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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: An Age of Great Dreams: The 1960s in the United States (online) (PGHC11515)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe 1960s is among the most eventful decades in the history of the United States. The tumult that the country experienced then has had significant implications for developments in U.S. politics and society over the past half-century. This course explores the decade's key debates about the United States and the future of the nation.
Course description The 1960s in the United States was a time of upheaval, when many Americans engaged in eagerly contested debates about politics and society, with some pursuing reform via legislation, and with others forming movements to take forward a vision for change. This course explores key debates of this 'age of great dreams' and their consequences. It does so through discussion of the lively historiography about this period and through the use of primary sources. The course focuses in particular on competing understandings of liberalism during this period and on the radicalism that emerged as a challenge to liberal ideas. While the Cold War and in particular American involvement in the Vietnam War fuelled many of these debates, the focus of the course is on developments at home rather than the global role of the United States. Among the topics covered by the course are: liberalism at the White House (John F. Kennedy and the New Frontier; Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society; race (from civil rights to Black Power); the 'generation gap' (student movements and the 'counterculture'); and gender and sexuality.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking The Sixties in the United States (PGHC11274)
Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  17
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Online Activities 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: Weekly learn forum posts of 200-250 words plus two 100-150 word follow-up postings (20%)
One essay of between 3,000- and 4,000 words (80%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate in coursework a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the history of the United States during the 1960s.
  2. demonstrate in coursework an ability to analyse and reflect critically on relevant scholarship concerning the history of the United States during the 1960s and relevant primary source material.
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework, the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments, by independently formulating appropriate questions and by utilising relevant evidence considered in the course.
  4. demonstrate in coursework originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to analyse the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy.
Reading List
Bruce J. Dierenfield, The Civil Rights Movement (New York, 2013)

Carole Fink, Philipp Gassert, and Detlef Junker, eds, 1968: The World Transformed (Cambridge, 1998)

David Farber, Chicago '68 (Chicago, 1988)

David Farber, ed., The Sixties: From Memory to History (Chapel Hill, NC, 2004)

Van Gosse, Rethinking the New Left: An Interpretative History (New York, 2005)

Godfrey Hodgson, JFK and LBJ: The Last Two Great Presidents (New Haven, CT, 2015)

Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (New York, 2000)

Michael J. Kramer, The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture (New York, 2013)

Kyle Longley, LBJ's 1968: Power, Politics, and the Presidency in America's Year of Upheaval (New York, 2018)

Barbara Molony and Jennifer Nelson, eds., Women's Activism and 'Second Wave' Feminism: Transnational Histories (London, 2017)

W. J. Rorabaugh, American Hippies (New York, 2015)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Nick Batho
Course secretaryMr George Bottrell-Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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