Course Descriptions
George W. Hopkins
Professor of History


20th Century American Social Movements (Special Topics Course)
This course will focus on social movements of the last century which tried to change or to preserve various aspects of American society. The course will put these movements in appropriate social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. The roles of class, race, ethnicity, gender, region, and other factors will also be considered in these contexts. Theoretical and historiographical issues will be integrated with case studies of social movements and their organizations, their members, and leaders, their dynamics (goals, tactics, and strategies), and their impact on society.

History of the U.S.: Cold War America, 1945-Present

This course will critically examine American society since 1945, focusing on the legacy of FDR and the New Deal, origins and phases of the Cold War, renewed Red Scare and McCarthyism, the growth of presidential power from Roosevelt to the present, social tensions from civil rights to Black Power and from the feminine mystique through the rebirth of feminism, US involvement in Vietnam, and other people, movements, issues and events bringing us into the contemporary era.

The Vietnam War, 1945-1975
This course will intensively study the Vietnam War, 1945-1975. Starting with background on Vietnamese history and culture, the impact of French imperialism, and Japanese occupation during World War II, the course will then focus on France's unsuccessful efforts to reconquer Vietnam, the Cold War and U.S. interests in Southeast Asia and Vietnam, growing U.S. involvement under bipartisan leadership, growing domestic opposition to that involvement, and the results of the U.S. role in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The course will also focus on key personalities, decisions, and events of the war as well as the military, diplomatic, political, social, and economic implications of those key factors

AMST 200 - Introduction to American Studies
This course will explore the origins and evolution of American culture and society. By examining American literature, thought, arts, and actions in historical context from the colonial era to the present, the course provides an interdisciplinary analysis of the complexity and diversity of the American experience. Race, ethnicity, class, and gende, as well as relative power and powerlessness, will be among the key concepts used to explore American culture over time.