Courses: Spring 2021

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Registration for the Spring 2021 semester is closed.


Lives of the Enslaved

with Daina Ramey Berry, Oliver Radkey Regents Professor in History, University of Texas at Austin

This course is a study of enslaved people and the ways human beings coped with captivity. Students will listen to their voices through audio files, diaries, letters, actions, and silences. In addition to listening to enslaved people, students will have the opportunity to engage cutting-edge scholarship on the subject. Although the early literature objectified enslaved people and hardly paid attention to their experiences, work published since the Civil Rights Movement and into the twenty-first century offers rich accounts of enslaved life. Some of the specific themes addressed in this course include gender, sexuality, region, labor, resistance, pleasure, love, family, and community among the enslaved. 

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Registration information: CRNs: Lecture Section: 23444, Lab (Discussion) Sections: 23445, 23446, 23447, 23448, 23449, 23450


The Presidents vs. The Press 

with Harold Holzer, Jonathan F. Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Hunter College

The tension between presidents and journalists is as old as the republic itself. George Washington, upon seeing an unflattering caricature of himself in a local newspaper “got into one of those passions when he cannot command himself,” according to then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. Since the founding era, almost everything about access and expectation, literacy and technology has changed. At the same time, the office of the president has grown increasingly powerful. This course chronicles the eternal battle between the core institutions that define the republic, revealing that the essence of this confrontation is built into the fabric of the nation.

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Registration information: CRNs: Lecture Section: 23453, Lab (Discussion) Sections: 23454, 23455, 23456, 23457, 23458, 23459, 23460, 23461


Democracy in the Early Republic

with Andrew Robertson, Professor of History, Lehman College and CUNY Graduate Center

Spanning the period from the 1790s to the eve of the Civil War, this course traces the development, evolution, and practice of democracy in America. During this pivotal era, the possibilities of the Revolution were explored and tested. The bounds of suffrage contracted and expanded as politicians and voters learned to wield their political power. Americans continued to develop an identity distinct from their British forebears. Partisanship led to the establishment of political parties. Inchoate American print culture matured into a powerful tool able to disseminate information, and misinformation, to a nation that was growing apace. These developments shaped the American political landscape and cemented democracy as a viable system of governance.

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Registration information: CRNs: Lecture Section: 23471, Lab (Discussion) Sections: 23472, 23473, 23474, 23475, 23476


The Vietnam War

with Fredrik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of History, Harvard University

This course covers the long struggle for Vietnam waged between 1940 and 1975. Students will examine the conflict from various angles with particular attention to the period of direct American involvement. Beginning with French military efforts and concluding with American defeat, events will be considered in their relationship to Vietnam’s history, to US politics and society, and to the concurrent Cold War. Questions addressed will include: Why did the war happen? Why did the US become involved? How was the greatest military power in the world defeated? Could an alternative strategy have worked? How does the conflict continue to resonate with Americans?

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Registration information: CRNs: Lecture Section: 23462, Lab (Discussion) Sections: 23463, 23464, 23465, 23466, 23467, 23468, 23469, 23470


Historiography and Historical Methods

with Andrew Robertson, Professor of History, Lehman College and CUNY Graduate Center

Historiography is the study of historical writing. Students enrolled in this course will journey through American history guided by Professor Andrew Robertson and seven other professors (Zara Anishanslin, University of Delaware; Ned Blackhawk, Yale University; Kristopher Burrell, Hostos Community College; Sarah King, SUNY Geneseo; Lauren Santangelo, Princeton University; Nora Slonimsky, Iona College and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies; and Wendy Wall, Binghamton University). Students will read and discuss historical interpretations of the American past as they have changed over time in specific chronological periods: colonial/Revolutionary history, the early nineteenth century to Reconstruction, the Gilded Age to the Cold War, and the 1960s to the present. This course will also present lectures on the evolving historiographies of African American history, Native American history, and women’s history by scholars specializing in those fields. The historical methods portion of the course will teach students to interrogate primary sources and to read secondary sources with a critical eye.

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Registration information: CRNs: Lecture Section: 22949, Lab (Discussion) Sections: 22950, 22951, 22952, 23086, 23087


Thesis/Capstone Course

The Thesis/Capstone course will be offered every semester.

Registration information: CRNs: Lecture Section: 22939, Lab (Discussion) Sections: 22941, 22942, 22943, 23443


To apply for the Pace–Gilder Lehrman MA in American History Program, click “To Apply” in the menu.