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The Summer 2023 term begins June 1, 2023 and ends August 24, 2023. Registration for summer courses begins March 18, 2023 and ends June 7, 2023. Applications for the Gettysburg College–Gilder Lehrman MA program are open and considered on a rolling basis.
Six-Week Compressed Courses
AMHI 612: Capitalism in American History (Summer Term I)
with David Sicilia, Associate Professor of History and Henry Kaufman Chair of Financial History, University of Maryland
Capitalism has morphed over time, and the United States has a particularly unique relationship with the economic system, from the economic dimensions of the American Revolution and Constitution to the rise of big business and the creation of bureaucracy to the predominance of consumerism after World War II. Scholarship on capitalism in American history has also experienced shifts in its understanding of slavery’s role in the development of the American economic system and the importance of welfare in the history of capitalism. Through a clear definition of capitalism and a set of core questions, this course explores how capitalism emerged in British North America, and tracks the development of the business-oriented capitalist society that America is today. Professor Sicilia presents an economic and business history of capitalism that focuses on how wealth is distributed and how companies innovate, and highlights the roles of entrepreneurs and labor in American society.
Summer Term I begins June 1, 2023, and ends July 12, 2023.
AMHI 613: The Great Depression and the New Deal (Summer Term II)
with Eric Rauchway, Distinguished Professor of History, University of California, Davis
The causes and consequences of the economic slump of 1929–1933 are considered together with the economic recovery of 1933–1941 under the New Deal. The course will examine the scope and effects of the Depression, considering particularly how it placed democratic institutions in peril and contributed to the rise of fascist movements. We will then consider the New Deal not only as a program for restoring economic prosperity but more importantly as an effort to reinvigorate democratic institutions, concluding with an investigation of the transition from the New Deal into mobilization for the Second World War. Lectures and readings will focus on the political, social, and economic history of the United States in this period and especially on the policies of the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt during his first two terms in office.
Summer Term II begins July 13, 2023, and ends August 24, 2023.
AMHI 682: The History of Latina and Latino People in the U.S.
with Geraldo Cadava, Professor of History and Wender-Lewis Teaching and Research Professor, Northwestern University
The recent growth of the Latino population has transformed the United States. It has led to heightened debates about Latinas’ and Latinos’ political power, cultural influence, citizenship, civil rights, and ethnic and racial categorization. This increased attention may feel new, but Latino communities have played a pivotal role in US history for a long time. In this course, we will explore the history of Latinas and Latinos in the United States—and across the Americas—from the sixteenth century through the early twenty-first century, covering themes such as race, migration, labor, and empire.
It is the history of a community, or, rather, several communities, including Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominican Americans, Central Americans, and Cuban Americans. The members of these communities have moved within and between the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean, where they’ve struggled almost continuously for equality and belonging. Ultimately, students will gain a deeper sense of the issues and histories that bring Latinas and Latinos together, and those that continue to divide them.
AMHI 602: American Indian History: 1900 to the Present
with Donald L. Fixico (Shawnee, Sac and Fox, Muscogee Creek and Seminole), Regents and Distinguished Foundation Professor of History, Arizona State University
Taking a social and cultural historical approach, this course is about Native peoples in modern America since the turn of the twentieth century. It begins with Geronimo’s final surrender in 1886, the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890, and the origins of the Vanishing Race concept. From there, Professor Fixico will explore times of stressful change including the Dawes land allotment, FDR’s Indian New Deal, and participation in World War II. Moving into the 1960s and the wake of Eisenhowerism, the course will examine the government’s trust termination and relocation policies, which led to two-thirds of Native peoples moving to cities. Simultaneously, Native leaders were fighting to protect tribal natural resources and founding the American Indian Movement during the broader Civil Rights Movement. This history informs understanding of the present experiences of American Indians including the industries they have created and their ongoing fight for sovereignty.
AMHI 610: 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.
AMHI 660: The Vietnam War
with Fredrik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs and Professor of History, Harvard University
This course covers the long struggle for Vietnam, waged between 1940 and 1975, with particular attention to the long period of direct American involvement. It will examine the conflict from various angles to understand why the Vietnam War began and ended as it did and the divisions it caused within American society. The events will be considered in their relationship to Vietnam’s history, to US politics and society, and to the concurrent Cold War. With an emphasis on the US experience, Professor Logevall will also address the continuing effect of the Vietnam War to this day.
AMHI 698: 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). They 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.
AMHI 699: Capstone in American History
The Thesis/Capstone course will be offered every semester. If you have completed at least 24 credits including AMHI 698: Historiography and Historical Methods, you can now register for the Capstone in American History in Campus Experience.
The views expressed in the course descriptions and lectures are those of the lead scholars.