History | American History II
H106 | 12058 | A. Kahrl

Above class open to undergraduates only

This course surveys the history of the United States from the end of
the Civil War in 1865 to the present and introduces students to the
practice of history.  We will examine themes that have shaped
America’s recent past: changing constructions of race, gender, and
sexuality; struggles for political power, rights, and
representation; popular culture and consumerism; families and
communities; environment and natural resources; capitalism and
collective action; and the United States’ relationship with the
world in times of war and peace.  Throughout, we will explore,
through the lens of music, art, and film, America’s rich cultural
heritage and its intersection with broader historical developments
and contemporary issues.  We will also explore the different ways
Americans have remembered the past, the collision of competing
memories in the public sphere, and how such contests have shaped
ideas about the present and visions for the future.

In exploring these issues, we will learn to think historically: to
engage in source-based analysis, and to learn to hear multiple and
conflicting voices from the past and through them construct nuanced
interpretations and well-rounded arguments.  This course will
familiarize students with the historical profession and different
historical methodologies.  More fundamentally, though, it will
strengthen writing, presentation, and analytical skills crucial to
success in any career path.