*HIST 5376: Contemporary America, 1933 to Present

Section Number: HIST 5376.01
Credit Hours: 3 hours
CRN Number: 82732
Class Time: Online Course
Semester: Fall 2012

*Teaching Faculty

Dr. Jeffrey L. Littlejohn
Office: AB4–455
Office Hours: online anytime
Telephone: 936.294.4438
Skype: deltahistory
Email: littlejohn@shsu.edu
Web: http://www.studythepast.com

*Course Description

Welcome to HIST 5376 -- Contemporary America, 1933-Present. This fall our course will examine the evolution of American liberalism in the twentieth century. We will read eight books, which each focus on the role that liberal politicians , officials, and intellectuals played in shaping American domestic and foreign policy. We will also examine the shortcomings of mid-century liberalism, especially in regard to civil rights and Vietnam. It is my hope that upon conclusion of this course we will have a deeper understanding of the liberal tradition, its successes, and its failures.

*Learning Outcomes

Students will gain factual knowledge about United States history.

Students will learn the fundamental principles of historical scholarship.

Students will learn to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view.

*Books to Purchase (In Order of Consideration)

Alan Brinkley, End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (New York: Knopf, 1995).

Kevin Boyle, The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998).

Neil Jumonville, Henry Steele Commager: Midcentury Liberalism and the History of the Present (Chapel Hill: UNC, 1999).

David L. Chappell, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2004).

Allen Matusow, The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (New York: Harper & Row, 1984).

David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest (New York: Random House, 1972). Buy any edition.

Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton: Princeton, 2006).

Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (Metropolitan, 2004).


Course Readings
- Students will complete reading assignments as provided in the syllabus.

Response Statements
- After each reading assignment, students will submit a 500-word response statement to the dropbox in SHSUonline.
- Response statements are due as provided in the course schedule.

Historiographical Paper
- Students will select a historiographical topic to consider in a double-spaced, 10-page paper. The paper should be based on the available secondary literature, and it must adhere to the citation format provided in the Chicago Manual of Style.
- Students must submit a historiographical topic to the dropbox in SHSUonline by midnight on September 15.
- Historiographical papers must be submitted to the dropbox in SHSUonline by midnight on December 7.


Grading in this course will be based upon 600 possible points.

  8 Response Statements  
  50 points each  
  1 Historiographical Paper  
  100 points each  
  Total points  

Scale: A=500-450 B=449-400 C=399-350 D=349-300 F=299-0

As part of this class, you will be expected to check your university email and our SHSUonline page regularly. To email me, you can either go to SHSUonline or send directly to littlejohn@shsu.edu.

I will also be available on skype during business hours most days. My username is deltahistory. If you would like to chat about the reading or assignments, then please don't hesitate to contact me.

*Academic Dishonesty

The University expects all students to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach. Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom.  Any student found guilty of dishonesty in any phase of academic work will be subject to disciplinary action.

5.31 The University and its official representatives, acting in accordance with Subsection 5.32, may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of any form of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource materials.
"Cheating" includes the following and similar actions:
(1) Copying from another student's test paper, laboratory report, other report, or computer files, data listings, and/or programs.
(2) Using, during a test, materials not authorized by the person giving the test.
(3) Collaborating, without authorization, with another student during an examination or in preparing academic work.
(4) Knowingly, and without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, copying, or possessing, in whole or in part, the contents of an unadministered test.
(5) Substituting for another student, permitting any other person, or otherwise assisting any other person to substitute for oneself or for another student in the taking of an examination or test or the preparation of academic work to be submitted for academic credit.
(6) Bribing another person to obtain a test or information about an unadministered test.
(7) Purchasing, or otherwise acquiring and submitting as one's own work any research paper or other writing assignment prepared by an individual or firm. This section does not apply to the typing of the rough and/or final versions of an assignment by a professional typist.

5.32 "Plagiarism" means the appropriation and the unacknowledged incorporation of another's work or idea into one's own work offered for credit.
5.33 "Collusion" means unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing work for credit.
5.34 "Abuse of resource materials" means the mutilation, destruction, concealment, theft or alteration of materials provided to assist students in the mastery of course materials.
5.35 “Academic work” means the preparation of an essay, dissertation, thesis, report, problem, assignment, or other project that the student submits as a course requirement or for a grade.


2.01 Procedures for discipline due to academic dishonesty shall be the same as in disciplinary actions specified in The Texas State University System Rules and Regulations and Sam Houston State University Student Guidelines except that all academic dishonesty actions shall be first considered and reviewed by the faculty member teaching the class. The faculty member may impose failure or reduction of a grade in a test or the course, and/or performing additional academic work not required of other students in the course. If the faculty member believes that additional disciplinary action is necessary, as in the case of flagrant or repeated violations, the case may be referred to the Dean of Student Life or a designated appointee for further action. If the student involved does not accept the decision of the faculty member, the student may appeal to the chair of the appropriate academic department/school, seeking reversal of the faculty member's decision.

2.02 If the student does not accept the decision of the chair of the academic department/school, he/she may appeal to the appropriate academic dean. The chair of the academic department/school may also refer the case directly to the academic dean if the case so warrants. 

*Students with Disabilities

It is the policy of Sam Houston State University that individuals otherwise qualified shall not be excluded, solely by reason of their disability, from participation in any academic program of the university. Further, they shall not be denied the benefits of these programs nor shall they be subjected to discrimination. Students with disabilities that might affect their academic performance are expected to visit with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities located in the Counseling Center. They should then make arrangements with the instructor in order that accommodations can be made to assure that participation and achievement opportunities are not impaired.  SHSU adheres to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. If you have a disability that may affect adversely your work in this class, then we encourage you to register with the Counseling Center and to talk with us about how we can best help you.  All disclosures of disabilities will be kept strictly confidential. Please note: No accommodation can be made until you register with the Counseling Center and provide us with proper documentation.

*Instructor Evaluations

At the end of the semester, students will be asked to complete an evaluation of the course, but I welcome feedback about readings, assignments, and my instruction throughout the semester. Let’s work together to make this a successful and rewarding learning experience for everyone.

*Changes to the Syllabus

This syllabus is your contract for the course. I will not change the nature of the course, the number of assignments, or the grading system. However, I reserve the right to update the course schedule and reading assignments.


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