American History

HIST3402The American Revolution (A)3 ch (3C) (W)

Examines the causes, results and nature of the American Revolution. Themes include imperial relations, the internal development of the colonies and states, the development of revolutionary ideas, and the formation of the federal government.

HIST3403The Loyalists (A)3 ch (3C) (W)

Studies the American Loyalists before, during and after the American Revolution. The first half deals with their emergence, 1763-1776, their role in the War of Independence, their treatment by the rebels, and the Peace Treaty of 1783. The second half deals with their exile in Britain, Sierra Leone, the West Indies, the Bahamas, Bermuda and what became Canada, to about 1814. An epilogue traces their myths, revivals and long-term effects down to the present.

HIST3408American Radicalism and Reform (A)3 ch (3C) (W)

A survey of American social and political movements for change from the founding of the United States to the present. Considers the radical legacy of the revolutionary era, the women's suffrage and abolitionist movements, utopianism, populism, progressivism, radical unionism, anarchism, socialism, communism, African American struggles for civil rights, the new social movements of the sixties, identity politics, and recent resistance to capitalist globalization. 

HIST3414Imperial America (O)3 ch (3C) (W)

Surveys the history of the foreign relations of the United States from its emergence as a world power late in the nineteenth century to its current global pre-eminence. Topics include the "New Imperialism", Wilsonian idealism, inter-war isolationism, the "Good War", the Cold War, Vietnam, "realpolitik", the "New World Order", globalization, and the "War on Terror". 

HIST3415Screening Blackness: African America at the Movies (O)3 ch (3C) (W)

Analyzes the image of African Americans projected by Hollywood from the silent-film era to the present. Students will learn to ‘read’ films as historical documents. How do the movies both reflect and construct understandings of race and race relations? How have African Americans resisted Hollywood’s racist stereotypes? Addresses these and other questions through the critical analysis of select films in historical context.

HIST3418North American Slavery (O)3 ch (3C) (W)

Examines the cultures and economies of Black slavery in North America and the Caribbean, and the role of the American Revolution in creating a slavery diaspora in such disparate locations as Nova Scotia, London, Sierra Leone, and Australia. Particular attention is given to slavery in Canada, including Canada’s role in the Underground Railroad movement, and the larger legacy of slavery and anti-Black racism in Canada and in North America more generally. A central theme is slave resistance, embodied in such actions as talking back, running away, committing arson, and participating in slave revolts and insurrections.

HIST3452 The Vietnam War (O)3 ch (3C) (W)
Introduces the historical controversies over the Vietnam War. Scholars remain divided on key questions including: why did the US go to war; what American president was most responsible for how the conflict unfolded; could the US have “won” the war if it had adopted a different strategy; did public opinion and the anti-war movement play a role in ending the war; and why did some Americans support the war while others did not? Prominently features seminar discussions and group debates. Not available for credit to students who have completed HIST 4452.
HIST3455The Harlem Renaissance (O)3 ch (3C) (W)

Begins by considering some of the major themes, controversies and personalities in African American history, 1865-1920, in an attempt to contextualize the surge of Black cultural production known as the Harlem Renaissance. The course then focuses on the Renaissance itself, and particularly on the racial, class and gender politics that informed the creation of literature, music and art by African Americans in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. Normally taught on location in New York City. Restriction: Students cannot obtain credit for both HIST 3455 and HIST 4455.

HIST3457Culture and Modernity in Twentieth - Century America (O)3 ch (3C) (W)
Explores the emergence and spread of modern American culture in historical context. In addition to considering cultural forms and practices such as music, literature, film, television, the visual arts, comedy, advertisement, shopping, driving, dating, play childrearing, exercise, and nightlife, the course will examine such pervasive themes as the rise of a culture of consumption, the 'therapeutic' culture, culture and violence, the cultural construction of gender, minority and resistance cultures, culture and ideology, and culture globalization.
HIST3461The CIA in American History (O) 3 ch (3C) (W)

Introduces the history of the CIA. [Hi]stories of the CIA and its use of “related activities” have long remained in the shadows. While a number of new books and articles have been published, many historians have argued that because the vast majority of documents are still classified, we still do not have an accurate understanding of the past. In this course we will examine a number of intelligence related topics and reflect on whether recently declassified documents have changed our understanding of these events.   

HIST3475Removal, Allotment, Termination, Self-Determination: American Indian Policy, 1824-2004 (O)3 ch (3C) (W)

Examines the nature and evolution of American policies toward the Native peoples within its borders. Topics include the forcible seizure of Indian lands through war, the treaties and the creation of reserves, the drastic reduction of the reserves by the mid-20th century through “allotment,” subsequent federal government attempts to end its trusteeship of Indian lands and relocate Native people to the cities, and how – beginning in the 1960s – Native people began to assert significant control over their lives and lands. Restriction: Not available for credit to students who have taken HIST 3375. 

HIST4465The Cuban Missile Crisis (O)3 ch (3C) (W)

Introduces students to some of the ways scholars have approached the histories of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Considers the historiography of the missile crisis and the different interpretations historians have offered to explain what is often characterized as the most dangerous period of the Cold War. Students participate in a crisis simulation and cultivate the skills necessary to think critically about how scholars historicize the past. Not available for credit to students who have completed HIST 5465.

HIST4495America in the Sixties (O)3 ch (3C) (W)

Examines the most tumultuous period in the recent history of the United States. Topics include the Cold War, the African American freedom movement and Black Power, the sexual revolution, the new left and the counterculture, the psychedelic movement, women’s liberation, Vietnam and the anti-war movement, the conservative backlash, and the sixties in myth and memory. How do the events of this watershed decade continue to shape American culture and politics?