Instructor: Zuoyue Wang Office: Building 94, Room 335
Fall Quarter 2013 Office Hours: MW11-12 & Appt
MW 4:00-5:50pm Classroom: Building 5, Room 104
Course website: www.csupomona.edu/~zywang/hst347-f2013.html
Learning Objectives: In this course on the history of the
How Do You Succeed in This Class?
Read the Textbooks: They provide the core facts and theories in the class, and therefore it’s most important to “get them done” thoroughly before moving to other sources relevant to the class. Yes, you can pick up facts on individuals and events from the web, such as wikipedia, but often they come in as isolated pieces of information without the proper context that is developed in the textbooks. It’s also important to relate your term paper with arguments from the textbooks. You do not necessarily need to agree with these arguments; in fact the best papers tend to revise the accepted views as represented in the textbooks. But, whether you agree with the textbooks or not, you need to relate your main argument with theirs, either as a confirmation or as a revision.
Engage in Informal Learning: Read the Los Angeles Times or New York Times or other news publications, listen to NPR, and watch PBS, especially its American Experiences, Frontline, or Charlie Rose programs. These will help keep you intellectually stimulated and keep you informed of current debates over major political, social, and technological issues, which in turn would help you better understand the dynamics of historical changes in the past.
Talk to Others about What You Are Learning in the Class: Trying to explain something to someone else will help you better understand what you are trying to explain. Questions from your audience are usually very helpful in giving a new way of looking at the problem. Often you will find that you do not quite “get it” yourself, but that’s fine. This discovery will motivate you to read the texts again or to discuss the problem with your instructor.
Communicate with Your Instructor: Professor Wang encourages you to raise questions at any time in class and to talk to him, in class or in his office during office hours, on any issue related to this class. You can best contact him outside of class via email.
Use Resources on Campus and Work on Your
Writing: Make use of reference librarians to help with your research
Required Books Available at Bronco Bookstore:
William Chafe, The Unfinished Journey: America since World War II, 7th
Robert Griffith and Paula Baker (eds.), Major Problems in American History since
1945, 3rd edition (
Richard Marius and Melvin Page, A Short Guide to Writing about History,
6th edition (
Assignments: There will be weekly work sheets, presentations on papers and books, a midterm exam, a term paper, and a final exam. Attendance, timely completion of reading assignments, active participation in both group and whole class discussions, and good writing count in this class as we aim to improve not only our historical knowledge but also our written and oral communication skills.
Reading Worksheet and Group Discussion: You must complete the reading assignments in Chafe and Griffith/Baker and fill out a worksheet (click this link to get a copy of the form)—typed, not handwritten—before the start of each session (except, of course, for the first session). In class we will use the completed worksheet as a basis for group discussions.
Video Reviews: We will watch relevant documentary videos in class and students will write a one-paragraph review of the video—not a summary of the program but what’s new and striking to you—as a basis for discussion following the video.
Term Paper: You are required to write a paper on a topic related to the class and approved by Prof. Wang in advance. During the first two weeks, try to thumb through the texts to get an overview of the topics we will be studying and think about what topics you would like to write on. Try to decide on a general topic first, e.g., Vietnam War, and then narrow it down so you can go deeper, e.g., “Cal Poly Pomona and the Vietnam War.” You are required to submit and discuss with Prof. Wang the topic and outline of your paper by the end of the third week of class. The paper is to be between 5 to 8 pages long, double-spaced, with one inch margin on all sides, printed on plain paper using a laser-jet or ink-jet printer, stapled at the upper-left corner. Put your name, class, title of the paper on the first page of the paper (no plastic cover or binding please). For style, including footnotes, consult one of our texts, Marius/Page’ Short Guide. Save your notes and drafts in case the instructor wants to see them.
A good paper will have a clear thesis statement, a brief (e.g., 2 paragraphs) historiographical review (what have the top two scholars writing on your subject have argued?), a narrative built on a variety of evidence but especially primary sources such as newspaper articles. For most papers, you should make use of the following sources: at least two scholarly books or scholarly articles on your topic—use our library’s JStor database to find articles—for your historiography; some newspaper articles from our library’s Historical New York Times and Historical Los Angeles Times databases; credible information on the web (see a list of links on my webpage: www.csupomona.edu/~zywang/seniorthesis.html) and other primary sources. You are strongly discouraged from citing wikipedia—use it as a starting point, not an ending point, as Jimmy Wales, founder of wikipedia, urges students. The paper can describe an event or individual, but should explain how that event or individual related to the general themes of this class. The paper is due in class on the last day of class. Here are links to two sample term papers on “Hiroshima Maidens” and on “Edward Teller.”
Examinations: There will be a take-home midterm, which covers the first half of the class, and a take-home final exam, which covers the second half as well as the whole class.
Class Ground Rules to Create an Optimum Learning Environment and Useful Information:
Attendance, Participation in Discussions, Worksheets, Oral Presentations, Video Reviews: 25%; Midterm: 25%; Term Paper: 25%; Final: 25%
The lectures will cover only a few major events in depth but the students should read both texts to gain a comprehensive understanding of developments in this period.
10/2 The Atomic Bomb: The End of World War II or the Beginning of the Cold War?
Chafe, chapters 1-3.
10/7 Early Cold War at Home and Abroad: the Korean War and McCarthyism
Video: Korean War: 1949-1953 (CNN).
Chafe, chapter 4; Griffith/Baker, chapter 2.
Video: Happy Daze (1953-1960) (ABC);
Chafe, chapters 5-6; Griffith/Baker, chapter 3.
Video: Poisoned Dream (1960-1964) (ABC);
Chafe, chapters 7-8; Griffith/Baker, chapter 5.
Term Paper Outline due
10/16 No class meeting. Read Marius/Page book and write a one-page review of what’s new and useful to you in regard to selecting a topic and writing the term paper.
Marius/Page, the whole book.
Due at the time of the next class meeting: one-page review of Marius/Page.
10/21 The Cuban Missile Crisis
Griffith/Baker, chapter 4.
10/23 The Vietnam War
Chafe, chapters 9-10; Griffith/Baker, chapter 9.
10/28 America Radicalized
Video: Unpinned (1965-1970) (ABC);
Chafe, chapters 11-12; Griffith/Baker, chapter 7.
10/30 The Nixon Years
Video: Approaching Apocalypse (1971-1975) (ABC);
Chafe, chapter 13.
Video: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (PBS);
Chafe, chapter 14-15; Zuoyue Wang online article, “Responding to Silent Spring.”
Handout Midterm Exam.
11/6 Library and Internet Research; Citations—Meet in Our Own Classroom
Re-read Marius/Page book. Bring Your Laptop or Tablet to Class.
Complete the special reading worksheet and turn it in the next class.
11/11 Veterans Day—No Class
11/13 The Reagan Years
Video: Star Wars: 1980-1988 (CNN);
Chafe, chapter 16; Griffith/Baker, chapter 10.
Midterm Exam due
11/18 The 1990s
Video: Hot Politics
Chafe, chapter 17; Griffith/Baker, chapter 11.
11/20 The 2000s: September 11, the “War on Terror,” and Obama’s Election
Video: Bioterror (PBS) (optional for watching at home: The Anthrax Files)
Chafe, chapter 18 and epilogue; Griffith/Baker, chapter 14
Video: Top Secret
11/27 Peer Review of Term Paper Drafts; Writing
Bring Drafts to Class
12/2 The New Technological Revolution; Presentations of Term Papers
Video: Digital Nation
Kevin Boone, “How to Give a Presentation”
12/4 Presentations of Term Papers; Course Evaluations
Term Paper Due
Due: Term Paper (in class and via email)
Hand out: Final Exam Questions; Due Wed. 12/11/2013 by 6pm via email and in box inside office (94-335) through window