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

Undergraduate Course: The American Civil Rights Movement (HIST10155)

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
SummaryThe Civil Rights Movement constituted one of the key American social movements of the twentieth century and influenced the development of other social movements both within and outside the United States. Since the 1980s, there has been a stream of research monographs about civil rights, and that trend has accelerated in recent years, with the result that conflicting schools of interpretation have emerged. The course seeks to provide students with a good understanding of the Civil Rights Movement's origins, development, composition, and long-term impact.
Course description The course examines key themes in the history of the Civil Rights Movement and its legacy from its origins until the 1980s. Key issues include the tracing and dating the movement's origins; the question of continuity and discontinuity in the civil rights struggle; the role of the federal government, women, religion, and organised labour; the Cold War and the civil rights movement; the utility of nonviolence and violence in the civil rights movement; the role of Martin Luther King, Jr.; the disintegration of the national civil rights coalition; the civil rights movement in the North and West; the post-Selma southern civil rights movement; and the movement's longevity and long-term impact.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking The Rights Revolution: American Society and the Supreme Court, c.1935-c.1990 (HIST10111) OR The United States in the 1960s (HIST10103) OR Atticus Finch's America: White Liberals and Race in the United States, 1930-2008 (HIST10478)
Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 345 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2 x 4,000 word Essay (25% each)

Three hour Exam (50%)
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.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. Read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. Develop and sustain scholarly arguments in 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.
Reading List
Mark Newman, The Civil Rights Movement (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004).

Raymond D'Angelo (ed.), The American Civil Rights Movement (New York: McGraw-Hill/Duskin, 2001).

Adam Fairclough, Better Day Coming: Blacks and Equality, 1890-2000 (New York: Penguin Books, 2002)

Robert Cook, Sweet Land of Liberty? The African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in the Twentieth Century (London: Longman, 1998)

Jeanne Theoharis, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2018)

Charles W. Eagles, "Toward New Histories of the Civil Rights Era", Journal of Southern History 66 (November 2000): 815-48
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsAmerican Civil Rights Movement
Course organiserDr Mark Newman
Tel: (0131 6)50 3759
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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