-6 pages long, double-spaced, standard margins, and 12-point font. It should present a compelling and clear thesis statement, provide effective quotation, paraphrasing, contextualization, and interpretation, and it should contain accurate citations (through either parenthetical references or footnotes). The essay should also begin with a strong introduction and end with a convincing conclusion.

The essay should be thematically driven, in a similar manner to the final essay, relating the three readings through comparison, noticing similarities and differences, and articulating reasons why or how the similarities and differences suggest a larger theme about the American past since the Civil War. What do we learn about “modern” America, its freedom dreams (and nightmares), its quest for a multiracial, inclusive democracy when we compare the scholarship of these three Brockport historians?

Get some writing consultation! Consult with a writing tutor, especially one who specializes in historical writing, at any stage of the writing process. Leave yourself time to revise.

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