Aragorn Storm Miller
Lecturer — Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 512-475-6870
- Office: GAR 3.226
- Office Hours: Fall 2013: W 10 a.m.- 12 p.m., 1-4 p.m.
- Campus Mail Code: B7000
HIS 309L • Western Civ In Modern Times
MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
Course Overview: In this course, we examine the central cultural characteristics of the Western heritage after the Reformation and discuss their transformation up to the present. A chronological narrative of the history in question will be provided by the lecturer and the textbook, but the most significant portion of our time together will be devoted to the examination of a number of central questions within western society since the Reformation. We will attempt to formulate an understanding of “western civilization” and its central concerns and transformations, with a particular attention paid to economy and politics in their relationships to culture and freedom. We will discuss such issues as the construction of political authority and its relationship to emerging conceptions of political liberty, revolution, popular sovereignty, and political economy. We will examine and explain the emergence of the central characteristics of modern Western society, including mass society, democracy, colonialism, secularism, political sovereignty, and the nation-state. Focus in the course is away from memorization of factual information about European history and toward reading, discussion, interpretation and criticism of texts that exemplify certain moments in the western tradition. By reading, discussing, analyzing and criticizing these sources, students will receive an introduction to the tasks involved in “thinking like a historian.”
Prerequisites: Students taking this course are assumed to be capable of an informed, critical stance toward the claims of the lecturer. No previous knowledge of the subject matter is assumed.
Mark Kishlansky et al., Civilization in the West, vol. 2
Jean Calvin, Golden Book of the True Christian Life
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (selections)
Émile Zola, The Ladies’ Paradise
Ernst Jünger, Storm of Steel
J. M. Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire / Economic Consequences of the Peace (selections)
Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth
Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (selections)
Additional readings will be distributed in class or are available on the Internet
Assignments & Grading:
Compliance with syllabus policy 0%
Compliance with attendance policy 0%
Paper 1 @ 15%
Paper 2 @ 25%
Final paper @ 30%
Average of regular quizzes @ 30% each (I will drop your two lowest scores)
HIS 315K • The United States, 1492-1865
TTH 930am-1100am SAC 1.402
Requirements include midterm and final exams (both essay format), a 2-page book review on Shopkeeper’s Millennium, and a quiz on one document chosen from the M. Johnson collection of primary documents. (For rules on plagiarism, please see the dept’s policy online at http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/history/about/academic-integrity.php) Study questions will be provided in advance of both exams. Exams will test knowledge of both lectures and readings. There will be a question devoted to South v. South on the final. Texts:
Spain and Columbus; Humanism and the New World; Nature of the Colonial Enterprise; Regional histories of British America; The transatlantic Reformation; Puritanism and Personality; Witchcraft.Weeks four-six
Slavery and Staple Crops: British Caribbean and Chesapeake; American Revolution; Forging a New Government: Articles of Confederation and the Constitution; Federalists and anti-Federalists; Washington and Hamilton; Hamilton’s Report on Public Credit.
Midterm (date tba): 75-minute essay question.
Thomas Jefferson’s legacy; Ambiguity of Jeffersonian Republicanism; War of 1812; Westward expansion; Industrial Revolution; Andrew Jackson and what is meant by Jacksonian Democracy; Compromise of 1820; early talk of disunion.Weeks ten-eleven (Quiz on Johnson document.)
Slavery and Abolition; Election of 1848 (Pro-slavery arguments); Compromise of 1850; the continuing vexing question of Slavery and its Expansion west; sectional politics (the census and redistricting); secessionism and the south.Week twelve to end of course
Sectional Politics: John Brown; Lincoln, Free Soil, and the Election of 1860; was the south “monolithic”—was the North? Slavery and Disunion, Civil War and postwar America.
Grades will be calculated according to the following percentages: Final exam 40%, Midterm 30%, Book Review 20%, and Quiz 10%.
HIS 315L • The United States Since 1865
TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 112
In just over a century the United States transformed from a nation scarred by civil war to perhaps the most powerful, prosperous, and conflicted polity in human history. How did this happen? This course examines the dominant discourses, crises, conflicts, and resolutions associated with the emergence of the United States as a political and socioeconomic world power. We begin with a discussion of the ways in which the nation attempted to recover from the Civil War in the context of renewed territorial expansion and accelerating industrialization and immigration. From there we examine the rise of the United States as a world power and the emergence of new strains of domestic ambivalence regarding questions of macroeconomic prosperity, social discord, and geopolitical influence. We conclude with a consideration of the contested meanings of freedom, prosperity, and national identity, as the nation grappled with the Cold War and the rapidly evolving socioeconomic realities the late 20th and early 21st century world.
The goal of this course is to help students to master content and facts, and to develop the ability to interrogate competing interpretive positions and make judgments about history. We will pay attention to ideas of contingency and individual agency in the “top down” and “bottom up” history the modern United States. Students will work with dates, places, and names well known in the study of U.S. history, but shall take conventional narratives—of a steady and confident rise to power, of unity at home in the face of homogeneous opponents outside the gates—to task along the way. Perhaps most importantly, students will learn a skill set enabling them to make sophisticated arguments about U.S. and world history in general, and to judge these issues in the modern day and beyond.
There are no prerequisites to this course, though those students unfamiliar with the basic contours of U.S. History are urged to read the materials closely, and to meet with the instructor or TAs to discuss any interpretive or factual questions that may arise.
James Henretta, et. al., America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865, 5th edition (2012)
Michael P. Johnson, Reading the American Past, Volume II, from 1865: Selected Historical Documents (2012)
Attendance and Class Decorum
Regular attendance is absolutely crucial to student success, given that exams and assignments will draw equally from lectures and readings. Since lectures are a central part of the course, the instructor expects student help in creating and maintaining a positive learning environment. Arriving late, leaving early, (non-course related) internet surfing, texting, etc., are distracting and disrespectful to our classroom community and are strongly frowned upon by the instructor. At the same time, however, the instructor pledges, and expects students to follow suit, to respectfully consider divergent ideas, viewpoints, and commentary arising throughout the semester.
Exams: There will be two in-class exams and a final exam, to be given during the designated finals period. The in-class exams will require you to answer one essay question and two short identification questions. The final exam will consist of two identifications, an essay question relating to the last third of the course, and a comprehensive essay question.
Make-up Exams: You are expected to take all tests at the scheduled times. Only students who are UNABLE to take the test on the scheduled day will be allowed to take a make-up exam. Students who miss an exam because of illness, or other circumstances beyond their control, and who wish to take a make-up exam, must make arrangements with the instructor within one week after the missed exam.
If you have questions or complaintsabout your exam grades, you must speak with the Teaching Assistant who graded your exam. You are welcome to speak with Dr. Miller after you have met with your TA. If you request a re-grade, however, you accept the fact that your new grade can be lower as well as higher, based on the judgment of the instructor. Also, you should present any questions or complaints about the first exam before the second exam. You should address any questions about the second exam before the final exam.
Reading/Attendance Quizzes: There will be five pop-quizzes issued at random dates throughout the semester. The quizzes will feature two multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, or true/false questions, which will be extremely straightforward for anyone who has done the reading. Fifty points will be awarded for completing the quiz, and 25 points will be awarded for each correct answer. No make-ups will be given for these quizzes without a documented excuse (i.e. a doctor’s note, proof of participation in a school-sponsored activity, etc.)
HIS 365G • Us Economic History Since 1880
TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 0.132
Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.
HIS N350R • The Cold War In The 1960s
MTWTH 1130am-100pm SZB 380
The United States entered the 1960s riding a wave of unprecedented prosperity and political consensus at home. Abroad, however, the United States and its allies faced a Soviet-led bloc that appeared both unprecedentedly powerful and united in its hostility towards an equally united West. By the end of the decade, the situation had in many respects reversed itself. The United States experienced massive internal political turmoil, while the putative allies of Washington and Moscow—especially in the “peripheral” areas of Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa—challenged the superpowers in charting their own courses in world politics. American society and the place of the United States in the world, seemingly so stable at the beginning of the decade, was on the verge of disintegration. This undergraduate writing seminar has three purposes. First, it aims to familiarize students with the history of the United States and the world in the 1960s, a pivotal decade both for the Cold War and for our modern world. We will focus on the relationship between changing domestic socioeconomic trends and the political activities of the United States on the world stage. Though this is primarily a course in U.S. history, we will explore the cooling of Cold War tensions in Europe and the emergence of East-West détente. At the same time, we will examine the way in which the Cold War in the decolonizing and developing world heated up, as new leaders challenged their former sponsors and advisors in Washington and Moscow.
Second, the course aims to give each student an opportunity to develop a particular interest through researching and writing a large (approximately 20-page) term paper based on primary sources. Students will have wide latitude to choose their topics, but they are expected to use the holdings of the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library for at least part of their research.
Third, the course aims to help students to hone their writing. To this end, many class sessions will focus on the craft of writing more than specific historical content.
(subject to change)
Che Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare
Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s
Robert J. McMahon, The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction
Bruce J. Schulman, Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism: A Brief Biography with Documents
Attendance and active participation in seminar (20% of term grade)
Research paper of approximately 20 pages, due by 5 p.m. on last class day (45%)
Intermediary assignments [abstract & bibliography, expanded bibliography, preliminary presentation, draft introduction, comment on another student’s introduction] (2% each for a total of 10%)
Final presentation (15%)
HIS F315K • The United States, 1492-1865
MTWTHF 1130am-100pm GAR 0.102
The course will cover all aspects of American history to the end of the Civil War.
The basic themes of the course will be the emergence of an American identity, the evolution
of American self-government and the expansion of American territory.