Tag Archives: Lavender Scare

Sexuality and Sumner Welles

29 Aug

The latest episode of the American History Too podcastwelles (which I co-host with Glasgow University’s Mark Mclay) focuses on historical attitudes towards the LGBT (to use an anachronistic term) community in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Our guest, Chris Parkes, has made this the focus of his research for a considerable period, with a particular interest in the life and circumstances of foreign policy figure Sumner Welles. Towards the end of the episode, Chris also discusses the challenges and rewards of teaching LGBT history as part of broader university history courses.

Teaching American History – My 20th Century Syllabus

6 Jan

Just the other day, I sent my students (and hello to any of you reading this!) the syllabus for this semester in American History 2 (the second year undergraduate survey course that I’m a teaching assistant/tutor on.) Now that we have covered the broad sweep of American history from the Colonial period to the end of Reconstruction, it’s time to move into the twentieth century.

One thing I am very keen on is giving students the chance to take classes that appeal to them, as long as they fit within the overall course. So at the end of last semester, I offered some choices in what classes to take. Populism was quite roundly rejected in favour of a more detailed study of Progressivism. Which is something of a shame, as I had just managed to pick up a bargain priced second hand copy of The Populist Vision by Charles Postel!  Both tutorial groups were almost universal in their desire to have a class each on the early Cold War abroad and the early Cold War at home, as opposed to the somewhat challenging task of rolling the two into one. Classes on Nixon and Reagan were also universally popular.

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