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HSY2985 - Twentieth-Century America: Race, Rights and Power

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Mark Peel


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


After providing a general overview of the history of the United States in the twentieth century, this unit examines three key themes. 'Race' traces struggles over the meaning of racial difference in America, with a particular emphasis on the civil rights and black protest movements. 'Rights', examines the contest over civil, social and human rights in the United States between 1900 and 2000 and the meaning of 'freedom' for women, cultural minorities and the poor. 'Power' examines Americans' continuing debates about their place in the world, with a particular emphasis upon the role of the United States in twentieth-century global and regional conflicts.


Students successfully completing HSY2895 will be expected to demonstrate a comprehensive historical understanding of key themes in the history of the United States after 1900: the expression of and challenges to racial oppression; the ongoing debate about the nature and extent of the rights of American citizens; and the debates within the United States about America's status as a global power. In addition, they will be expected to demonstrate a good critical understanding of the contested interpretations that inform the history of the twentieth-century United States, skills in the critical and analytical reading of a variety of written and visual texts, the capacity to work with others in a collaborative research project and presentation, and skills in the critical use of historical data and documentary evidence available on the web.


Source criticism exercise (500 words): 10%
Class test (1 hour): 20%
Collaborative project report (500 words): 20%
Research essay (2500 words): 50%