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

Postgraduate Course: Race, Religion, and Ridicule: The American South from Reconstruction to World War II (PGHC11533)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe American South's distinctive history can be traced through slavery, secession, Civil War defeat, Reconstruction, Lost Cause ideology, populism, and the era of Jim Crow. Seminal southern journalist W. J. Cash summarized such understandings in his 1941 book, The Mind of the South, in which he claimed that the region's 'peculiar history . . . has so greatly modified it from the general American norm' that it is 'not quite a nation within a nation, but the next thing to it.' In this course, we will chart the short-lived promise of Reconstruction, and the development of 'Jim Crow modernity,' as shifting residential patterns and urban expansion prompted a new form of racial control through legalized segregation and extra-legal violence at the turn of the twentieth century.
Course description The course charts the development of the Lost Cause, Confederate memorialization, and the 'romance of reunion' that prompted the reconciliation of white Americans, North and South. It also addresses the significance of religion to southern life and culture, and foregrounds the experiences of African Americans, who theorized, questioned, and resisted each new manifestation of white supremacy. In its concluding weeks, the course charts the impact of the New Deal and World War II on the region, as federal intervention, mass migration, and military investment rapidly changed the South, and created fertile ground for the racial battles of the 1950s and 1960s.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Race, Religion, and Ridicule: The American South from Reconstruction to World War II (online) (PGHC11522)
Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
5000 word essay (80%)

Non-Written Skills:
Class participation (20%)
Feedback Students are expected to discuss their coursework with the Course Organiser at least once prior to submission, and are encouraged to do so more often. Meetings can take place with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment. Students will also receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show detailed knowledge of key developments in post-Civil War southern history
  2. demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of History: essay-writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation
  3. analyse and reflect critically on relevant scholarship concerning the history of the American South, including relevant primary source material
  4. connect, through class discussion, historical events to contemporary societal issues
  5. plan, develop and sustain appropriate research questions
Reading List
Grace Elizabeth Hale, Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940 (Vintage, 1999) - ebook
Ta-Nehisi Coates, 'Why Do So Few Blacks Study the Civil War,' The Atlantic, The Civil War Special Commemorative Issue, August 2011.
Heather Williams, Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012) - ebook
Nina Silber, The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865-1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993) - ebook
Micki McElya, Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America (Cambridge, 2007).
Kimberly Wallace-Sanders, Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender, and Southern Memory (Michigan, 2012).
Tara McPherson, Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender, and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003) - ebook
Jessica Adams, Wounds of Returning: Race, Memory, and Property on the Postslavery Plantation (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007) - ebook
Karen L. Cox, Dreaming of Dixie: How the South was Created in American Popular Culture (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011) - ebook
Catherine Clinton (ed), Confederate Statues and Memorialization (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2019) - ebook
Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South, From Slavery to the Great Migration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003)
Edward J. Larson, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate over Science and Religion (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Skills in research development and analysis
- Oral communication skills, through seminar participation and presentation delivery
- Written communication skills
- Group working, to prepare and develop presentation and through seminar activities
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Megan Hunt
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMrs Ksenia Gorlatova
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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