History | Seminar in U.S. History
H750 | 2892 | Friedman


TOPIC:  HISTORY OF AMERICAN PHILANTHROPY

This seminar consists of two parts.  First, drawing heavily
upon  "Charity, Philanthropy and Civility in American History"
(Friedman & McGarvie eds.) plus some key primary documents, we shall
secure an overview of the historic course of American philanthropy
within an international context.  We will look to the beliefs and
traditions of caring and assistance in other countries in an effort
to determine the degree to which American philanthropy has and has
not been unique.  Cultural, social, and intellectual developments
shall be as central as the evolution of nonprofit organizations.

The second part of the course centers on the preparation of a
research paper or its equivalent on a topic that deeply appeals to
the student and grows out of her/his background.  It is designed to
serve one’s most pressing need—a third semester review paper, a
detailed dissertation proposal, an article, a book outline, or even
a grant proposal.  Students shall meet very regularly with the
instructor in preparing these and shall also be encouraged to meet
with one another.  In the past, these course papers have almost
always eventuated in published articles, external funding, or the
launching of dissertations.  As well, paper preparation has
helped to cultivate the sense that productive scholarship can be
cooperative and “philanthropic” –that it does not have to be
competitive or cut-throat.

Non-historians with interest or experience in philanthropy are as
welcome as historians, for the course is interdisciplinary.  Since
our focus shall often be global and comparative, those focusing on
other parts of the world are as welcome as Americanists