Undergraduate Course: Conquer or Die: African Americans Writing US History (HIST10453)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course examines the long tradition of African Americans writing US history in order to demonstrate their social and political strategies of resistance against a white dominant US nation. We will examine works by pioneering African American female and male historians published in the US from the revolutionary period on through to a post-World War I era.
In this course we will be discussing content that may be traumatising to some students. We believe in the importance of engaging with this material and so please rest assured that we will work with you to ensure you can participate fully and demonstrate your achievement of the learning outcomes of the course, without compromising your wellbeing or your academic development. If you have concerns at any point I am here to support you all I can and so please write me an email - I can be found at Celeste-Marie.Bernier@ed.ac.uk - and we can talk through how we can best support you in your work on this course. We affirm that you will be treated with dignity and respect in all discussions and at every stage of the course.
This course examines the long tradition of African Americans writing US history in order to demonstrate their social and political strategies of resistance against a white dominant US nation. We will examine works by pioneering African American female and male historians published in the US from the revolutionary period on through to a post-World War I era. Semester one is dedicated to the antebellum period (c. 1775-1861) and semester two looks at the Reconstruction era on through to segregation, World War I and the civil rights struggle (c.1865-1930). Emphasis throughout will be on first-hand close analysis of primary texts: both by famous figures writing history - including renowned freedom-fighters, political activists, orators, intellectuals and social justice campaigners - and also by lesser known and forgotten authors who played a key role in establishing this radical yet little examined radical and revisionist historiographical tradition.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||2 essays of 3,500 words (20% each, 40% total)
1 essay of 5,000 words (40%)
Class participation (20%), with a breakdown of:
a. lead seminar twice (5% each, 10% total)
b. 10% class participation (5% for each semester)
||Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate, by way of essays, presentations and seminar participation, a coherent grasp of the key political, social, cultural, philosophical, and intellectual issues at stake witin African American writings, oratory, essays and historiography produced and disseminated within the USA between 1775-1930;
- demonstrate, by way of essays, presentations and seminar participation, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon primary and secondary works authored by African American intellectuals, historians, statesmen, philosophers, theorists, activists, and civil rights campaigners living and working in the USA between 1775-1930;
- demonstrate, by way of essays, presentations and seminar participation, the ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
- demonstrate, by way of essays, presentations and seminar participation, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant experience;
- demonstrate an independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
|Recommended Background Reading:|
- Hall, S.G. A Faithful Account of the Race: African American Historical Writing in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009).
- Maffly-Kipp, L.F., and K. Lofton, eds., Women's Work: An Anthology of African-American Women's Historical Writings from Antebellum America to the Harlem Renaissance (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Indicative Required Reading:
- Bay, M., F.J. Griffin, M.S. Jones, and B.D. Savage, eds., Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015).
- Blassingame, J.W. Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews and Autobiographies (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977).
- Ernest, J. Liberating Historiography: African American Writers and the Challenge of History, 1794-1861 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
- Evans, S.Y. Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954: An Intellectual History (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008).
- Franklin, J.H and E. Brooks Higginbotham, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2010).
- Gates, Jr, H.L, Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008. (New York: Knopf, 2011).
- Painter, N.I, Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619- to the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).
- Wade-Gayles, G. "Black Women Journalists in the South, 1880-1905: An Approach to the Study of Black Women's History." Callaloo, no.11-13 (February-October 1981): 138-52. Waters, K. and C.B. Conaway, eds., Black Women's Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds (Burlington: University of Vermont Press, 2007).
- Zackodnik, T., ed. "We Must Be Up and Doing": A Reader in Early African American Feminisms (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2010).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Celeste-Marie Bernier
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114
|Course secretary||Miss Lorna Berridge