Course module - The American Civil War
Code : AMER31002 Credit rating: 20 Semester : 2
- To allow students to explore major themes in American history and culture in the Civil War era (roughly 1850-1870);
- To investigate the impact of Civil War upon different social groups and upon the wider social, economic, and political development of the United States;
- To evaluate the changing dynamics of race, gender, and class relations in the United States during the exigencies of war;
- To acquaint students with a wide variety of primary sources appropriate to the study of the period;
- To encourage deeper intellectual engagement with scholarly debates in the field.
Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
On completion of the course successful students should be able to demonstrate:
- An understanding of the main developments and themes in American history and culture during the Civil War era;
- An understanding of the differing effects of the war’s impact on different social groups in American society;
- Substantial engagement with some of the important scholarly debates;
- The ability to analyse in depth a range of primary sources and place them in historical context;
- A capacity to find, use and critically evaluate a variety of primary and secondary source materials relevant for interpreting American history and culture during the Civil War era;
- An ability to write a properly researched, coherent research paper with a sustained argument and respect for scholarly conventions on some aspect of the Civil War era;
- An ability to engage with and constructively critique a scholarly article;
- Development of oral communication and research and writing skills;
- Development of research and writing skills;
- Development of verbal skills in oral presentation and debate in seminars;
- Cultivation of critical faculties in evaluating evidence and arguments;
- Group work in seminars;
- Posting to Blackboard.
One 2,500-word essay (40%); one 1,000-word article review (10%); one 2-hour unseen written examination comprising one essay and commentaries on two articles (50%)
The use of dictionaries in the examination is prohibited. This rule applies to all categories of students, including all Visiting Students.
THIS COURSE IS NOT AVAILABLE AS FREE-CHOICE
The course will offer students an overview of American history and culture in the Civil War era (roughly 1850-1870) while also allowing for more specialised work (through a research essay) in particular aspects of that period. The course expressly encourages the critical use of primary source materials (through seminar discussion and in the unseen examination). In any given year the weekly seminars may be devoted to some of the following topics: Slavery, The Antebellum North and South; Secession; Mobilising for War; The Soldier’s Experience; Women and the War; Abraham Lincoln and the Northern Home Front; The Problem of Creating a Confederate Nation; African Americans and the War; Manchester and the American Civil War; Emancipation; Reconstruction; The Civil War on Screen; Legacies of the American Civil War.
Strange, Dr Thomas
PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE FOR 2012-2013
Lecture: Tuesday, 12.00-2.00
Seminar: T B A
One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar per week.
The core text will be Michael Perman and Amy Murrell Taylor, eds., Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction (2010, third edition).
Ira Berlin, Freedom’s Soldiers: The Black Military Experience in the Civil War
Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber, eds., Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War
Robert Cook, Civil War America: Making a Nation, 1848-1877
Eric Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction
William Freehling, The South versus the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War
Susan-Mary Grant & Brian Holden Reid, eds, The American Civil War: Explorations and Reconsiderations
James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom
James McPherson and William Cooper, eds., Writing the Civil War: The Quest to Understand
Peter Parish, The American Civil War