Due September 14: The Birth of a Nation clearly belittles African-Americans and perpetuates many racist stereotypes. In 1915, showings of the film resulted in a resurgence of Klan membership and resultant violence against African-Americans. Today many people, including several historians, believe that this film should not be shown in public. As historians, how do we deal with this issue responsibly? Should The Birth of a Nation ever be shown? Why? How?
September 28: Can you imagine a conversation between D.W. Griffith and Charlie Chaplin about the social issues of the day? What would their differences and similarities of attitude be? What real debates over early twentieth-century social issues would their perspectives represent?
Due October 5: By now you have finished reading Susan Hegeman's Patterns for America. In two or three sentences only, state Hegeman's thesis in this book.
Due October 12: By now you have finished reading Steven Watson's The Harlem Renaissance. In a brief, one-paragraph essay, state Watson's thesis and argument.
Due October 19: By now you have finished reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Drawing on readings from the Tindall textbook (on reserve) and Hegeman's Patterns for America, explain (with specific examples) how The Great Gatsby is a commentary on the time in which it was written. This will be a two- to three-page essay.
Due October 26: Please submit a brief research note stating the artifact you have chosen for your final project and the primary and secondary sources you will use for your research (two to three pages).
Due November 2: By now you will have finished reading Peter Guralnick's Searching for Robert Johnson. Write a brief, one- to two-page essay about Guralnick's methodology and use of sources.
Due November 9: By now you have finished reading John Steinbeck's The Harvest Gypsies. In a concise, two page essay, answer the following question: According to Steinbeck, what were the experiences of the "Harvest Gypsies" he writes about? Who or what is to blame for this experience, according to Steinbeck? Does Steinbeck view the New Deal as successful or largely a failure in addressing this experience? Draw specific evidence from the book to support your argument.
November 16: No writing assignment this week (but keep working on your final artifact assignment).
November 23: By now you have finished reading Glen Jeansonne, Messiah of the Masses. Write a 500-750 word book review of this work.
Due November 31: No writing assignment this week (but keep working on your final artifact assignment).
Due December 7: Artifact assignment due.
|| Artifact Assignment Guidelines ||
|| Writing a Research Essay ||
|| Guide to Footnoting ||
|| Guide to Bibliographic Citing ||
|| Tips for Library-Based Research ||
Prepared by Professor Catherine Lavender for History 339 (Themes in U.S. History, 1914-1945), The Department of History, The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York. Send email to email@example.com
Fall Semester 1999. Last modified: Tuesday 31 August 1999.