Fall 2017

Democracy in the Early Republic, led by Andrew Robertson, Professor of History, City University of New York Graduate Center and Lehman College

Historian Andrew Robertson argues that democracy was America’s “other peculiar institution” in the era of the Early Republic. Robertson will lead students in an exploration of the primary and secondary sources from this pivotal era in American history, when the possibilities of the Revolution were first explored and tested. The course, spanning the period from the 1790s to the eve of the Civil War will feature Robertson in discussion with specialists in the field.

The Era of Theodore Roosevelt, led by Bruce Schulman, William E. Huntington Professor of History, Boston University

The Era of Theodore Roosevelt, the final years of the nineteenth century and opening decades of the twentieth, gave birth to the modern United States. As Americans knit together national markets for goods and national audiences for cultural products like film and recorded music, they created new instruments of governmental power, undertook a constitutional revolution (four amendments in a single decade), and fashioned a new role for the United States in the world. At the same time, city growth and mass immigration changed the face—and the faces—of the nation, initiating conflicts over and efforts to deal with diversity that continue to shape American life.

Famous Trials in American History, led by Jack Ford, Lecturer, Yale University, Host of MetroFocus (PBS)

This course is an examination of a number of the most famous trials of the past century, focusing on the legal significance, historical and political context, social implications, and media coverage surrounding each case. Course materials shall include selected readings from a number of texts and actual trial transcripts, together with a series of videos providing extensive archival footage of the specific trials studied. Class sessions shall include discussions of the facts of each case, the manner and impact of the media coverage, and the social, political, and legal consequences of the trial.

The Presidency, led by Meg Jacobs, Research Scholar, Princeton University and Julian Zelizer, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton University

The Presidency takes an in-depth look at the executive office through case studies of twentieth- and twenty-first-century presidents. Through the examination of modern presidents, students shall develop an understanding of the evolution of presidential power in relation to other branches of government, and the country more generally. Course materials shall include selected readings from a number of texts as well as archival audio and video. Lectures will be presented in interview format with two lectures devoted to each president under discussion. 

Thesis Seminar