Race, Riot and Backlash in the United States (graduate)

This course explores the ways in which the racial experiences and emotions of the nation’s citizens collided and produced different forms of public rebellion, backlash and resistance in the modern United States. We cover a variety of topics including urban riots, civil rights, ethnic and racial nationalism, suburban socio-economic revolts, and contemporary political rebellions of the left and the right. Over the course of the semester, we will use these moments to examine not only how these processes influenced political institutions, but also how they influenced the development of policy over the course of the 20thand 21stCentury.


The Civil Rights Movement: Strategy, Leadership and Policy (graduate)

This course traces the development of the American civil rights movement over the course of the 20th and 21st century, exploring many of the major sites of protest, opposition and resistance, via the concept of the long “black freedom struggle.” Beginning with Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and ending with the “Black Lives Matter” campaign (2015), our investigation will focus on three broad themes: equal citizenship, strategies of leadership, and public policy: approaches and solutions. Some of the questions we will cover include: who “counts” as a civil rights activist? What are the priorities of these activists? How was civil rights policy formed and shaped? Were these policies effective? How does a long history of civil rights activism guide present-day black protest and policy making?


Race, Politics and Policy in the United States (graduate)


Introduction to Modern African American History (undergraduate)

This course explores some of the defining social, political, and cultural moments that reflect the experience of African Americans within the United States, Reconstruction to present day. Over the course of the semester, we focus on several broad themes, including identity, citizenship, agency, and impact. As scholars, we will examine major moments in African American history, including segregation under Jim Crow, the Great Migration, the modern Civil Rights Movement, and the development of hip-hop culture.

How did African Americans define their relationship with the nation? How did their notions of race, citizenship, and freedom intersect with broad ideas about class, gender, and culture? How did African Americans challenge the legacies of slavery over the course of the 20th Century? Our semester-long historical investigation will highlight and trace a multitude of events and concepts, all of which will help us to reveal the diversity, breadth, and significance of the black experience in modern America.


The 20th Century United States (undergraduate)

This course addresses the changing shape of American political culture over the course of the 20th century. Central to our discussions will be the values and convictions-social, political, religious-that have moved citizens, political parties, and policy agendas over time. Under what conditions can citizens and politicians alter history? Under what conditions does history itself seem to have a profound influence over political decision making? How do different political groups attempt to harness the state-or eliminate government participation in their lives-to solve pressing social problems?

Though this class will cover the entire scope of American history since 1912, we’ll focus our attention on three vitally important periods of change: the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the economic liberalism of the New Deal fundamentally transformed the nation; the social upheavals of the 1960s, when Americans became increasingly polarized over issues such as the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and social changes; and the modern resurgence of conservatism since the 1970s in a broad range of American life.


Black Political Thought (undergraduate)

This course examines the emergence and development of various strains of black political thought in 20th-century America. Within this seminar, we will explore the roots, ideologies, and constructions of various forms of black political thought and action in relation to notions of black freedom and citizenship. Students will cover topics such as black nationalism, pan-Africanism, black radicalism, black conservatism, black liberalism, black feminism, black theology, critical race theory, and legal studies.

How and why did these various ideologies and ideas emerge? What did it mean to engage in black protest thought in the post-Reconstruction era? How has black political ideology shifted, transformed, clashed, competed, and evolved over the course of American social and political history? What is the significance and influence of 20th-century black political thought to modern African American and United States history?


United States Political History since 1945 (undergraduate)

The postwar era in the Unites States introduced a period of significant challenge and change throughout the nation; this course will introduce students to some of these major events, charting transformations, themes, and issues in American political history since 1945. Over the course of the semester we will explore a wide range of primary and secondary source materials, while covering topics such as the Cold War, domestic disorder, the Great Society, American liberalism & conservatism, Vietnam, the imperial presidency, the Reagan Revolution, and the War on Terror.


20th Century Black Conservatism (undergraduate)

This course examines the emergence and development of modern black conservatism in 20th-century America. Within this seminar, we will explore the roots, ideologies, and constructions of black conservative thought and action. What did it mean to be a black conservative in the post-Reconstruction era? How and why did it emerge? Did black conservatives consider themselves part of the larger black freedom struggle? How has black conservatism shifted, transformed, and evolved over the course of American social and political development? What is the significance of 20th Century black conservatism in America?