SLOs / About

In this course you will study American history and culture from the end of the Second World War to the present. Topics to be discussed include postwar American life, the Cold War, liberal consensus politics, conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East, the civil rights movement and other rights movements, political history, and such themes as the rise of both political and religious conservatism, post-industrialism, globalization, multiculturalism, and contemporary American culture. We also explore how American governance in Congress does (or doesn’t) work. I aim to educate as broadly as possible about this period and to include a multiplicity of voices and perspectives. One of the course’s main goals is to destabilize the notion that there is one single American story.

This course covers the period of US history since 1945. It also uncovers how historians think about and approach the history of the recent past, and is designed to help you navigate the road from “back then” to “right now.” It combines lecture, seminar-style discussion, historical simulation, and hands-on research to introduce you to some key sources, themes and problems from the past six decades of American history.

Prerequisites: EN 102 or EN 250
LASC: Receives USW + WAC + DAC
Credits: This is a 3-credit course.*

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify and explain major developments and events from the recent American past
  • Distinguish between and appropriately analyze primary and secondary historical sources
  • Deftly switch gears into historical thinking, employing concepts such as chronology, contingency, causality, pastness, sourcing, and empathy
  • Create your own living sense of the past and connect it to your own experience, i.e. to locate yourself as in the web of history
  • Decipher and join ongoing scholarly arguments about the past

If you are a History major or minor, this course is designed to help you begin to develop the six core skills of historical thinking:

1) Students will recall and explain historical events and facts of significance to their coursework, being able to set them in chronological order. Students will have a working sense of how history unfolded.

2) Students will set historical facts/events in broader context. They will have the “flavor of an era” and be able to connect facts together. Students will experience history as a flow, not as separate discrete “bits” of information.

3) Students will identify primary and secondary sources, and understand the scholarly uses of each. Students can analyze a given source using appropriate questions, methods and techniques. Students will gain information literacy with respect to both printed and online sources of historical information.

4) Students will frame questions for historical research and conduct a program of research inquiry, demonstrating strong and independent research skills.

5) Students will create original works of historical scholarship.

6) Students will reflect on their own learning process and become self-reliant and independent learners.

*By University definition:
Federal regulation defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutional established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than –

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.