HIS 350L • US Socty/Cul Before Civ War-W
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
This course will explore the nature of American society in the 40 years before the Civil War. Political and economic developments, slavery and sectionalism, literature, everyday life and reform movements are some of the aspects of the culture we will be looking at in their own right and as they relate to each other. A good preparation for this class would be simply to reread the chapters on this period in any college textbook. Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.
Class Attendance and Participation: 30% Six 300 word (on one page) response papers to weekly readings: 30% Twelve page final paper on research or historiographical topic: 40% *One page papers are written about question posed before student reads the weekly assignment. The paper serves the simultaneous purposes of focusing his or her reading, preparing for pointed discussion in seminar, and to give me a short sample of the student's writing to critique, especially looking for strong paragraphing and conciseness as well as grammatical problems.
**The term paper should reveal critical skills gained in the seminar readings and discussions and also improved writing skills assimilated from comments on the short papers.
Robert H. Abzug, COSMOS CRUMBLING (Oxford) Harry Watson, LIBERTY AND POWER (Noonday) Bertram Wyatt-Brown, HONOR AND VIOLENCE IN THE OLD SOUTH (Oxford) Herman Melville, BARTLEBY AND BENITO CERENO (Dover Thrift Edition) Frederick Douglass, NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLAS (Bedford, Blight, ed) Kenneth Stampp, 1857: A NATION ON THE BRINK (Oxford) Xerox packet of readings