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The 1960s: A History of Movements and Ideas

FALL 2017
HON 2306 C
MW 3:30-4:50
LAMP 501

Instructor: Dr. Ron Haas

Office: LAMP 503

Office hours: TBA or by appointment

Course Description:

“We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in
universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.” Thus began the Port Huron
Statement, one of the founding documents of the “Movement,” a storm of progressive
movements and ideas that swept across America in the 1960s. Although we tend to think of
this decade as being a singularly transformative one in American history, the 1960s was
actually part of a much broader tradition of radical thought and social activism dating back
to the end of Reconstruction and the Industrial Revolution. In this course, we will
investigate this tradition paying particular attention to those movements and ideas, such as
Civil Rights, Women’s Liberation, and Homosexual Liberation, which flourished in the
1960s and 1970s and continue to shape American culture and society. In the final part of
our course we will turn our attention to more recent protest movements such as Anti-
globalization and Occupy in order to evaluate contemporary forms of struggle as extensions
of this tradition as it enters a new era of globalization. Are we now witnessing a rebirth of
the 1960s on a global scale? What lessons for activists today can we draw from the
successes and failures of the 1960s? How can American traditions of radicalism and

progressivism continue to inform the fight for freedom and democracy today? These are
some of the vital questions we will explore though the close reading of primary sources, the
analysis of secondary sources, independent research, and an exploration of a wide variety
of theoretical and multicultural perspectives.

Course Objectives:

This course will introduce students to the major political, economic, social, and cultural
developments in American history since Reconstruction. Students will also gain an
understanding of history as an academic discipline and a familiarization with some of the
basic skills of historical and social and scientific inquiry – reading and interpreting primary
resources, evaluating scholarship, and applying insights and perspectives from the past to
contemporary social problems. Our main focus will be on traditions of American radical
thought and social activism since the end of the 19th century, particularly as they flourished
in the mid-20th century, and we will examine in depth how the struggles of subordinate
groups such as women, African-Americans, and the LGBTQIA community have shaped
modern society. By incorporating multicultural perspectives such as feminism, critical race
theory, and the viewpoints of minority and marginalized groups, this course aims to foster
greater multicultural awareness and in-depth dialogue regarding our differences and
underlying commonalities as Americans.

Course Structure and Expectations:

There are no prerequisites for this course other than permission from the Honors College
and your academic advisor. Although this course may be taken for HIST 1320 (US History
1877 to present) Core Credit, its interdisciplinary and inquiry-driven approach draws
eclectically from the fields of history, philosophy, literature, and the social sciences. If
you’re not sure if this course meets your curricular needs, please contact me.

This is NOT a lecture course; your active participation is vitally important to everyone’s
learning experience. Although I will provide occasional mini-lectures and presentations, the
majority of instruction will be in the form of structured classroom discussion and in-class

General Education Core Curriculum (Code 060)

This course fulfills a Gen Ed Core (Code 060) requirement, which means that assignments
will assess students in the content and skills competency areas outlined below:

American History Component Outcomes:

 Students will relate/examine past events and ideas relative to the United States in a
series of causal events leading to a major event in American history.

 Students will describe/examine interaction among individuals, communities, states,

the nation and the world, considering how these interactions have contributed to the
development of the United States and its global role.

Core Objectives/Competencies Outcomes:

 Critical Thinking Skills

o Students will demonstrate creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and

analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information.

 Communication Skills

o Students will effectively develop, interpret, and express ideas through

written, oral, and visual communication.

 Social Responsibility

o Students will demonstrate intercultural competence, knowledge of civic

responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and
global communities.

 Personal Responsibility

o Students will relate choices, actions, and consequences to ethical decision-



1) Anderson, Terry. The Movement and the Sixties. (New York: Oxford University Press,
1996). [Purchase on your own – Used copies available online from $1 and up]

2) Course Packet [3 Volume Set - Available only at the Texas State Bookstore]

*Note: Other readings and materials for class activities may be handed out in class or
posted on TRACS

Course Assignments and Grading:

Your final grade will consist of four components: attendance and participation (25%) and
three major written assignments (75%).

1. Attendance and Participation: (25%)

One fourth of your final grade will be based on your attendance and my evaluation of the
both the quality and quantity of your participation in classroom discussion and other
course-related activities. As part of your participation grade, you will be asked to complete
occasional short, ungraded assignments related to our readings and classroom activities.
(See Policies below.)

2. Three Written Assignments: 75% (25%, 25%, and 25%)

75% percent of your final grade will be based on three written assignments. The first
assignment will involve applying some of the core theoretical concepts of American

radicalism and progressivism to your own experiences. The second assignment is a take
home essay “exam” that asks you to analyze and evaluate philosophies and tactics of the
African-American Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movements. The third assignment
is a research-oriented essay in which you will describe and evaluate a particular “legacy of
the 60s” or countercultural phenomenon of your choice. More information on these three
assignments, including detailed prompts, guidelines, and schedules, will be presented in
class and posted on TRACS (in the “Assignments” folder under “Resources”).

For each of the four components of your course grade you will receive a numeric grade on
the 4-point plus/minus scale below. Your final grade will be the weighted average of these
four components. Texas State uses a 4-point scale (no plus or minus) to assign final grades,
so your final grade will be rounded up or down to a whole number. (For example, a final
average of 3.72 rounds up to a 4.00 and final average of 2. 25 rounds down to a 2.00.)

Letter Numerical Grade Grade Equivalent on the Texas State 4-Point

Grade scale.
*Note: There is no
A+. There is no *For More information on grades, including
D+ or D-. A final rules and procedures for assigning
average between withdrawals and incompletes, refer to the TX
1.66 and 1.00 is a STATE student handbook “Academic
D. A final average Procedures and Policies.”
below 1.00 is an

A 4.00 4.00

A- 3.66 4.00

B+ 3.33 3.00

B 3.00 3.00

B- 2.66 3.00

C+ 2.33 2.00

C 2.00 2.00

C- 1.66 2.00

D 1.00 1.00

F Failing Failing

Attendance and Participation Policies:

Attendance is an absolute requirement. Over the course of the semester you will benefit
greatly from the contributions of your fellow classmates, and they in turn will benefit from
yours. When you miss class, in other words, everyone misses out. Therefore, we have a
simple attendance policy that allows for two absences, no questions asked, and penalizes
students who are absent for additional classes. Beyond two absences, only absences
accompanied by a letter from a Dean or a University Physician will be excused. Use your
free absences wisely or not at all.

Participation during classroom discussions and activities is not only crucial for my
evaluation of your performance; it enriches the learning environment for everyone.
Learning is a group process; the more we all participate, the more we learn. Both quantity
and quality of participation matter and your attendance and participation grade will reflect
how prepared you are for class, how often you participate in class, and how well you
interact with other students in the process of multicultural dialogue and exchange. To
ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate to the fullest extent possible, we
may also use online discussion tools on TRACS, and I am open to other suggestions. If you
feel that you may have difficulty participating in this seminar for whatever reason, please
come talk to me so that we find a way to accommodate your needs.

Civility Code: In this course we will be discussing some sensitive topics related to
religion, race, gender, and sexuality. It is therefore all the more important that we be
respectful, courteous, and civil with one another in the classroom. Be attentive and
sensitive to what others have to say, and when in doubt, use common sense. When
critiquing one another’s ideas, whether verbal or written, during classroom activities, the
same code applies; firm, honest, criticism is always appreciated, but remember also to be
respectful and constructive.

Inclusion Statement: Texas State University recognizes that our individual differences
can deepen our understanding of one another and the world around us, rather than divide
us. In this class, people of all ethnicities, genders and gender identities, religions, ages,
sexual orientations, disabilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, regions, and nationalities are
strongly encouraged to share their rich array of perspectives and experiences. If you feel
your differences may in some way isolate you from others or if you need specific
accommodations, please speak with me early in the semester about your concerns so we
can work together to help you become an active and engaged member of our seminar and
our university.

Other Policies:

Late Papers: Papers submitted between one and three days after the due date will be
penalized one full letter grade. Papers submitted four to seven days after the due date will
be penalized two full letter grades. Papers submitted more than one week after the due
date will not be accepted except in exceptional circumstances.

Technology in the Classroom: Be courteous and respectful to your fellow classmates:

always switch off and put away your cell phones and other electronic devices before class.
Laptops may be used ONLY for taking notes. Unless it is required for one of our classroom
activities, internet or Wi-Fi use of any kind is not permitted during class.

Food and Drink in the Classroom: Use common sense and be courteous.

Disability Statement:

If you are a student with a disability who will require an accommodation(s) to participate
in this course, please contact me as soon as possible. You will be asked to provide
documentation from the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Failure to contact me in a
timely manner may delay your accommodations. If you require an accommodation
(information in alternate format, sign language interpreting) due to a disability, contact
the ODS office in as far advance as possible. Accommodation requests should be made at
least 72 hours in advance of the program start time to ensure availability. If you are not
familiar the Texas State Office of Disability Services and the many resources it offers,
please visit:

Academic Integrity Statement:

All work in this class is to be done by the individual student. CHEATING IS CONSIDERED
GROUNDS FOR AUTOMATIC FAILURE. The instructor reserves the right to issue a failing
grade for acts of willful dishonesty such as plagiarism. This policy is based on the current
Student Handbook section on scholastic dishonesty. It is your responsibility to inform
yourself regarding the Texas State Student Honor Code. For more information, see the
university’s honor code:

For more information on plagiarism, including online videos and tutorials, see:

Some Useful Resources:

The Student Learning Assistance Center:

Better known around campus as SLAC, the Student Learning Assistance Center is a multi-
faceted academic support program for all Texas State students. We provide tutoring
services (individual, group, online), Supplemental Instruction (collaborative group study
for specific courses), learning and study skills workshops, and learning specialist
consultations free of charge.

The Writing Center:

The Writing Center at Texas State guides UIW undergraduate students in improving their
writing skills so that they will be prepared to succeed in writing-intensive college courses
and in their careers.

The Counseling Center:

Many students encounter a variety of personal, social, career, and academic issues that call
for assistance beyond advice provided by friends and family. Fortunately, the Counseling
Center provides free and confidential services by professional counselors to all currently
enrolled Texas State students.