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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Aragorn Storm Miller

Lecturer Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Aragorn Storm Miller

Contact

  • Phone: 512-475-6870
  • Office: GAR 3.226
  • Office Hours: Fall 2014: W 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Campus Mail Code: B7000

Interests

Twentieth century U.S. politics and foreign relations; the Cold War; post-colonial U.S.-Latin American relations; the crises of the 1960s

HIS 315L • The United States Since 1865

38450 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 106
show description

In just over a century the United States transformed from a nation scarred by civil war to perhaps

the most powerful, prosperous, yet conflicted polity in human history. How did this happen? This

course examines the dominant discourses, crises, and questions associated with the growth 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, accelerating industrialization, and diversifying immigration. From there we

examine the rise of the United States to global prominence and the emergence of new strains of

domestic ambivalence regarding 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 develop your ability to use content and facts, and to interrogate

competing interpretive positions and make judgments about history. This course also aims to

teach you critical thinking skills that cross over to disciplines other than History. We will pay

attention to ideas of contingency and individual agency in the “top down” and “bottom up” history

the modern United States. We shall take popular 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.

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. This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S.

history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives

established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking

skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

Texts:

James Henretta, et. al., America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865, 6th edition (2014)

Selected Primary Source Documents as Provided by Instructor (via URLs pasted into the syllabus

and PDFs posted to our Canvas page https://utexas.instructure.com/courses/1103337)

Grading:

1st Midterm Exam, 30%

2nd Midterm Exam, 30%

Final Exam, 30%

Media and Interpretive Assignments, 30% each

Reading/Attendance Quizzes (6 x 2% each, lowest score dropped), 10%

HIS 315L • The United States Since 1865

39330 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 106
show description

Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself,(I am large, I contain multitudes.)--Walt Whitman

 

This course examines the history of the United States as a story of migration, contact, and conflict.  Beginning with a review of the nation’s experiences during the Civil War, the course charts the social, cultural, and political history of the United States from the Reconstruction era through the end of the twentieth century.  Major themes include the industrial revolution, rise of a consumer culture, United States foreign policy and transnational corporate expansion, and the long struggle for civil and political rights.  The course strives to understand these conflicts as national crises informed by--and enacted through--people's everyday experiences and concerns.  Throughout emphasis is given to cultural and social developments and the relationship between the United States and the wider world.

 

This course also offers an introduction to the discipline of history.  What does it mean to study history?  How does one "think historically" both during class and in everyday conversations?  What can a historical perspective on our lives, our cultures, and our nation teach us about our present situations, our future, and ourselves?  Poet Walt Whitman’s declaration provides an apt starting point for this course.  The United States does contain multitudes of contradictory opinions, experiences and identities.  Often these contradictory voices collide and combine within the same individual as a person tries to make sense of his or her multiple histories, struggles, and associations.  Studying history involves engaging these contradiction, determining how they came to be and how they continue to shape the politics and culture of the nation and the world outside its borders.  Studying history demands the embrace of complexity.  How do new, often contradictory, voices, approaches, and facts change the fundamental stories of U.S. history?  Things are rarely as simple as they first appear.  Embracing America’s contradictions can be messy, even dangerous.  Ignoring them is more perilous still for we are large.  We contain multitudes

 

Texts:

.US: A Narrative History, Volume 2

 

Additional Required Reading:Listed under each week in the schedule below.  Readings are available on the Web or on the course Blackboard site.  You can access Blackboard here: https://courses.utexas.edu/webapps/login/

 

ATTENDANCEAttendance is mandatory. Weekly reading assignments should be completed before class on Monday.  Lectures are designed to contextualize and compliment the readings, not to repeat them.  Therefore, a great deal of necessary information will be found only in class.  Come prepared.

 

Grading:

ASSIGNMENTSYour final grade will be based on an  (30%), a 5-page (1250 word) paper on an assigned topic (30%), and a final essay exam (40%). I do not tolerate late papers without a very good reason.  Papers are docked one full grade every day they are late.

 

 

This course partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

HIS 350R • Innovation In Us Economy

39650 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 0.132
show description

This course examines creativity in the US economy, primarily during the period since 1865.  Students will assess major innovations associated with the evolution of the economy, such as the development of branding and the coming of the computer industry. Students will also examine different models or frameworks through which to view innovation.  One model is the entrepreneur, but scholars have developed other frameworks such as networks of innovation, the role of intermediaries, the presence of technological clusters, and the contributions of government liaisons.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

Texts:

Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

Andre Millard, Edison and the Business of Innovation – on Edison

Nancy Koehn, Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers’ Trust from Wedgwood to Dell – on marketing innovation

AnnaLee Saxenian, Regional Advantage – on Silicon Valley

Louis Galambos, Networks of Innovation – on networks and medical innovation

Thomas Frank, Conquest of Cool – on 1960s advertising

Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, Nudge – on public policy innovation

Grading:

Students will write 6 papers, each of three to four pages in length.  Papers will count for roughly 66 percent of a student’s final grade; class discussion will count for 34 percent of a student’s grade.

HIS 365G • Us Economic Hist Since 1880

39780 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 0.132
show description

Tracing the history of the American capitalism from 1865 to 2000, this course is organized around three themes: 1) innovation; 2) economic rights; and 3) the role of the state.  Students will examine sources of innovation in terms of the role played by entrepreneurs, efforts the state has made to foster innovation, and the role of corporate institutions.  Economic rights concern problems of labor relations and discrimination in the job market. Both the topic of innovation and economic rights leads to the study of the state.  Scholars and the public at large have strikingly varied views about the proper role of the state in the economy.  In this course, students will evaluate past experiences in order to arrive at their own assessment of the state’s impact on innovation and economic rights.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

Texts:

Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

William Cronon,  Nature’s Metropolis

David Von Drehle, Triangle: The Fire that Changed America

Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal

Christophe Lecuyer, Making Silicon Valley

Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis

Nancy MacLean, Freedom is Not Enough

AnnaLee Saxenian, Regional Advantage

Kirk Jeffrey, Machines in Our Hearts

Grading:

Three papers will count 75% of your final grade; class discussion will count 15% of your final grade; a weekly quiz will count 10% of your final grade.  The three essays will each be four to five pages in length

HIS N350R • Cold War In The 1960s

85000 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTH 100pm-230pm GAR 1.122
show description

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.

Texts:

(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

 

Grading:

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 309L • Western Civ In Modern Times

39658 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
show description

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.

 

Possible Texts:

 

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

39625 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am SAC 1.402
show description

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:

Weeks one-three

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.

Weeks seven-nine

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.

Grading:

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

39654 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 112
show description

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.

 

Required Texts

 

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.

 

Grading

 

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

40027 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 0.132
show description

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

HIS N350R • The Cold War In The 1960s

85290 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTH 1130am-100pm SZB 380
show description

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.

Texts:

(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

 

Grading:

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

85485 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm GAR 0.102
show description

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.

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