Course Schedule

If you need additional background on any of the topics covered you can consult Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty, the textbook for History 1103 or The American Yawp, an open access, peer-reviewed textbook.

Week One - Introduction / Music in American History

  • George Lipsitz - “Introduction: The Long Fetch of History; or, Why Music Matters” from Footsteps in the Dark

Week Two - The First Americans (John Angaiak - Ak’a Tamaani)

  • Origin Stories of the Salinan, Cherokee, Acoma Pueblo, and Iroquois

Week Three - Young, Scrappy and Hungry: The American Revolution (My Shot - Hamilton Cast)

  • Journal of the Early Republic - Symposium on Hamilton, An American Musical

Week Four - Slavery and Antebellum Society (Bernice Johnson Reagon - Jacob’s Ladder)

  • Stephanie M.H. Camp - “The Pleasures of Resistance: Enslaved Women and Body Politics in the Plantation South, 1830-1861”

Week Five - American Disunion (Pete Seeger - John Brown’s Body)

  • James Baldwin - “John Brown’s Body”

Week Six - America’s New Empire (Floyd Red Crow Westerman - Custer Died For Your Sins)

  • Richard White - “The American West and American Empire” from Manifest Destinies and Indigenous Peoples

Week Seven - Reconstruction’s Unfinished Revolution (Nina Simone - Strange Fruit)

  • Stephen Kantrowitz - “One Man’s Mob Is Another Man’s Militia: Violence, Manhood, and Authority in Reconstruction South Carolina” from Jumpin' Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights

Week Eight - Blues and the Promise of the North (Robert Johnson - Sweet Home Chicago)

  • Elijah Wald - “What Is Blues” and “The Mississippi Delta: Life and Listening” from Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues

Week Nine - Hard Times (Woody Guthrie - Pretty Boy Floyd)

  • Nancy Isenberg - “Forgotten Men and Poor Folk: Downward Mobility and the Great Depression” from White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

Week Ten - Rock Against Conformity (John Trudell - Baby Boom Che)

  • Glenn Altschuler - “‘Yakety Yak, Don’t Talk Back:’ Rock ‘n’ Roll and Generational Conflict” from All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Changed America

Week Eleven - Who is Folk? Civil Rights and Authencity (Bob Dylan - The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll)

  • Peter Dreier - The Political Bob Dylan
  • Grace Elizabeth Hall - “Black as Folk: The Folk Music Revival, the Civil Rights Movement, and Bob Dylan” from A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America

Note: Hall’s reading is relatively long and is broken up into three sections. You are encouraged to read all three sections, but you can reasonably skim the first section on the rise of folk and then read the subsequent two. But again, attempt to take in all of Hall’s work.

Week Twelve - Civil Rights in the North (Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) - Marvin Gaye)

  • Thomas Sugrue - “Long Hot Summers” from Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

Week Thirteen - The Vietnam War and the Counterculture Rebellion (Okie From Muskogee - Merle Haggard)

  • Peter La Chapelle - “Fightin' Sides: ‘Okie From Muskogee,’ Conservative Populism, and the Uses of Migrant Identity” from Proud to Be an Okie: Cultural Politics, Country Music, and Migration to Southern California

Week Fourteen - Breaking Out: Women’s Liberation (The Pill - Loretta Lynn)

  • Mark Allan Jackson - “Stand Up to Your Man: The Working-Class Feminism of Loretta Lynn” from The Honky Tonk on the Left: Progressive Thought in Country Music

Week Fifteen - “Nobody wants to come down here no more:” The Rust Belt (Youngstown - Bruce Springsteen)

  • Jefferson Cowie and Lauren Boehm - “Dead Man’s Town: ‘Born In the U.S.A.,’ Social History, and Working-Class Identity”

Week Sixteen - Blackness in the New Millenium (Beyoncé - FORMATION)

  • Beyoncé - Coachella 2018 Performance
  • Zandria Robinson - We Slay, Part I
  • Zandria Robinson - Beyoncé’s Southern ‘Formation’
  • Zandria Robinson - How Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ Exposes Inner Lives of Black Women

Final Essay - Due On Dropbox and Hard Copy by 5PM, Wednesday, December 12th