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

Robert A. Olwell

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1991, Johns Hopkins University

Robert A. Olwell

Contact

Biography

Research interests

His research and teaching interests are focused on the eighteenth-century British-Atlantic World and the early American South. Currently, he is writing a book on the British Florida colony, 1763-1783.

HIS 315K • The United States, 1492-1865

39310 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 800am-930am WCH 1.120
show description

Survey of United States history from the colonial period through the Civil War.

 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

 

Texts:

 

James Roark, Michael Johnson, et. al., The American Promise: A History of the United States, (Volume I: To 1877; Fourth Edition, Bedford-St. Martins, 2009).

 

Discussion Readings:

 

David Weber, What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

 

Edward Countryman, What did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

 

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Women’s Rights Emerges within the Antislavery Movement, 1830-1870, (Bedford-St. Martins, 2000).

 

Robert Olwell, ed., The Presence of the Past: Primary Documents in American History, 1492-1865, (Kendall-Hunt, 2011).

 

Grading:

There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.)

 

Grading Policy:Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You also have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played your “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points.

HIS 389 • Research: Early America

39935 • Fall 2014
Meets T 1100am-200pm GAR 2.124
show description

This research course is designed for graduate students to conduct research and prepare a paper in their area of interest on broad questions of ethnicity/race, gender, class, sexuality, citizenship, and transnational identity in global context. More specifically, the course is designed for students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to explore the ways in which national and transnational identities shape and are shaped by changing concepts of citizenship, patterns of global migration, postcolonialism, as well as race, class, and gender formations.  In the past students have chosen topics on identity formation in the U.S., Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Students prepare a 25-30 page research paper based on a topic of their choosing, preferably one related to their thesis or dissertation projects. Students will also write short response papers to introductory readings, prepare a short research-paper prospectus, and spend the middle weeks of the semester conducting research and meeting individually with the instructor. During the last three weeks students will present their paper drafts and receive feedback before handing in the final paper.  Grading: three short reader response papers/class participation (30%); short research paper proposal (10%); final paper (60%).

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

 

 

HIS F315K • The United States, 1492-1865

84970 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am GEA 105
show description

Survey of United States history from the colonial period through the Civil War.

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

 

James Roark, Michael Johnson, et. al., The American Promise: A History of the United States, (Volume I: To 1877; Fourth Edition, Bedford-St. Martins, 2009).

Discussion Readings:

David Weber, What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Edward Countryman, What did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Women’s Rights Emerges within the Antislavery Movement, 1830-1870, (Bedford-St. Martins, 2000).

Robert Olwell, ed., The Presence of the Past: Primary Documents in American History, 1492-1865, (Kendall-Hunt, 2011).

 

There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.)

Grading Policy:Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You also have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played your “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points.

HIS 315K • The United States, 1492-1865

39620 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 900am-1000am GAR 0.102
show description

Survey of United States history from the colonial period through the Civil War. Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

Texts:

James Roark, Michael Johnson, et. al., The American Promise: A History of the United States, (Volume I: To 1877;Fourth Edition, Bedford-St. Martins, 2009).

Discussion Readings:David Weber, What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Edward Countryman, What did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Women’s Rights Emerges within the Antislavery Movement, 1830-1870, (Bedford-St. Martins, 2000).

Robert Olwell, ed., The Presence of the Past: Primary Documents in American History, 1492-1865, (Kendall-Hunt, 2011).

Grading:

There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.)

Grading Policy:

Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You also have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played your “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points.

HIS 350R • Debating The Amer Revolution

39870 • Fall 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm GAR 0.132
show description

In this course, students will examine, through discussions,  lectures, and an extended exercise in historical role playing, the precipitant events and ideas leading up to the American Declaration of Independence in July 1776.  The first half of the semester will be comprised of lectures, readings, and discussions on the Imperial Crisis between Britain and the British American colonies.  The second half of the semester will be organized around the “Reacting to the Past” game: “Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution, in New York City, 1775-1776” (created by William Offutt). At the start of the game, students will each be assigned a “character” (who might be a patriot, loyalist, or neutral, wealthy, “middling,” poor, or slave) who they will portray through the subsequent six class sessions, moving through time from the spring of 1776 until the summer of 1776.  Students must individually determine, describe, and depict how they believe their character would respond to historical events, and attempt to persuade others to support their position. Collectively, the class will decide if New York City will decide to join the revolution and declare independence or support the King in his effort to suppress the rebellion. During this half of the course, besides their active participation in the “game,” students will each write several “position papers” explaining their assigned character’s perspective on changing events.

Texts:

Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, (1974).

Theodore Draper, A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution, (1997).    

Richard Ketchum, Divided Loyalties: How the American Revolution Came to New York, (2002).

William Offutt, Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776, (2011).

Alfred Young, The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution,  (1999).

Grading:

Participation 20%

Book report  20%

Take-home exam 30%

Position papers 30%

HIS 317L • Origins Of American Revolution

39370 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am UTC 4.112
show description

This course will examine "the course of human events" that led thirteen of Britain's American colonies to move from fervent loyalty in 1763 to rebellion and independence thirteen years later. Although history has come to call this event the "American Revolution," equal emphasis will be given in this course to the British side of the question and to British actions, words, and motives. In this regard, perhaps a more accurate title for the course might be "The Fall of the First British Empire." The course will consist of equal parts lecture and discusssion (largely of documents taken from the era). Grades will be based on three, in-class, essay exams.

 

 

HIS 350R • Debating The Amer Revolution

39555 • Spring 2013
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 0.132
show description

     In this course students will immerse themselves in the social and ideological background of the American Revolution. After reading and discussing the major political writings that informed 18th-century colonial American political thought, as well as examining the local context of New York city at the end of the colonial era, each student will be assigned a historic character (who lived in New York in 1775) and will spend the second half of the semester representing their character in an extended role-playing game that follows the “course of human events” in New York city from the spring of 1775  to the summer of 1776. Will New Yorkers declare independence and join the revolution or choose to remain loyal to King George III? It will be up to you and your classmates to decide.

HIS 315K • The United States, 1492-1865

39145 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 800am-930am JES A121A
show description

Survey of United States history from the colonial period through the Civil War. 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

 

 

HIS 392 • Historiog Of Amer Revolution

39755 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 200pm-500pm GAR 1.122
show description

As the "founding" and arguably the most important and complex event  in American History, the subject of the American Revolution has  inspired a long and large scholarship. Since the beginning of  "professional" history a century ago, scholars of the topic have  produced thousands of pages and hundreds of books. To study the  differing ways that historians have conceptualized the Revolution is  therefore also to examine the history of the American historical  profession itself and the ways that historians themselves act  (write, think) within historic contexts. The first half of this  course, will study the varied "schools" through which the American  Revolution was interpreted in the 20th-century. The second half of  the course will focus upon the "state of the art," to understand  where the field of American Revolutionary studies currently stands,  and to consider where it might profitably go in the future.

This course is designed as a reading colloquium. The primary  requirement is to carefully read and consider each week's assigned  readings in a timely manner and come to class prepared to discuss  them. Before each meeting, students will prepare brief (c. 500-700  word) review essays that encapsulates their response to the readings  for that week. The general reading for each week will consist of a  book and several articles, an average of about 400-500 pages, more  or less.

HIS 315K • The United States, 1492-1865

39180 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WEL 1.308
show description

Assigned Readings:

The following books are all required reading for the course. They are available for purchase at the University Co-op. 

Text:

James Roark, Michael Johnson, et. al., The American Promise: A History of the United States, (Volume I: To 1877; Fourth Edition, Bedford-St. Martins, 2009).

Discussion Readings:

David Weber, What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Edward Countryman, What did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Women’s Rights Emerges within the Antislavery Movement, 1830-1870, (Bedford-St. Martins, 2000).

Robert Olwell, ed., The Presence of the Past: Primary Documents in American History, 1492-1865, (Kendall-Hunt, 2011).

Exams:

There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.)

Grading Policy:

Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You also have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played your “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points.

HIS 350R • Thomas Jefferson & His World

39430 • Spring 2012
Meets TH 330pm-630pm WEL 4.224
show description

This course will focus attention upon the life and times of Thomas Jefferson through an examination of his own writings, and through a selection of the vast amount of work that has been done on him as an historical subject. The primary dynamic will be on the co-existence of the public Jefferson - author of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State under Washington, and third President, and the private Jefferson, master of Monticello, and owner of nearly three hundred people.

Students will read Jefferson's letters, speeches, and other writings, as well as the Monticello plantation records, architecture, and plans. We will also examine how Jefferson has been portrayed in American history and popular culture in the 175 years since his death. Students will be asked to write several short papers based upon their research and reading into these materials. These essays will be submitted in draft form and then revised and resubmitted. 

 

Required Reading

Primary Sources:

   Thomas Jefferson, The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. by Adrienne Koch and William Peden, (New York, 1998)[hereafter, Life and Writings].

   Extensive Digital resources are available via the Library of Congress, University of Virginia, Massachusetts Historical Society, and Monticello web-sites.

 

Secondary Sources:

  Daniel Boorstin, The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson, (Chicago, 1948; reprint edition 1993).

  Drew McCoy, The Elusive Republic: Political Economy in Jeffersonian America, (Chapel Hill, 1980).

 Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello, (New York, 2008).

  Peter Onuf, ed., Jeffersonian Legacies, (Charlottesville, 1993) [hereafter, Legacies].

  Additional materials will be made available on a course PCL e-reserves site

 

Grades

   This is how final grades will be determined:

 

       First half of semester

          Participation                  20%

          Jefferson's Obituary           10%

          Response paper/presentation    20% 

 

       Research paper:

          Proposal-Bibliography/report   15% 

          First draft                    10%

          Final (revised) version/report 25% 

HIS 315K • The United States, 1492-1865

39125 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WCH 1.120
show description

Assigned Readings:

The following books are all required reading for the course. They are available for purchase at the University Co-op.  

Text:

James Roark, Michael Johnson, et. al., The American Promise: A History of the United States, (Volume I: To 1877; Fourth Edition, Bedford-St. Martins, 2009).

Discussion Readings:

David Weber, What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Edward Countryman, What did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Women’s Rights Emerges within the Antislavery Movement, 1830-1870, (Bedford-St. Martins, 2000). 

Robert Olwell, ed., The Presence of the Past: Primary Documents in American History, 1492-1865, (Kendall-Hunt, 2011).

 

Exams:

There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.) 

Grading Policy:

Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You also have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played your “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points. 

 

This course partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

HIS 350R • Debating The Amer Revolution

39404 • Fall 2011
Meets TH 330pm-630pm MEZ 1.212
show description

    In this course, students will examine, through discussions,  lectures, and an extended exercise in historical role playing, the precipitant events and ideas leading up to the American Declaration of Independence in July 1776.  The first half of the semester will be comprised of lectures, readings, and discussions on the Imperial Crisis between Britain and the British American colonies.  The second half of the semester will be organized around the “Reacting to the Past” game: “Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution, in New York City, 1775-1776” (created by William Offutt). At the start of the game, students will each be assigned a “character” (who might be a patriot, loyalist, or neutral, wealthy, “middling,” poor, or slave) who they will portray through the subsequent six class sessions, moving through time from the spring of 1776 until the summer of 1776.  Students must individually determine, describe, and depict how they believe their character would respond to historical events, and attempt to persuade others to support their position. Collectively, the class will decide if New York City will decide to join the revolution and declare independence or support the King in his effort to suppress the rebellion. During this half of the course, besides their active participation in the “game,” students will each write several “position papers” explaining their assigned character’s perspective on changing events. 

Books that may be assigned for this class include:

Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, (1974).

Theodore Draper, A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution, (1997).     

Richard Ketchum, Divided Loyalties: How the American Revolution Came to New York, (2002).

William Offutt, Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776, (2011).

Alfred Young, The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution,  (1999).

Grading

Participation 20%

Book report  20%

Take-home exam 30%

Position papers 30%

 

This course partially fulfills the legislative requirement for American history. 

HIS 315K • The United States, 1492-1865

39400 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 800am-930am JES A121A
show description

Assigned Readings:

 

The following books are all required reading for the course. They are available for purchase at the University Co-op. 

Text:

James Roark, Michael Johnson, et. al., The American Promise: A History of the United States, (Volume I: To 1877; Fourth Edition, Bedford-St. Martins, 2009).

Discussion Readings:

David Weber, What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Edward Countryman, What did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans?, (Bedford-St. Martins, 1999).

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Women’s Rights Emerges within the Antislavery Movement, 1830-1870, (Bedford-St. Martins, 2000).

Robert Olwell, ed., The Presence of the Past: Primary Documents in American History, 1492-1865, (Kendall-Hunt, 2011).

Exams:

 

There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.)

Grading Policy:

Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You also have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played your “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points.

 

HIS 315K • United States, 1492-1865

39060 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 214
show description

HIS 315K:
United States History, 1492-1865
Fall 2010
Unique Number: 39060

Robert Olwell, Associate Professor
Office: Garrison 3.108
Hours: Thursdays 9-12 (or by appointment)
Phone: 475-7226
E-mail: rolwell@mail.utexas.edu

Shari Silzell, Graduate Teaching Assistant
Office: BUR 304
Hours: Thur 12-2 and by appointment
E-mail: silzell@att.net

Course Materials on the Web:

All ephemera for the course (syllabus, exam study guides, discussion handouts, etc.) will be available via a course web-page at PCL electronic reserves:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/services/reserves/

The password is: 1492

Assigned Readings:

The following books are all required reading for the course. They are available for purchase at the University Co-op. 

Text:

     Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History, (Volume One, Second Edition, Norton, 2009).

Discussion Readings:

            T.H. Breen and Stephen Innes, Myne Owne Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640-1676, (Norton, 1982; reprint 2004).

     Robert Gross, The Minutemen and Their World, (Norton, 1976; reprint 2001).

            Paul Johnson, A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837, (Norton, 1979;  reprint 2004).     

          William Andrews, ed., Classic American Autobiographies, (Signet, 2003).   

Exams:

     There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.)

Grading Policy:

    Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You also have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played your “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points.

Course Schedule:

Part One: Empires

(During these five weeks, students should read, Breen and

Innes, Myne Owne Ground, and Mary Rowlandson’s narrative in Classic American Autobiographies.)

 Week One; No Textbook Reading.
    Thur., 26 August – Introductions, Requirements, and Themes

Week Two; Textbook Chapter 1.
    Tues., 31 August – 1492 and its Consequences
         Thur., 2 September – Old Spain to New Spain

Week Three; Textbook Chapter 2.
    Tues., 7 September – Origins of English Colonization
    Thur., 9 September – Unfree Labor in Early America

Week Four; Textbook Chapter 3.
    Tues., 14 September - The Puritans’ “New England”
    Thur., 16 September - The Indians’ “New World;” (Study Guide for First Exam will be made available)

Week Five; No Textbook Reading.
    Tues., 21 September – Sex and Power in Early America
    Thur., 23 September – FIRST EXAM

Part Two: Republics

     (During these five weeks, students should read Gross, The Minutemen and Their World, and Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography in Classic American Autobiographies.

Week Six; Textbook Chapter 4.
    Tues., 28 September – A Tour through British America.        
    Thur., 30 September – “Being Colonial”

Week Seven; Textbook Chapter 5.
    Tues., 5 October – The Imperial Crisis, 1763-1766
    Thur., 7 October – From Resistance to Revolution

Week Eight; Textbook Chapter 6
    Tues., 12 October – Revolutionary Republicanism
    Thur., 14 October – Liberty and Slavery

Week Nine; Textbook Chapters 7.
    Tues., 19 October – 1787: The Second American Revolution     
    Thur., 21 October – The New Nation in the 1790s; (Study Guide for Second Exam will be made available)

Week Ten; Textbook Chapter 8.
    Tues., 26 October – Mr. Jefferson’s Republic
    Thur., 28 October – SECOND EXAM

Part Three: Democracies

During these five weeks students should read Johnson, A Shopkeeper’s Millenium, and Frederick Douglas’s Narrative in Classic American Autobiographies.

Week Eleven; Textbook Chapter 9.
    Tues., 2 November – Nationalism and Sectionalism
    Thur., 4 November – “American Restlessness”

Week Twelve; Textbook Chapter 10.
    Tues., 9 November – General Jackson’s “Democracy”
    Thur., 11 November – Jacksonian Nightmares

Week Thirteen; Textbook Chapter 11 and 12.
    Tues., 16 November – Religion, Reform, and Abolitionism
    Thur., 18 November – Slavery and the West, 1836-50

Week Fourteen; Textbook Chapter 13.
    Tues., 23 November – Political Crisis of the 1850s; (study guide for third exam will be made available)    
    Thur., 25 November – NO CLASS (Happy Thanksgiving!)

Week Fifteen; Textbook Chapter 14.
    Tues., 30 November – Things fall Apart, 1860-61; (study guide for final exam will be made available)
    Thur., 2 December – THIRD EXAM

FINAL EXAM: Thursday, December 9, 2:00-5:00 pm, Place TBA

This course contains a Cultural Diversity flag.

HIS 392 • Historiog Of Amer Revolution

39630 • Fall 2010
Meets T 900am-1200pm GAR 1.122
show description

As the “founding” and arguably the most important and complex event in American History, the subject of the American Revolution has inspired a long and large scholarship. Since the beginning of “professional” history a century ago, scholars of the topic have produced thousands of pages and hundreds of books. To study the differing ways that historians have conceptualized the Revolution is therefore also to examine the history of the American historical profession itself and the ways that historians themselves act (write, think) within historic contexts. The first half of this course, will study the varied “schools” through which the American Revolution was interpreted in the 20th-century. The second half of the course will focus upon the “state of the art,” to understand where the field of American Revolutionary studies currently stands, and to consider where it might profitably go in the future.

This course is designed as a reading colloquium. The primary requirement is to carefully read and consider each week’s assigned readings in a timely manner and come to class prepared to discuss them. Before each meeting, students will prepare brief (c. 500-700 word) review essays that encapsulates their response to the readings for that week. The general reading for each week will consist of a book and several articles, an average of about 400-500 pages, more or less.

HIS 315K • United States, 1492-1865

39285-39330 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 900-1000 BUR 106
show description

HIS 315K: United States History, 1492-1865
Spring 2010

 

Instructor:
Robert Olwell, Associate Professor
   Office: Garrison 3.108
       Hours: Wednesdays 1:30-4:30 (or by appointment)
       Phone: 475-7226
       E-mail: rolwell@mail.utexas.edu

 

Course Prospectus:

     This course is designed to provide you with a basic survey of the main events and themes of American History from Columbus’s landfall (1492) to the end of the Civil War (1865). For most students, this course will also introduce you to college-level historical study. For some of you, I this course will mark the beginning of further, more focused and advanced studies in the discipline, either as a history major, or a history minor. For others, the most important thing about this class is probably that it fulfills half of the University’s six credit American (or Texas!) history requirement. While providing such reluctant  historians with the rudimentary knowledge of early American history and culture that befits a Liberal Arts education, I nonetheless also hope that this course will spark an interest in the subject that will keep you reading and thinking historically long after your days at UT have ended.      

 

Course Materials on the Web:

     All ephemera for the course (syllabus, exam study guides, discussion handouts, etc.) will be available via a course web-page at PCL electronic reserves:

         http://www.lib.utexas.edu/services/reserves/

The password is: 1492.

Assigned Readings:

    The following books are all required reading for the course. They are available for purchase at the University Co-op. 

 

Text:
    Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History, (Volume One, Second Edition, Norton, 2009).

Discussion Readings:
     Miguel Leon-Portilla, The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico, (Beacon, 1962; reprint 1992).
     Mary Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, Neal Salisbury, ed., (Bedford, 1997).
     J. Hector St. John deCrevecouer, Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America, (Penguin, 1986).
     Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple: A Tale of Truth, (Oxford, 1986).
     Alexis deTocqueville, Democracy in America, Isaac Kramnick, ed., (Penguin, 2003).
     Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings, (Modern Library Classics, Random House, 2000).
     James Crisp, Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett’s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution, (Oxford, 2005).

Friday Discussion Sections:

     On most Fridays, as indicated in the syllabus, students will attend a discussion section of 25-30 students. Each section will be directed by a History Department Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA) who will also be responsible for grading the exams of all the students in her/his sections. A reading has been assigned for each discussion meeting. Students should come to class on Friday already having read the assigned reading and prepared to discuss. The material covered in Friday sections is integral to the course – it will not be covered in lectures or in the textbook and it will be tested on the exams.

Exams:

     There will be three mid-term exams in this course as well as a final exam. The mid-terms will each address materials covered in the preceding third of the semester. The final will draw upon themes developed throughout the semester. One week before each exam I will make available a study guide which contains a short list of possible essay questions for the coming exam. On the day of the exam several of those questions will be selected at random and you will be required to answer one of the chosen questions. Each exam (except the final) will also include a list of ten terms drawn from the lectures and readings and you will have to briefly identify and describe the significance of five of those terms. No make-ups outside of the scheduled make-up session will be allowed or given. (See grading policy below.)

Grading Policy:

    Final grades will be based upon only the highest three of your four exam scores. The lowest exam score will be discarded. You have the option of choosing to take only three exams and let your score be calculated from them alone. If you must miss an exam for any reason, you will automatically have played this “get out of one exam free” card. Thus, allowing for contingencies, you would be wise to save this card until the end of the semester. Each of the exams is worth a potential 100 points. No other "extra-credit" assignments of any kind will either be assigned or accepted. In accord with University policy, I will be assigning + and – grades. Final grades will be awarded according to the following scale: A 270 points or more, A- 264-269, B+ 255-263, B 240-254, B- 234-239, C+ 225-233, C 210-224, C- 204-209, D+ 195-203, D 180-194, D- 174-179, F 173 or fewer points.

Students with Disabilities:

     Upon receipt of a letter from the Students with Disabilities office, I will make every reasonable accommodation to meet students’ needs regarding the course materials and exam procedures.

Academic Integrity:

     Academic dishonesty (a.k.a. cheating) is theft, not only from the university but, far more importantly, from the majority of students who earn their grades honestly. Here are some possible crimes and their penalties.

High Crimes: 

     1.) Bringing a pre-prepared essay or blue book to the exam and attempting to pass it off as one written during the exam period, penalty = automatic F for the course.

     2.) Copying or attempting to copy from another student, or using or attempting to use crib notes, notebooks, etc., during the exam period, penalty = automatic F for that exam.            

Misdemeanors:

     1.) Answering the wrong essay (i.e., not one of those randomly selected at the start of the exam period), penalty = F for the essay part of that exam.

     2.) Answering more than five of the i.d. terms listed on the exam, penalty = only the first five answers (counting from the front of the blue book or exam) will be scored, even if they are not the best answers.                                           

Classroom Etiquette:

     Attendance (while encouraged) is not required – no roll call will be taken. Accordingly, if you choose to attend class, I expect that you will observe the following rules of common-courtesy:

1. Please make every effort to come to class a few minutes before the starting bell. If you arrive late, enter as quietly and unobtrusively as you can, and sit in the first empty seat that you find. Likewise, please do not leave or make preparations to do so (gathering notebooks, etc.), until I, (or your TA) has dismissed class.

2. Please turn all cell-phones and pagers off before the  start of class (if you forget and your phone rings during class, turn it off quickly or quietly leave the room to answer.

3. While lap-top computers may be used for taking notes, I please do not take care of your e-mail, facebook account, or otherwise surf the inter-net during class.

4. Feel free to bring drinks (coffee, soda, water, etc..) to class, but please refrain from eating.    

 

Course Schedule: Lectures, Readings, and Discussion Topics

Part One: Empires

Week One; No Textbook Reading.
    Wed., 20 January – Introductions; Requirements and Themes; The “Invention” of America
    Fri., 22 January – DISCUSS: Columbus’s Journal: 12 October 1492 (handout; PCL electronic reserves)

Week Two; Textbook Chapter 1.
    Mon., 25 January – The Spanish Conquest
    Wed., 27 January – The Columbian Exchange
    Fri., 29 January - DISCUSS: Lopez-Portilla, Broken Spears, xxv-126, 150-172.

Week Three; Textbook Chapter 2.
    Mon., 1 February – Origins of English Colonization         
    Wed., 3 February – Unfree Labor in Early America.
    Fri., 5 February – DISCUSS: Origins of Slavery Debate; (PCL electronic reserves)

Week Four; Textbook Chapter 3.
    Mon., 8 February - The Puritans’ “New England.”
    Wed., 10 February - The Indians’ New World.
    Fri., 12 February – DISCUSS: Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, 63-112 and Appendices: (No. 1) 115-118, (No. 5) 132, (No. 13) 141-42.

Week Five; No Textbook Reading.
    Mon., 15 February – Sex and Power in Early America.
    Wed., 17 February – FIRST EXAM
    Fri., 19 February – NO DISCUSSION SECTIONS

Part Two: Republics

Week Six; Textbook Chapter 4.
    Mon., 22 February – British America in 1760
    Wed., 24 February – “Being Colonial”
    Fri., 26 February – DISCUSS: Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer, 66-105, 166-179.

Week Seven; Textbook Chapter 5.
    Mon., 1 March – The Imperial Crisis, 1763-1773
    Wed., 3 March – Declaring Independence, 1773-1776
    Fri., 5 March – DISCUSS: The Imperial Debate (PCL electronic reserves)

Week Eight; Textbook Chapter 6.
    Mon., 8 March – Revolutionary Republicanism
    Wed., 10 March – Liberty and Slavery
    Fri., 12 March - DISCUSS: Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer, 342-52, 424-489

WEEK OF 15-19 March, SPRING BREAK

Week Nine; Textbook Chapters 7.
    Mon., 22 March – 1787: The Second American Revolution
    Wed., 24 March – The New Nation in the 1790s
    Fri., 26 March – DISCUSS: Rowson, Charlotte Temple, 1-120.

Week Ten; Textbook Chapter 8.
    Mon., 29 March – Mr. Jefferson’s Republic
    Wed., 31 March – SECOND EXAM
    Fri., 2 April  – NO DISCUSSION SECTIONS

Part Three: Democracies

Week Eleven; Textbook Chapter 9.
    Mon., 5 April – Nationalism and Sectionalism
    Wed., 7 April – “American Restlessness”
    Fri., 9 April – DISCUSS: De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 583-625, 677-699, 775-822.

Week Twelve; Textbook Chapter 10.
    Mon., 12 April – General Jackson’s “Democracy”
    Wed., 14 April – American Nightmares
    Fri., 16 Nov. DISCUSS: Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings, 1-76, 300-312.

Week Thirteen; Textbook Chapter 11 and 12.
    Mon., 19 April - Religion, Reform, and Abolitionism
    Wed., 21 April – Texas, Slavery, and the West 1836-1850.
    Fri., 23 April – DISCUSS: Crisp, Sleuthing the Alamo.

Week Fourteen; Textbook Chapter 13.
    Mon., 26 April – The Political Crisis of the 1850s.
    Wed., 28 April – 1860-1861: Things Fall Apart.
    Fri., 30 April – DISCUSS: Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings, 715-44; Secession Declarations (PCL electronic reserves).

Week Fifteen; Textbook Chapter 14.
    Mon., 3 May – “A New Birth of Freedom”: Abraham Lincoln’s Civil War.
    Wed., 5 May – THIRD EXAM.
    Fri., 7 May – NO DISCUSSION SECTIONS

FINAL EXAM: (Exact date, place, and time will be announced later in the semester.)  

HIS 315K • United States, 1492-1865

39345-39390 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 1200-100pm BUR 106
show description

Survey of United States history from the colonial period through the Civil War. 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

 

 

HIS 350L • Rise Anglo-Amer Antislavery-W

39675 • Spring 2010
Meets M 200pm-500pm PAR 305
show description

HIS 350L: The Rise of Anglo-American Anti-Slavery, 1763-1863

Robert Olwell

Garrison 3.108 (Office hours: Wednesdays 2-5)

Phone: 475-7226

E-mail: rolwell@mail.utexas.edu

 Prospectus:

      On January 1, 1763, as the Seven Years’ War came to a close,  African slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade were seen as two of the main pillars upholding the British-American Empire. Both were considered vital sources of the empire’s wealth and strength and were seldom subjected to sustained criticism. Over the next century, however, this situation was utterly transformed. The American Revolution launched a barrage of rhetorical attacks on “human bondage” on both sides of the Atlantic and initiated emancipation plans in the Northern half of the United States. In 1808, Britain and American simultaneously abolished the Atlantic slave trade. In the 1830s, Parliament abolished slavery in the British West Indian colonies, while in America, thousands of “Abolitionists” organized and protested against slavery. Frustrated in their moral crusade, some abolitionists withdrew, others sought a political solution, while still others decided that violence was justified in the battle against slavery.  On the first day of 1863, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation sounded the death knell for slavery in the (now rebellious) Southern  states; (the actual death sentence came in the form of the 13th amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in December 1865).  

     The story of the overthrow of slavery is a remarkable example of “human progress” (to use David Brion Davis’s phrase). As a historical phenomenon, it has inspired a rich and complex literature. The study of anti-slavery illuminates key historical concerns such as causality (why does change happen?) and individual motivation and agency (why and how do people affect change). Some scholars have sought to understand the larger forces, events, and ideas that engendered Anti-Slavery (and inspired Abolitionists), while others have focused upon individuals, or on the grass-roots membership of the movement, seeking to discover what compelled  some people to become Abolitionists (while most did not). In examining how scholars have examined Anti-slavery, we will also engage with key interpretive categories or historical concepts such as: religion, capitalism, modernity, race, gender, and the self.

 

Readings:

 

     Students should purchase a three ring binder, a three-hole punch, and perhaps also a ream of paper, and a printer cartridge. Most of the readings for the course will be made vailable via the PCL electronic reserves site. You are advised to print copies of these and bring them to class for our discussions. Other materials (chapters of books) will be available for purchase in a course packet. Students should also acquire the following six books (via Amazon or other web-emporiums) before we are assigned to discuss them in class.  

Books to Buy:

      Thomas Bender, ed., The Anti-Slavery Debate: Capitalism and Abolitionism as a Problem in Historical Interpretation, (Oxford, 1992).

     Ronald Walters, The Anti-Slavery Appeal: American Aboltionism After 1830, (Baltimore, 1978), 3-149.

     Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, (Boston, 1845; reprint, Bedford/St. Martins, 2003).

     Seymour Drescher, The Mighty Experiment: Free Labor Versus Slavery in British Emancipation, (Oxford, 2004).

     Michael Pierson, Free Hearts and Free Homes: Gender and American Anti-Slavery Politics, (Chapel Hill, 2003).

     Evan Carton, Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America, (New York, 2006).

     George Frederickson, Big Enough to be Inconsistent, Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race, (Harvard, 2008)

 Assignments:

    This course is organized primarily as a reading  colloquium. Therefore your first responsibility is to come to each class meeting having read and thought about that week’s assigned reading. To assist you in formulating your thoughts (and to help me to formulate our discussion) I ask you to write a 500 word response paper for each week’s reading that you will bring to class.  Although I won’t take attendance per se, participation in class discussions is an important part of this course. Thus, absences will count against you, but no more than coming to class unprepared to take part in our discussions. Your must also write a historical review of one of the two films we will watch in class, one of the five secondary books we will discuss, and one week’s worth of the primary sources we will be discussing in class (in italics in the syllabus). Each of these reviews will be 1500-2000 words in length (6-8 double spaced pages)  and will be revised by you after being submitted to me for comment.

 Grades/Grading Policy:

Grades for the course will be reckoned according to the following:

 

Participation/ Thirteen Response papers (5 points each; plus two “free passes” when you choose not to write a response paper)

 

Three Critical Reviews (15 points each)

 

In accordance with University policy, I will be assigning plus and minus grades in this course.

Schedule of Meetings and Readings:

 

      25  January -  Introductions; Requirements and Themes.

 

1 February -  Slavery and Anti-Slavery before 1763 - READINGS: George Whitefield, A Letter to the Inhabitants of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina Concerning Their Negroes, (Philadelphia, 1740); Alexander Garden, Remarks on Mr. Whitfield’s Letter Concerning the Negroes, (Charleston, 1740); John Woolman, Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes, (Philadelphia, 1754); David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, (Oxford, 2006), 27-140; Lawrence Towner, “The Sewall-Saffin Dialogue on Slavery,” William and Mary Quarterly, (January 1964), 40-52.

 

     8 February -  Anti-Slavery and the Crisis of Empire, 1763-1775 -  READINGS: Francis Hargrave,  An Argument in the Case of James Somersett, A Negro, Lately Heard in the Court of King’s Bench, ( London, 1772); Jack Greene, “Slavery or Independence: Some Reflections on the Relationship Between Liberty, Black Bondage, and Equality in Revolutionary South Carolina,” South Carolina Historical Magazine, (July 1979), 193-214;  Christopher Brown,  “Empire Without Slaves: British Concepts of Emancipation in the Age of the American Revolution,” William and Mary Quarterly, (April 1999),  273-306;  Peter Dorsey, “To Corroborate Our Own Claims: Public Positioning and the Slavery Metaphor in Revolutionary America,” American Quarterly, (September 2003),  353-86; Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution, (New York, 2005), 21-57.

 

     15 February -  Anti-Slavery and the American Revolution, 1775-1804 – READINGS: John Chester Miller, The Wolf by the Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery, (New York, 1977), 1-59; Gary Nash and Jean Soderlund, Freedom By Degrees: Emancipation in Pennsylvania and Its Aftermath, (Oxford, 1991), 74-136; T.H. Breen, “Making History: The Force of Public Opinion and the Last Years of Slavery in Revolutionary Massachusetts,” in Ronald Hoffman, Mechal Sobel, and Fredrika Teute, eds., Through A Glass Darkly: Reflections on Personal Identity on Revolutionary America, (Chapel Hill, 1997), 67-95;  and Gregory Massey, “The Limits of Revolutionary Anti-Slavery Thought in the Revolutionary Lower South, John Laurens and Henry Laurens,” Journal of Southern History, (August 1997), 495-530.

 

22 February  –  The  British Campaign against the Slave Trade, 1783-1808 – READING: Thomas Bender, ed., The Anti-Slavery Debate: Capitalism and Abolitionism as a Problem in Historical Interpretation, (Oxford, 1992), 1-259.

 

1 March -  Film: “Amazing Grace” (watch in class); READINGS: House of Commons Debate on the Abolition Bill, 28 February 1805; David Spring, “The Clapham Sect, Some Social and Political Aspects,” Victorian Studies, (September 1961), 35-48.

 

 8 March –  The American Colonization Society – READINGS:  David Walker, Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, (Boston, 1830), [Extract on Colonization]; “Letters to the American Colonization Society [Part 1],”  Journal of Negro History, (April  1925), 154-180; Delindus  Brown,  Free Blacks' Rhetorical Impact on African Colonization: The Emergence of Rhetorical Exigence,” Journal of Black Studies, (March 1979), 251-265; David Stafford, “The American Colonization Society: An Application of Republican Ideology to Early Antebellum Reform,” Journal of Southern History, (May 1979), 201-220; Douglas R. Egerton, "Its Origin Is Not a Little Curious": A New Look at the American Colonization Society, “ Journal of the Early Republic, (Winter, 1985), pp. 463-480.

 

15 March – SPRING BREAK (NO CLASS)

 

22 March -  The Origins of  American Abolitionism- READINGS:  Ronald Walters, The Anti-Slavery Appeal: American Aboltionism After 1830, (Baltimore, 1978), 3-149; Charles Sellers, The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846, (Oxford, 1991), 202-68.

 

29 March -  Abolitionist Literature – William Lloyd Garrison, “To the Public,” Liberator, [First Issue], (Boston, 1 January 1831)Theodore Weld, American Slavery As it Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, (Boston 1839), [Extract], Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, (Boston, 1845; reprint, Bedford/St. Martins, 2003).

 

April 5 – British Emancipation, 1834-38 – READING:  Seymour Drescher, The Mighty Experiment: Free Labor Versus Slavery in British Emancipation, (Oxford, 2004).

 

April 12 - Film: “Amistad” (watch in class); READINGS:  Trial of the prisoners of the Amistad on the writ of habeas corpus before the Circuit Court of the United States for the district of Connecticut, (New York, 1839); Casey King, “Abolitionists in American Cinema: From The Birth of a Nation to Amistad,” in Timothy McCarthy and John Stauffer, eds., Prophets of Protest: Reconsidering the History of American Abolitionism, (New York, 2006), 268-93.

 

April 19 – Anti-Slavery and American Politics – READINGS: Eric Foner, “The Wilmot Proviso Revisited,” Journal of American History, (September 1969),  262-279;  Michael Pierson, Free Hearts and Free Homes: Gender and American Anti-Slavery Politics, (Chapel Hill, 2003).

 

April 26 – Militant Abolitionism – READING: Evan Carton, Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America, (New York, 2006).

 

May  3 -  Lincoln and Slavery – READINGS: Abraham Lincoln (Extracts from Writings and Speeches); George Frederickson, Big Enough to be Inconsistent, Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race, (Harvard, 2008).

HIS 350L • Thomas Jefferson & His World-W

40055 • Fall 2009
Meets M 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.122
show description

HIS 350L
Thomas Jefferson and His World


Fall2009
Monday, 3-6
Mezes 1.122
Unique Number: 40055

Robert Olwell
Office: Garrison 3.108
Hours: Monday, 9-12
Phone: 475-7226; E-Mail: rolwell@mail.utexas.edu

Course Prospectus:

First, a few words about "TJ" (our subject):

"Thomas Jefferson lives." - last words of John Adams, July 4, 1826.

"If Jefferson was wrong, America is wrong. If America is right, Jefferson was right." -James Paxton (biographer), 1874.

"This is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the white house, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."  -President John F. Kennedy (at a dinner for 49 Nobel Prize winners), 1962.

"Who was it wrote that 'all men are created equal?? It was Jefferson. Jefferson had more slaves than anybody else." - Malcolm X, 1965.

Adams's last words were prophetic. Since his death on the fiftieth anniversary of American independence (Adams was wrong, TJ had in fact died a few hours earlier), Jefferson has been a mirror in which Americans have seen themselves (both good and bad). Today, TJ shares with Washington and Lincoln (and not Adams!) the honor of having his likeness on Mount Rushmore and on American currency. Like the others in this American trinity, TJ has a large marble memorial dedicated to him in the nation's capital. But while George and Abe now seem part of a distant and heroic past, TJ still feels, oddly, messily, among us. (This seemed particularly so in October 1998 when DNA tests exposed the sexual improprieties of both TJ and his namesake William Jefferson Clinton.)

Five years ago, TJ was on the cover of Time magazine, the headline wondered what he would make of modern America, as if Americans still craved his approval. In this course, however, rather than drag Jefferson's bones into our own time to judge him by our standards, (or perhaps even more strangely, ask him to judge us) we will view TJ's ideas and actions in their historic context. As historians, our aim will be neither to praise nor condemn Jefferson, but instead to attempt to understand and explain him. As the late great historian, Winthrop Jordan wrote (and as we will read later in the semester): "to contemplate any man-in-culture is to savor complexity." I invite you to embrace the complexity that was Thomas Jefferson, as we use his life and writings as a window into American thought and culture two centuries ago.

Course Requirements:


I. Required Reading


Primary Sources:
   Thomas Jefferson, The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. by Adrienne Koch and William Peden, (New York, 1998)[hereafter, Life and Writings].

   Extensive Digital resources are available via the Library of Congress, University of Virginia, Massachusetts Historical Society, and Monticello web-sites.

Secondary Sources:
  Daniel Boorstin, The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson, (Chicago, 1948; reprint edition 1993).

  Drew McCoy, The Elusive Republic: Political Economy in Jeffersonian America, (Chapel Hill, 1980).

  Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello, (New York, 2008).

  Peter Onuf, ed., Jeffersonian Legacies, (Charlottesville, 1993) [hereafter, Legacies].

  Additional materials will be made available on a course PCL e-reserves site (password: jefferson)

II. Class Participation

Although I will take attendance at the start of each class, this is in large part to help me to connect names and faces (please be patient). Mere attendance, per se, is not a course requirement. (Thus, if you feel ill, by all means stay home until you are better.) Ultimately, I will assign a class participation grade based on my assessment of your contribution to and engagement in our discussions. As a rule of thumb, I would prefer that you miss a class or two (if you must) and take a spirited (and informed) part when you are present, than for you to come to every class but only speak when called upon (and then have little or nothing to say as you haven't done the reading).  Conduct yourselves accordingly.

III. Written Assignments

There will be three written assignments in this class. All assignments must be submitted on paper (double-spaced). I will subtract one letter grade for each day that a paper is late (including weekends).

1.)        "Jefferson is Dead": In this paper you must write a brief, c. 1000-1250 word (i.e., four-five double-spaced pages) obituary of Jefferson. Describe Jefferson's biographical details, his major accomplishments in life, controversies, etc., and what you can about his family and home life. This paper is designed to be a thoughtful but also somewhat playful exercise (you need do no research beyond watching the Ken Burns film). For a model of how to write an obituary, consult the New York Times. (Don't forget to give your obituary a headline, and perhaps a photo. This paper is due at the start of class on September 14.

2.)        Reading Response/Presentation. At our first meeting, each student will be assigned to a team of three or four fellows each of whom will be responsible for leading the discussion of one of six weekly topics (marked with * in the syllabus). For that week, you and the other members of your "team" will collectively "present" the readings and the subject to the rest of the class - posing questions, guiding discussions, etc.. Afterwards, you will each also be required to write a written review and analysis of the readings and subject, c. 1500 word (i.e., six double-spaced pages) in length. The paper should summarize, compare, and analyze the readings. It is due at the start of class the week after your presentation.

3.)        Research paper. The major assignment in this class (50 percent of the total grade) is an independent research project of approximately 2500-3000 words (10-12 double-spaced pages). You will submit a written preliminary proposal and bibliography to me at the start of Class on October 26, a week later I will return these to you, and you will each make a brief (c. ten minute) presentation of your planned project to the class. For the next two weeks, you will work on your papers individually (although I encourage you to discuss your progress with me either by visiting my office, or via e-mail. First drafts of your research papers are due at my office during our class period (3-6 pm) on Monday, November 16. On November 23rd and 30th, December 1, you will each make very brief (c. 20 minute) presentations of the results of your research to the class. On the first of these dates, I will return the first drafts of your papers to you with my suggestions and comments, on the second you will submit your revised and final drafts.

IV. Grades
   This is how final grades will be determined:
      
       First half of semester
          Participation                  20%
          Jefferson?s Obituary           10%
          Response paper/presentation    20% (15/5)

       Research paper:
          Proposal-Bibliography/report   15% (10/5)
          First draft                    10%
          Final (revised) version/report 25% (20/5)

In accord with new university policy, I will be using plus and minus grades, both for assignments and final grades.

Campus Resources:

Undergraduate Writing Center (FAC 211); www.uwc.utexas.edu

     The Undergraduate Writing Center (UWC) offers free, individualized, expert help with writing for any UT undergraduate, by appointment or on a drop-in basis. The writer works with a trained consultant to define goals for the session, for example:

*        deciding on a topic.
*        clarifying and organizing ideas.
*        researching, drafting, and revising.
*        improving grammar, punctuation, and usage.
*        citing sources properly.

UWC consultants help students develop strategies to improve their writing. The assistance is intended to foster students? resourcefulness and self-reliance. Each student determines how to use the consultant's advice and makes all decisions regarding his or her writing. The UWC staff cannot guarantee better grades, nor do they proofread or edit essays for students; rather they encourage students to take an active part in the consultation and become more confident writers. Any currently enrolled undergraduate at UT can visit the UWC for assistance with any writing project. The services of the UWC are not designed to fix writing "problems." Instead, the UWC supports students as they hone their skills; getting feedback from an informed audience is a normal part of a successful writing project. Every semester the staff of the UWC works with students from all UT colleges and departments, for both academic and non-academic writing. Whether a student is writing a lab report, a resume, a term paper, a statement for an application, or a work of creative writing, UWC consultants will be happy to help.

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSB 4th floor); www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd/index.php

     Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 1-866-329-3986 (Video Phone) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.

UT Plagiarism Tutorial;
www.lib.utexas.edu/services/instruction/learningmodules/plagiarism/

     Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic integrity. In simplest terms, this occurs if you represent as your own work any material that was obtained from another source, regardless how or where you acquired it. As a general rule, the use of any borrowed material results in plagiarism if the original source is not properly acknowledged. You can be held accountable for plagiarizing material in either a final submission of an assignment or a draft that is being submitted to an instructor for review, comments, and/or approval. Plagiarism can be committed intentionally or unintentionally. Remember, your instructor should be able to clearly identify which materials (e.g., words and ideas) are your own and which originated with other sources.

Course Schedule:

  Although our class won't meet until the second week of the semester, you all have an assignment to complete before then. Sometime before August 31, all students should watch the 1997 Ken Burn's film: "Thomas Jefferson," (two parts, in total 3 hours long); it will be on reserve at the Audio-Visual Library in the FAC (but you will have to watch it there); or, you can choose to rent it from Netflix, or from Vulcan Video (29th street just west of Guadalupe); check it out from the Austin Public Library or even buy your own DVD ($30  with shipping from www.PBS.org); that way you can watch it on your computer (in the evening or during some other class).

  Mon., Aug 31: JEFFERSON?S LIVES - Class Introductions; Life and Writings, 7-104;
Gordon Wood, "The Trials and Tribulations of Thomas Jefferson," in Legacies, 395-417.

  Mon., Sept. 7: NO CLASS MEETING  (Labor Day Holiday)

* Mon. Sept. 14: JEFFERSON AND REASON - Life and Writings, 177-197(top),
208(top)-211(top), 399-400, 519-522; Lost World of Thomas Jefferson 29-56, 111-248;
("Jefferson Obituaries" are due at the start of class.)

* Mon., Sept. 21: JEFFERSON AND RACE - Life and Writings, 197(bottom)-202(top), 206(bottom)-208(top), 238-43; Lost World of Thomas Jefferson, 59-108; Winthrop Jordan, "Thomas Jefferson: Self and Society," from idem., White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812,(PCL e-reserves).

* Mon., Sept. 28: JEFFERSON AND WOMEN - Life and Writings, 341(top), 367(bottom)-377(top), 386-89(top), 455(bottom), 459(bottom)-460(top), 461(top), 502(bottom)-503(top), 511(bottom)-512(top); Jan Lewis, "The Blessings of Domestic Society," in Legacies, 109-46; Jack McLoughlin, "The Mistress of Monticello," from idem., Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder; Kenneth Lockridge, "Commonplaces II: Thomas Jefferson," from idem., On the Sources of Patriarchal Rage, (both PCL e-reserves).

* Mon., Oct. 5: MASTER JEFFERSON - Life and Writings, 283(top), 205(middle), 237(bottom), 257(bottom)-258(top), 292(top), 467(bottom), 586(bottom)-587; selections from The Garden and Farm Books of Thomas Jefferson (PCL e-reserves); Lucia Stanton, "Those Who Labor for My Happiness: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves," and Paul Finkelman, "Jefferson and Slavery: Treason against the Hopes of the World," in Legacies, 147-180,
181-221; William Freehling, "The Founding Fathers and Slavery," (PCL e-reserves).

* Mon., Oct. 12: JEFFERSON?S POLITICS - Life and Writings, 109-121, 297(bottom)-321, 402(bottom)-407, 468(bottom)-483(top); Elusive Republic, 13-75, 120-165, 185-259.

* Mon., Oct. 19: JEFFERSON'S CHILDREN - Film: "Jefferson's Blood" (PBS Frontline, 2000) must be viewed at Audio-visual library before class; Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello.

  Mon., Oct. 26: FILM - "Jefferson in Paris;" (Written research proposals and biblios are due at the start of class.)

 Mon., Nov. 2: Individual Presentations of Research proposals (Written proposals and bibliographies will be returned)

 Mon., Nov. 9 and Mon., Nov. 16: NO CLASS MEETINGS (Research papers are due in my office between 3-6 pm., Monday, Nov. 16).

 Mon., Nov. 23: Individual Reports on Research I; (First Drafts of Research papers will be returned).

 Mon., Nov. 30 - Course Evaluations; Individual Reports on Research II; (Revised research papers are due at the start of class).

HIS 392 • Historiog Of Amer Revolution

39460 • Spring 2009
Meets M 200pm-500pm PAR 305
show description

Graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

 

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