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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The United States in Vietnam: History and Consequences (HIST10308)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course analyses US involvement in Vietnam from the early stages after World War II to the withdrawal of American forces in 1973. In addition to elucidating US decision-making, the perceptions and motives that led the United States into the 'quagmire' and the key events of the conflict, the course focuses on the impact of this crucial period on US society, politics, and culture - during the conflict and up to the present day.
Course description The Vietnam War remains the most traumatic foreign policy event in the recent American memory. This course spans the entirety of US involvement in the fateful conflict, from the aftermath of the Second World War to the withdrawal of US troops in 1973, and it also deals with the long-term consequences of the conflict. Throughout the course, we will focus on the nature of the conflict, trying to understand how the Cold War conflict and the forces of decolonization intersected, the reasons for American involvement and decision-making, the contemporary impact of the war on the home front (on politics, society and culture), as well as the long-term repercussions relating to historical memory, historiography, politics and culture. In order to better understand the US role in the conflict, we focus heavily on the analysis of a diverse range of primary sources, including novels and film.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations 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 Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 348 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word Short Historiographical Essay (15%)
2 x 4,000 word Essay (35% each)
1,500 word Short Primary Source Analysis (15%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of assessment, command of the body of knowledge in relation to US involvement in the Vietnam War;
  2. Demonstrate, by way of assessment, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Demonstrate, by way of assessment, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of assessment, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Anderson, David L., ed., The Columbia History of the Vietnam War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).

Bradley, Mark Philip, and Marilyn B. Young, eds., Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars: Local, National, and Transnational Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Greene, Graham, The Quiet American (1955; rpt. London: Vintage, 2005).

Hagopian, Patrick. The Vietnam War in American Memory: Veterans, Memorials, and the Politics of Healing (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009).

Herring, George C., America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-75, 4th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001).

Hess, Gary R., Vietnam: Explaining America¿s Lost War (Malden, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell Pub., 2009).

Lederer, William, and Eugene Burdick, The Ugly American (1958; rpt. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999).

Ryan, David and John Dumbrell, eds. Vietnam in Iraq: Lessons, Legacies and Ghosts (New York: Routledge, 2006).

Wells, Tom, The War Within: America's Battle over Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

Young, Marilyn B. and Robert Buzzanco, eds., A Companion to the Vietnam War (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2002).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsUS in Vietnam
Course organiserDr Fabian Hilfrich
Tel: (0131 6)51 3236
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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