Hist 153b: Slavery and the American Civil War fall 2015 mwth 12-12: 50



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HIST 153b: Slavery and the American Civil War

FALL 2015

MWTh 12-12:50
Prof. Abigail Cooper (abcooper@brandeis.edu)

Office hours: Wed. 1-3pm & by appt. (Olin-Sang 121)


Teaching Fellow: Josh Luger (luger@brandeis.edu)
This course investigates the institution of slavery in America and grapples with the Civil War it took to bring about emancipation. Themes of this course include: slavery and capitalism, emancipation and human rights, religion and culture in systems of oppression, the development of race and slavery over time, slavery and republicanism, slavery and democracy, modern and premodern societies, political compromise, westward expansion, American imperial ambitions, the development of sectional antagonism, secession, the development of modern warfare, Civil war medicine, Confederate and U.S. nation-building in wartime, black military service, emancipation policy, experience of emancipation on the ground, migration and refugee camps, the experiences of black women, Reconstruction, 13th, 14th, and 15th Constitutional Amendments, Civil War memorialization, the evolution of historical scholarship on slavery and the Civil War.
The course normally consists of two lectures each week, on Monday and Wednesday and one weekly discussion group on Thursday. Discussion organization will be determined based on course enrolllment, to be set by Sept 3.
READINGS:

At the bookstore and on reserve at the library:

Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, 1619-1877 (2003 edition)

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (2003 edition)

Other readings are available on LATTE. They are listed under each week in the course outline.
Course Requirements & Percentage of Course Grade:

Participation

20%

LATTE assignments

20%

Midterm

20%

Research project

20%

Take-home exam

20%


LATTE assignments:

LATTE posts: Post a comment or question related to the readings by 8pm the Wednesday before you participate in your Thursday discussion group.


LATTE quizzes: Periodically, the professor will post LATTE quizzes. Instructions will be contained within each quiz. This exercise functions to reinforce retention of the material of the course. Performance on the quizzes goes toward your overall LATTE assignment grade.
Midterm: The midterm comes late in the semester but serves as a venue for assessment for our work on slavery and the Civil War before we move on to Reconstruction after Thanksgiving. The midterm will comprise identification, short answer, and similarly-structured questions. Further details to come.
Research project: Details to come.
Take-home exam: The take-home exam will be posted to LATTE on Dec. 10. Upload your completed exam to LATTE by Dec. 17.
General expectations: include completion of assigned readings and demonstration of both comprehension and curiosity, attendance at all classes (excused absences due to extenuating circumstances may come up; please notify the professor or teaching fellow and keep such absences to a minimum), engaged and courageous participation in discussion, completion of all assignments,
Academic Accommodations: If you are a student with a documented disability at Brandeis and wish to request a reasonable accommodation for this class, please see me immediately.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity: Violations of University policies on academic integrity can result in failure in the course or on the assignment, or in suspension or dismissal from the University. If you are in doubt about the instructions for any assignment in this course, it is your responsibility to ask for clarification. Please read the University’s policies on academic integrity at http://www.brandeis.edu/studentlife/sdc/ai. I will refer suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Office of Student Development and Conduct.
The semester in calendar form:

L=Lecture Disc=Discussion SL=SLAVERY CW=CIVIL WAR REC=RECONSTRUCTION

SEPTEMBER

Sun

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat













AUG 27



















INTRO







 

31

1

2

3

4

5




L1a

SL




L1b

CW

Wk 1 Disc







6

7

8

9

10

11

12




Labor Day

no class




L2a

SL

Brandeis Mon.

Wk 2 Disc







13

14

15

16

17

18

19




Rosh Hashanah

no class




L3a

SL

Wk 3 Disc







20

21

22

23

24

25

26




L4a

SL




Yom Kippur

no class

Wk 4 Disc








27

28

29

30

Oct. 1










Sukkot

no class

Brandeis Mon.

L5a SL

L5b

SL

Wk 5 Disc

 

 




OCTOBER

Sun

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

4

5

6

7

8

9

10




Shmini Atzeret

no class




L6a

SL

Wk 6 Disc







11

12

13

14

15

16

17




L7a

SL




L7b

SL

Wk 7 Disc







18

19

20

21

22

23

24




L8a

CW




L8b

CW

Wk 8 Disc







25

26

27

28

29

30

31




L9a

CW




L9b

CW

Wk 9 Disc










NOVEMBER

Sun

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

1

2

3

4

5

6

7




L10a

CW




L10b

CW

Wk 10 Disc







8

9

10

11

12

13

14




L11a

CW




L11b

CW LIB. EVENT

Wk 11 Disc







15

16

17

18

19

20

21




L12a

CW




L12b

CW

Wk 12 Disc







22

23

24

25

26

27

28




MIDTERM




Thanksgiving

no class

Thanksgiving

no class










DECEMBER

Sun

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

 

Nov. 30

1

2

3

4

5




L13a

REC




L13b

REC

Wk 13 Disc







6

7

8

9

10

11

12




L14a

REC




LAST CLASS

L14b

TAKE-HOME EXAM POSTED







13

14

15

16

17

18

19













TAKE-HOME EXAM DUE







20

21

22

23

24

25

26










GRADES

POSTED










27

28

29

30

31

 

 


COURSE OUTLINE:
Thur, Aug. 27: INTRODUCTORY CLASS

Mon, Aug. 31: Lecture 1a: SLAVERY & RACE/CIVIL WAR & NATION: THE VIEW FROM THE 21st CENTURY, Pt. 1


Wed, Sept. 2: Lecture 1b: SLAVERY & RACE/CIVIL WAR & NATION: THE VIEW FROM THE 21st CENTURY, Pt. 2

Thur, Sept. 3: Week 1 Discussion



Week 1 Readings:

W.E.B. DuBois, “The Propaganda of History” in Black Reconstruction (1935)

Drew Faust, “Telling War Stories” (2011)

Brett Bursey & Daniel Hollis, “The Day the Flag Went Up” (1999)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Why Do So Few Blacks Study the Civil War?"

Stephen Berry,“The Future of Civil War Era Studies,” Journal of the Civil War Era (2012)*

Viewings: Key & Peele, Leslie Jones, Django Unchained clip

*It is perfectly all right to skim this piece. The point of the assignment is to peer into the conversation historians are having among themselves at the current moment about possible future directions for Civil War era history. Read the opening paragraphs closely, take note of each enumerated point, and skim the material within each point so as to understand why these topics might be de rigeur at the moment. If you have further interest in Civil War scholarship, by all means, give this a full read. Prof. Cooper is always up for a chat on this.



SLAVERY

Mon, Sept. 7: Labor Day – NO CLASS

Wed, Sept. 9: Lecture 2a: THE MIDDLE PASSAGE & NEW WORLD SLAVERY

Thur, Sept. 10: (Brandeis Monday but for us, a discussion day) Week 2 Discussion



Week 2 Readings:

Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, Chapter 1

Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (selection)

Exhibit: “In Motion: The African American Migration Experience” by The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Mon, Sept. 14: Rosh Hashanah – NO CLASS

Wed, Sept. 16: Lecture 3a: FROM AFRICAN TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN, FROM A SOCIETY WITH SLAVES TO A SLAVE SOCIETY

Thur, Sept. 17: Week 3 Discussion

Week 3 Readings:

Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone (selection)

Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, Chapters 2 & 3

Mon, Sept. 21: Lecture 4a: THE SECRET LIFE OF SLAVES: PART I

Wed, Sept. 23: Yom Kippur – NO CLASS

Thur, Sept. 24: Week 4 Discussion



Week 4 Readings:

Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, Chapters 4 & 5

Unorthodox readings in fragments, artifacts, materials

Mon, Sept. 28: Sukkot – NO CLASS

Wed, Sept. 30: Lecture 5a: THE SECRET LIFE OF SLAVES: PART II

Thur, Oct. 1: Week 5 Discussion



Week 5 Readings:

Michael Gomez, Exchanging Our Country Marks, Chapters 4 & 9



The Autobiography of Omar ibn Said (primary source)

Mon, Oct. 5: Shmini Atzeret – NO CLASS

Wed, Oct. 7: Lecture 6a: SLAVERY AND CAPITALISM

Thur, Oct. 8: Week 6 Discussion



Week 6 Readings:

Seth Rockman, “Liberty is Land and Slaves”

Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life in the Antebellum Slave Market (Chap. 5)

Amy Dru Stanley, “Slave Breeding and Free Love: An Antebellum Argument over Slavery, Capitalism, and Personhood”

Mon, Oct. 12: Lecture 7a: WAGE LABOR AND FREE SOIL

Wed, Oct. 14: Lecture 7b: A POLITICAL CRISIS AND A LIBERAL DILEMMA

Thur, Oct. 15: Discussion 7

Week 7 Readings:

Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, Chap. 6 “The White South: Society, Economy, Ideology”

Robin Blackburn, "Emancipation and 'Human Rights' from Empire to Decolonization," The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation, and Human Rights (2011)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Civil War Isn’t Tragic”

Hammond, James H. Speech of Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina, on the Admission of Kansas, Under the Lecompton Constitution. Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 4, 1858

Lincoln, Abraham. "Annual Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 30, 1859



CIVIL WAR

Mon, Oct. 19: Lecture 8a: WESTWARD EXPANSION AND PLANTATION EMPIRES

Wed, Oct. 21: Lecture 8b: SECESSION & THE BORDER STATES

Thur, Oct. 22: Discussion 8



Week 8 Readings:
McPherson, Prologue & Chaps. 1-5 & 9

Mon, Oct. 26: Lecture 9a: SO THIS IS WHAT MODERN WAR LOOKS LIKE

Wed, Oct. 28: Lecture 9b: MEDICINE & MIDWIVES

Thur, Oct. 29: Discussion 9



Week 9 Readings:

McPherson, Chaps. 10, 15, 16

Mon, Nov. 2: Lecture 10a: Turning Points and Transformations, Pt. 1

Wed, Nov. 4: Lecture 10b: Turning Points and Transformations, Pt. 2

Thur, Nov. 5: Discussion 10

Week 10 Readings:

McPherson, Chaps. 21, 23, 24

Mon, Nov. 9: Lecture 11a: THE THRILLING TEDIUM OF CIVIL WAR SOURCES

Wed, Nov. 11: BRANDEIS SPECIAL COLLECTIONS CIVIL WAR LETTERS EVENT

in Goldfarb Library (with a short Lecture 11b presented at the event; event goes until 2, but students may leave early as necessary)

Thur, Nov. 12: Discussion 11



Week 11 Readings:

James McPherson, Chaps 25-28 & Epilogue

Mon, Nov. 16: Lecture 12a: CONTRABAND CAMPS, PT. 1

Wed, Nov. 18: Lecture 12b: CONTRABAND CAMPS, PT. 2

Thur, Nov. 19: Discussion 12

Week 12 Readings:

Leon Litwack, ‘Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (selection)

Interactive map of the contraband camps of the Civil War


American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission Records (primary source)

Mon, Nov. 23: MIDTERM

Wed, Nov. 25 & Thur, Nov. 26: THANKSGIVING RECESS – NO CLASS



RECONSTRUCTION

Mon, Nov. 30: Lecture 13a: FROM CONTRABAND TO FREEDMAN

Wed, Dec. 2: Lecture 13b: BLACK RECONSTRUCTION

Thur, Dec. 3: Week 13 Discussion



Week 13 Readings:

Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, Chapter 7: The End of Slavery

[additional reading TBA]



Mon, Dec. 7: Lecture 14a: REDEMPTION



Wed, Dec. 9: Lecture 14b: CONCLUSION



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