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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2007

AMS 321 • The US in the Civil Rights Era

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30410 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
UTC 4.112

Course Description

Upper-division standing required. Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

2005 marked the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education implementation decision, the lynching of 14-year old Emmett Till - all events that had an enormous impact on American politics and culture. But what does it mean to look back at such historic events with the benefit of hindsight? What changed? What did not? To answer these questions and provide a historical understanding of the modern Civil Rights Movement, this course examines the Civil Rights Movement and America in the larger context of American society during and after the Second World War. Lectures and readings will trace civil rights struggles from wartime through the sixties, and then examine social movements that emerged out of civil rights, such as the Black Power, Chicano and American Indian Movements. This course will also explore the politics, popular culture and social life of this era, considering such topics as the Cold War; mass media; urbanization; and the Vietnam War. Throughout we address such broad themes as American democracy and citizenship; race and racism; gender and sexuality; labor and class conflict. The class is primarily a lecture course, but will include discussions and films.

Grading Policy

Reading and film quizzes (2 quizzes, 10% each, 20% total) Midterm exam, in class (25% of grade) ONE 4-5-page essay (25% of grade) Final Exam (30% of grade)


Coursepack Takaki, Ronald. Double Victory: A Multicultural History of American in World War II Carroll, Patrick J. Felix Longoria's Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism Martin, Waldo E. Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents Sellers, Cleveland. The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC Curry, Constance. Silver Rights Cone, James H. Martin and Malcolm and America: A Dream or a Nightmare Crow Dog, Mary. Lakota Woman Kozol, Johnathan. Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools


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