History 304, America 1945-Present

Professor Jonathan Rees

Colorado State University – Pueblo

Spring 2016, TTh 11:15-12:35AM in PSY 213

Office:  PSY 118

Office Phone: 549-2541

Office Hours:   MWF 11:10AM-12:10PM, TTh 12:35-1:35PM or by appointment.


This course will examine the history of the United States between 1945 and the present.  My intention is not to cover everything form that period, but to afford you the opportunity to examine particular aspects of that period in the same kind of depth that professional historians do.  I encourage students with questions or concerns about any aspect of this course to either visit me during office hours, make an appointment or contact me by E-Mail.

The taping of class discussions is not permitted unless you have my explicit permission.  Please turn off your cell phones before class begins.

In order to facilitate communication between you and I, having an e-mail is a requirement of this course.  I will be collecting e-mails from you on the first day of the course.  You will want to give me an address that you check fairly frequently because I will use it if I need to get a hold of you for course-related business.  All correspondence with me should go through the e-mail listed above.  For papers, we’ll be experimenting with a program called Kami.  Use that e-mail for sharing your work with me on that platform.  All final papers should be shared with me via Kami at the start of class on the day they are due.

This University abides by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education “solely by reason of a handicap.”  If you have a documented disability that may impact your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please see the Disability Resource Coordinator as soon as possible to arrange accommodations.  In order to receive accommodations, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to:  the Disability Resource Office, which is located in the Library and Academic Resources Center, Suite 169.

Required Reading:

Cowie, Jefferson.  Stayin’ Alive.

Frank, Thomas.  What’s the Matter With Kansas?

Hartman, Andrew.  A War for the Soul of America.

Sugrue, Thomas.  Origins of the Urban Crisis.

Wilkerson, Isabel.  The Warmth of Other Suns.

Grading and Attendance Policies:

It is assumed that students will make every effort to attend each class period, arrive on time and stay for the entire class. An attendance sheet will be passed around at the beginning of each class. If you arrive late to class, make sure your name is on the attendance sheet before you leave. Otherwise, you will be counted as absent.

Your final grade will be determined by this formula:  Paper #1 = 20%, Paper #2 = 20%, Paper #3 = 2o%, Research Paper = 20%, Blogging Activity = 20%.

The question for Paper #1 is:  How did race relations in America change over the course of the great migration?  Explain and please be sure to include at least some evidence from the three primary individual stories told in the book. [This is not a research paper assignment. Please restrict all cited material to Wilkerson’s book.]

The question for Paper #2 is Using Cowie and Sugrue as your guides, explain which concept was more important for understanding American history after 1945:  Race or class?  Explain.

The question for Paper #3 is: Who is most right about the significance of the culture wars in recent American history, Frank or Hartman?  Explain, citing material from both books in your explanation.

Each of these papers should be from between six and eight pages long, double-spaced.  The required drafts of these papers must be at least three complete double-spaced pages long.  Otherwise, I will not accept your final copy.  Parenthetical references for page numbers are fine for purposes of citing your material.

The Research Paper should be 10-12 pages long, double spaced one any subject of your choice that is mostly about the history of the United States during this era.  It does not have to relate to any other material covered in the course.  Look for more information about the paper as we discuss it in class and online over the course of the semester.  One thing I can tell you now, though – footnotes in proper Turabian format will be required for this assignment.

Again, all papers will be drafted and turned in through Kami, an online document composition app available online or as a Chrome Extension.  This will make it easier for classmates to view your work and comment upon it once it’s uploaded to Kami and shared.  It will also make it easier for me to grade once a final version has been completed.  You will upload your papers (draft and final) to Kami, then press share and post the link at the beginning of each draft paper discussion section.  For draft papers, share the link so that anyone with that link can edit.  When the paper is  done you will only share the link with me as a collaborator so that only you and I can see it.  That’s the mode where I’ll grade it using the comments function.

You will set up a Blog during the first week of class.  The blog will be a place where you will post questions (at least 3) about the reading and updates on the progress that you’re making on the research paper.  All posts which ask questions should be timed to appear exactly one day before the class that we’ll be discussing them (session #2 for most books, session #3 for Wilkerson).  I will aggregate those questions on the class blog and you should answer at least one of them in the comments by the start of the class session after the questions have been posted.  [Extra credit for anyone who comments on the answers to anyone’s answers.]  Blogging will be graded on the timeliness and the quality of your questions and answers.  The research progress posts are so that I can track your work on the paper.  There should be one post for each book (five in all) and at least one research update by the end of February and March (two in all).

Grading will be done on an A-F scale with pluses and minuses with the exception of the exception of the grade C- which has been banned across the University. Your final grades will be recorded the same way. I will do my best to explain the criteria by which each assignment is graded before you undertake them.

Any form of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the entire course. This includes plagiarism, the taking of words and/or ideas of another and passing them off as your own. If another person’s work is quoted directly in a formal paper, this must be indicated with quotation marks and a citation. Paraphrased or borrowed ideas must be identified in the footnotes of the text.

Attendance will be gathered via an attendance sheet passed out during the course of each evening.  You are allowed to miss two classes over the course of this semester on account of disease, job-related duties or acts of God.  Miss more for any reason and you will fail this course instantly.

Course Schedule and Reading Assignments:

***Schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the professor***

January 19: Introduction to the Course, Introduction to the Historical Period.

January 21: Set up Blogs, Join Kami and Background for Wilkerson.

Please bring your laptop to class.

January 26: Wilkerson Discussion #1

January 28: Wilkerson Discussion #2

Wilkerson questions due on blogs by February 1.

February 2: Wilkerson Discussion #3

February 4: Wilkerson Discussion #4

February 9: Draft Wilkerson Discussion #1

Draft Wilkerson Paper due via Kami.

February 11: Draft Wilkerson Discussion #2

February 16: Research Paper Session in Library Computer Room

February 18: Movie: “The Black Panthers,” Part I

February 23: “The Black Panthers,” Part II and Movie Discussion

Wilkerson Paper Due via Kami

February 25:  Tour the Chicano Movement Exhibit at the El Pueblo Museum w/ Fawn-Amber Montoya

Research Progress Post #1 due on blogs.

March 1: Sugrue Discussion #1

March 3:  Sugrue Discussion #2

Sugrue Questions due on blogs by March 2.

March 8: Cowie Discussion #1

March 10: Research Paper Session in Library Computer Room

March 15: Cowie Discussion #2

Cowie questions due on blogs by March 14.

March 17:  Sugrue/Cowie Draft Paper #1

Draft Sugrue/Cowie Paper due via Kami.

March 29: Sugrue/Cowie Draft Paper #2

March 31: Hartman Discussion #1

Research Progress Posts due on blogs.

Sugrue/Cowie Paper Due via e-mail.

April 5:  Hartman Discussion #2

Hartman Question Posts due on blogs.

April 7: Frank Discussion #1

April 12: Research Paper Session in Library Computer Room

April 14: Frank Discussion #2

Frank Questions Posts due on blogs by April 13.

April 19: Hartman/Frank Draft Discussion #1

Draft Hartman/Frank Paper due via Kami.

April 21: Hartman/Frank Draft Discussion #2

April 26: Movie: “Roger and Me,” Part I

April 28: “Roger and Me,” Part II and Discussion

Hartman/Frank Paper due via Kami.

Final Exam Period: Research Presentations

Research Papers due via Kami at the beginning of the final exam period.

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