AmSt 2010 (710), Themes in American Culture from 1865
McKeehan classroom, MWF, 10:00-10:50
Dr. Chris H. Lewis
Office: Sewall Hall 42C
Office Hours: T, Th, 1:00-3:00, F 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Course Home Page: www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/index.htm
Course Description: This course is a survey
of American culture and society from Reconstruction to the present.
We will examine how industrialization, urbanization, and the emergence
of the United States as a world power shaped modern America. The
lives of European Americans, American Indians, African Americans,
Asian Americans, and Chicanos and Latinos were transformed by the
emergence of modern industrial America. Shaped by the meeting of
diverse peoples and cultures, the United States is becoming a multinational
society in a global industrial civilization.
Course Objective: The larger goal of this course
is to teach you how to critically analyze, evaluate, and judge competing
perspectives on American history, culture, and
society. If you disagree with an argument or perspective, or find
it biased or limited, then say so. If you find the reading difficult,
confused, or pointless, then say so. But, in each case, you must
be prepared to support your argument and larger conclusions.
Gerster, Patrick and Nicholas Cords, eds., Myth America,
Hoffman, Elizabeth and Jon Gjerde, eds., Major Probems in
American History, vol. 2
Hymowitz, Carol and M Weissman, A History of Women in America
Loewen, James, Lies My Teacher Told Me
Class Format: Interactive lectures and class
discussions. We will use the course readings to study how American
culture and society is shaped by a series of individual and societal
choices. History is not a story of automatic progress and development,
but the result of individual and collective decisions to take one
course instead of another. Make sure you read the assigned readings
before each class. When you do the readings, always try to place
them in their historical context and to gather evidence and examples
to strengthen your essays and reaction papers.
Attendance: I will take class attendance at
the beginning of every class.
Attendance is very important for success in college classes. If
you don't attend class it is hard to keep up with the reading and
Quizzes and daily assignments: To make sure students are
keeping up with the reading, I will give pop quizzes on the daily
reading. Quizzes will be based on a general knowledge of the readings:
What are the larger conclusions or observations made in the reading.
In addition to quizzes, I will give short daily assignments based
on the daily reading. For example, you may be asked to outline the
larger argument of an essay.
Grading: Grades will be based on quizzes and
daily assignments (15 %), class participation and attendance (15
%), two short reaction papers to the readings (20%), a take-home
midterm (20%), and a take-home final (30%). I reserve the right
to give unannounced quizzes and assignments in class. Content will
count most heavily in all written work, but grammar, spelling, and
style will also affect your grade.
Course grades will be defined in these terms:
A-Excellent -- (Thoughtful, coherent, insightful,
B-Good -- (Knows material well, lacks depth, not outstanding)
C-Fair -- (Adequate, average, passing, little participation)
D-Poor -- (Little understanding, little effort, incoherent)
F-Fail -- (No evidence of understanding, no work,
Reaction papers: (2-3 typed pages) From the
list of possible reaction paper topics, choose two to write on.
You can earn extra credit if you write more than two reaction papers.
(5 percent total extra credit for each additional reaction paper.)
You are required to write at least one reaction paper before the
midterm is due (Oct. 28). Before the reaction paper is officially
due, you can turn in rough drafts for my review. As long as you
turned in reaction papers when they were due, you can revise and
rewrite them for a higher grade throughout the rest of the semester.
Exams: Exams will be made up of long and short
answer essay questions covering lectures, class discussion, and
reading assignments. Your essays will be graded on how well you
use historical arguments and examples from class discussion and
the reading to support your thesis. Instead of memorizing the material,
concentrate on learning how to use historical arguments and examples
to address major themes in American culture and society. If you
keep up with the reading and take good class notes, you should have
no trouble with the exams.
Incompletes: I will be very reluctant to give
a grade of Incomplete (I). I assign incompletes only to students
who have successfully completed most of the course work and who
have been prevented by significant and unanticipated circumstances
from finishing all of their assignments.
University Honor Code: As citizens of an academic community
of trust, CU-Boulder students do not lie or cheat whether they are
on campus or acting as representatives of the
University of Colorado in the surrounding communities. Neither should
they suffer by the dishonest acts of others.
The University of Colorado has adopted a Student Honor
Code. See the website at:
http://www.colorado.edu/policies/honor.html. The University of Colorado
adopted a code of student behavior for classrooms. See the website
at: http://www.colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html. Students
are responsible to honor the Student Honor Code and Classroom Behavior
Code. Please go to these two websites to read these codes and to
understand the Student Honor Code at CU-Boulder.
As faculty, students, and members of the University
community, we value honor, integrity, and morality. Honor is about
academic integrity, moral and ethical conduct, and pride of membership
in a community that values academic achievement and individual responsibility.
Cultivating honor lays the foundation for lifelong integrity, developing
in each of us the courage and insight to make difficult choices
and accept responsibility for actions and their consequences, even
at personal cost.
Students with Disabilities: I encourage students
with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic
diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive
disorder, and psychiatric disabilities, to discuss with me after
class or during my office hours appropriate accommodations. If you
have any additional questions about how the University can accommodate
your disability, please see me or the Coordinator of Disability
Services in the Disability Services Office, 322 Willard Hall, (303-492-8671).
If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please
submit to me a letter from Disability Services early in the semester
so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines
accommodations based on documented disabilities (303-492-8671, Willard
322). See the Disability Services website: www.colorado.edu/sacs/disabilityservices.
Religious Obligations and Class Attendance:
If you have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments, or other
required attendance, because of religious obligations, please notify
me two weeks in advance of the conflict to request special accommodation.
See the CU Policy at this website: http://www.colorado.edu/policies/fac_relig.html
Cheating and Plagiarism: My policy on cheating and plagiarism
is to assign a zero to the work in question. Plagiarism is copying
another person's work and turning it in as your own. Plagiarism
can involve buying a "class paper" online, copying another
student's work, or copying whole paragraphs and material from other
sources, such as encyclopedias or textbooks. See the website for
the Pledge not to Plagiarize: http://www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode/Code.html.
1. American Culture and Society: Whose America?
Aug 26 Introduction: What is American Studies
Aug 28 Loewen, pp. 11-17, 290-97, 312-318; Columbus
letter (web) Indians claim Italy by right of discovery (web) Columbus
Aug 30 Loewen, pp. 42-74
Sept. 2 No Classes, Labor Day Holiday
Sept. 4 Loewen, pp. 75-97, 115-121; John Winthrop
"Reasons to be Considered" (web); Sullivan "Manifest
Benton "The Destiny of the Race" (web); Anglo-American
and Indian Values (web); Map of Indian America, 1600 (web)
2. Reconstructing the Nation after the Civil War
Sept. 6 Loewen, pp. 137-154; Declaration of Independence
"What to the Slave is the 4th of July" (web); The Dred
Sept. 9 Loewen, pp. 156-170; Hoffman, pp. 27-37; Gerster, pp. 4-8;The
Gettysburg Address (web); Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural (web)
3. Making the West Anglo-American
Sept. 11 Loewen, pp. 122-136; Luther Standing Bear
" What the Indian Means to America(web); Chief Joseph's "The
Takeover of Indian Land: An Indian's View" (web); Jackson's
2nd Annual message (web); "To the People of the United States"
(web); Theodore Roosevelt argues against Indian Rights (web)
Sept. 13 Hymowitz, pp. 64-75, 176-190; Gerster, pp.
George Batchelder promotes Dakota (web); Mary Abel
Confronts the Kansas Territory (web)
Sept. 16 Gerster, pp. 243-247; Letter to Governor
Bigler (web); Charles King editorial (web); Immigrants harm American
Society (web); Immigrants do not harm American Society (web); Borderline
hypocrisy (web);Foreign Workers at Highest Levels (web); An Argument
against theMelting Pot (web)
4. The Rise of Modern Industrial America
Sept. 18 Gerster, pp. 38-44, 72-85; Carnegie "The
Gospel of Wealth" (web);
Sept. 20 Hymowitz, pp. 192-217; Hoffman, pp. 68-72,
Sept. 23 Populist Party Platform (web); Tom Watson
Sept. 25 Gerster, pp. 62-71; Washington "Atlantic
Exposition (web);DuBois "A Critique of Washington" (web);
A Red Record (web);Stannard Baker article (web) Tillman "Lynch
5. Reforming Industrial America
Sept. 27 Hymowitz, pp. 93-102, 280-284; Legal Disabilities
of Women (web);Declaration of Sentiments (web); Bradwell vs. State
of Illinois (web); Brownson defines Woman's Sphere (web); Bullard
on the Enslavement of Women (web)
Sept. 30 Hymowitz, pp. 285-301; Gerster, pp. 195-204;
Bromley "The New Feminism" (web); Stanton "The Solitude
of Self" (web)
Carter "Wild Young People" (web)
Oct. 2 Plunkitt "Honest Graft" (web); Steffens
"The Shame of the Cities" (web) The Cancer of Corruption
Oct. 4 Hoffman, pp. 134-139; Roosevelt "The New
Nationalism" (web); Wilson "The New Freedom" (web)
Handout Take-home Midterm
6. American Imperialism and World War I
Oct. 7 Hoffman, pp. 101-105, 114-120; Beveridge "America
should Retain the Philippines" (web); Anti-Imperialist League
(web); Strong "Our Country" (web); President McKinley
Oct. 9 Loewen, pp. 23-30; Hoffman, pp. 164-179; Wilson
"The 14 Points" (web)
Oct. 10-11 No Classes, Fall Break
Oct. 14 Cooper "Prohibition is a Success"
(web); Stayton "Prohibition is a Failure" (web); A Yale
Student Testifies against
7. The Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II
Oct. 16 Hymowitz, pp. 303-311; Hoffman, pp. 228-244;
Gerster, pp. 160-164;Roosevelt "First Inaugural Address"
Oct. 18 Hymowitz, pp. 311-314; Gerster, pp. 165-176;
Hoffman, pp. 247-254,270-277
Oct. 21 Stimson "The Decision to Drop the Bomb"
(web); U.S. Bombing Survey (web); Alperovitz "More on Atomic
Diplomacy" (web); "The Curators Cave In" (web)
8. Pax Americana and the Origins of the Cold War
Oct. 23 Hoffman, pp. 293-308; "Atlantic Charter"
Wallace "Lip Service to Peace" (web); Clifford "American
Firmness vs. Soviet Aggression" (web); The Soviet Reaction
to the Truman Doctrine (web)
Oct. 25 NSC 68 (web); The Truman Doctrine (web); "Beyond
Containment" (web); Nixon "The Real War" (web)
Oct. 28 "The Second Extermination" (web);
Faulkner Nobel Prize Speech (web); Survey of Texas Women (web);
"The Fate of the Earth (web)
Take-home Midterm is Due
9. McCarthyism and Cold War Culture
Oct. 30 Nightmare in Red (web); Hoover "The Communist
Menace" (web); McCarthy "Communist Threatens America"
(web); McCarthyism Threatens America (web); Republican Declaration
of Conscience (web); Americans accused of Communism (web)
Nov. 1 Hymowitz, pp. 314-340; Hoffman, pp. 320-323,
Nov. 4 Hoffman, pp. 358-364; Brown vs. Board of Education (web);
Plessy vs. Ferguson (web); Jim Crow Laws in the South (web)
Nov. 6 Loewen, pp. 219-229; Hoffman, pp. 323-332;
10. America in the 1960s: Rebellion, Reform, and Reaction
Nov. 8 Gerster, pp. 185-189; Johnson "The Great
Johnson "War on Poverty" (web); Kennedy Inaugural Address
Nov. 11 Loewen, pp. 230-237; Hoffman, pp. 364-372;
Gerster, pp. 221-224; King "American Dream" (web); King
"I have a Dream" (web); "FBI Cointelpro: Black Nationalists"
handout; Johnson "The American Promise"(web)
Nov. 13 Hymowitz, p. 341-350; Gerster, pp. 214-220;
Why I Want a Wife (web); Steinem "For the ERA" (web);
Falwell "Against the ERA" (web); Klatch "Women Against
Feminism" (web); The Defeat of the ERA (web); America Needs
the ERA (web); Schafly Attacks the ERA (web)
Nov. 15 FBI Cointelpro: New Left handout; Senate Committee
Probes the FBI's Secret Campaign (web); Students for a Democratic
Society (web); Journalist Account of Police Riots (web)
Nov. 18 SNCC "Black Power" (web); Malcolm
X "God's Judgement of White America" (web); The Kerner
Commission Report (web); FBI Assassination of Fred Hampton (web)
11. The Vietnam War, the Imperial Presidency, and
Nov. 20 Gerster, pp. 190-197; Hoffman, pp. 417-428;
Kerry "Vietnam Veterans against the War" (web); President
Johnson "Why we are in Vietnam" (web); The Pentagon Papers
(web); McGovern was Right (web)
Hand out Take-home Final Exam
Nov. 22 "Nixon's Enemies List" handout; Schell "Watergate"
What were the Watergate Crimes (web)
Nov. 25 Loewen, pp. 260-270; Carter "Democratic
Acceptance Speech" (web); Reagan "The American Spirit"
(web); Jimmy Carter "The Crisis of Confidence"Trends in
American Society in the 1970s (web)
Nov. 27-29 No Classes, Thanksgiving Holiday
12. America and the End of the Cold War
Dec. 2 Reagan "Evil Empire speech" (web):
Reagan "Strategic Defense Initiative" (web); Soviets
Prepare for Threat of U.S. Attack (web)
Dec. 4 Gerster, pp. 205-210; National Identity in
a Post-Soviet World (web); Why the Soviets Lost the Cold War (web);
The End of the Cold War marked a Triumph (web)
Dec. 6 Hoffman, pp. 458-464; Gerster, pp. 198-204;
100 Harshest Facts (web);Johnson "Divided We Fall" (web)
Dec. 9 Hymowitz, pp. 361-373; Painful Choices (web);
Faludi "Blame it on Feminism" (web) The Backlash Against
Dec. 11 Steve Nomad "The Elections" (web)
Take-Home Final Exam is due Tuesday, December 17th,
in my office-Sewall Hall 42C.