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MHIS203 – American History: From the Civil War to the Clinton Administration

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Adalia Draghici
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
12cp at 100 level or above or (3cp in HIST or MHIS or POL units)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
The unit examines the history of the United States in the period between the Civil War and the end of the twentieth century. Topics explored will include segregation and civil rights, immigration, social reform movements, mass consumer culture, isolationism and internationalism.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  2. An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  3. An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.
  4. The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  5. The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Research Proposal 20% 15th September
Research Essay 40% 27th October
Takehome Exam 20% 13th of November
Weekly Question 20% weekly

Research Proposal

Due: 15th September
Weighting: 20%

The first piece of written assessment in the course is a 1000 Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography. See instructions on course iLearn for details.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Research Essay

Due: 27th October
Weighting: 40%

The major assessment in this course is a 2500 word research essay. See instructions on the course iLearn for details.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Takehome Exam

Due: 13th of November
Weighting: 20%

The final assessment task will be a 1500 word take-home exam, distributed in the final lecture on the 10th of November and available on iLearn following the lecture. You will have until the following Monday to complete and submit.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Weekly Question

Due: weekly
Weighting: 20%

Each week you will write a short response to the question provided. You must demonstrate an engagement with the course readings to receive a passing grade.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Delivery and Resources

Internal students will be expected to attend one lecture and one tutorial a week.

External students are expected to listen to one lecture through Echo 360, and engage in one forum discussion through iLearn.

I will not keep track of attendance, however, your participation grade will be determined by your responses to the weekly question.

Readings will be made available through iLearn.

Unit Schedule

Please see iLearn for a list of tutorial questions.

 

Week 1 - Sectionalism and Civil War

Lecture: America in 1860

Week 2 - Reconstruction and Reunion

Lecture: Race and Reconstruction

Week 3 - Building a Modern State

Lecture: The Frontier

Week 4 - Huddled Masses Yearning to be Free

Lecture: Immigration - Making Americans

Week 5 - The New Deal and War

Lecture: Progressive America?

Week 6 - WWII

Lecture: An Emerging World Power?

Week 7 - The Cold War at Home

Lecture: Domestic Bliss or Trouble at Home? Affluence and Anxieties in the 1950s

Week 8 - Race in the 1960s

Lecture: The Modern Civil Rights Movement

Week 9 - The Radical 1960s

Lecture: "There's something happening here": The United States in the 1960s

Week 10 - The Silent Majority

Lecture: Peace with Honour?

Week 11 - The New Right

Lecture: "Let's Make America Great Again": The Conservative Backlash

Week 12 - Clinton and the Culture Wars

Lecture: The US as World Policeman

Week 13 - The Post-9/11 World

Lecture: 9/11, reflections, and a word on Trump's America.  

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Essay

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Essay
  • Weekly Question

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Essay
  • Takehome Exam
  • Weekly Question

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Essay
  • Takehome Exam
  • Weekly Question

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Essay
  • Takehome Exam
  • Weekly Question

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.

Assessment tasks

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Essay
  • Takehome Exam
  • Weekly Question

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.

Assessment tasks

  • Takehome Exam
  • Weekly Question

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.

Assessment tasks

  • Takehome Exam
  • Weekly Question

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Detailed knowledge of the trajectory of United States history from 1860 to 2001, including the broad themes of development and construction of the American nation, its body politic and its role in the world.
  • An awareness that historical knowledge is constructed, contains assumptions, is not value-free, and that representation of historical events changes over time, in line with contemporary political and social debates.
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class and privilege in American history, as well as an understanding of the ways in which these social relations inform different perspectives on the past.
  • The ability to form informed opinions about the past, backed by evidence and tested through rigorous debate with peers.
  • The ability to gather and synthesise historical information, form an evidence-based argument from it, and communicate that argument with clarity in writing.