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The Age of McCarthy: American Life in the Shadow of the Cold War
The Cold War cast a long shadow over American life in the years following World War II. The relationship between domestic and foreign affairs was particularly acute during the Age of McCarthy, an era marked by a intensifying Soviet-American rivalry abroad coupled with dramatic Red baiting and witch hunts at home. This course explores related aspects of American life from the late-1940s to the late-1950s, ranging from the phenomenon of McCarthyism itself to fallout shelters, spy cases, the lavender scare, nuclear families, the Hollywood blacklist, the religious revival and its implications for foreign policy, Sputnik and the space race, and links between the Cold War and Civil Rights. Using scholarly books and articles, primary sources, novels, music, and films, we will explore interactions between politics, diplomacy, society, and culture in the Age of McCarthy. In this writing-intensive course, we will focus on analyzing sources, writing clearly and effectively, and making persuasive arguments. Students will not only learn about history, but they will learn to think and write as historians.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
class participation, several short essays, in-class presentations, and a final 10- to 12-page research paper
first-years and sophomores
first-years, and then sophomores who have not previously taken a 100-level seminar
Students will write several short essays (2-4 pages each) as well as a final research paper (10-12 pages). Over the course of the semester, students will submit a research proposal as well as several working drafts of the final research paper. These drafts will be discussed in small group workshops, including the professor. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada