This course will examine African Americans’ transition from slavery to freedom. In the years that encompassed the Civil War and immediately after, most African Americans changed from being legal property, able to be bought, sold, mortgaged, rented out, and leveraged into U.S. citizens, with the Constitutional right to male suffrage. This course examines this transition. How did it come about? To what extent were African Americans able to exercise their rights that the constitution guaranteed? How did Emancipation shape African American family relations, culture and demography? This is a research seminar. We will examine work of historians and discuss the contradictions and nuances of emancipation. Readings will include monographs, scholarly articles and heavy dose of primary sources, as many as possible written by African Americans themselves. Assignments include an original research paper on an aspect of Emancipation. We will devote considerable time throughout the semester to finding primary and secondary sources and on the writing process.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
research paper, short writing assignments, class participation
first-years and sophomores
first-years, and then sophomores who have not previously taken a 100-level seminar
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Students will work throughout the semester on research paper that concerns Emancipation in the US. Students will turn in segments of this paper in separate assignments. During the final weeks of the course students will stitch these components together. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement."
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada
JLST Interdepartmental Electives