HIS*111*13 Description

Introduction to History

For many students, popular memories of the Second World War arrive neatly packaged on the silver screen. Indeed, the success of movies like Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, and A League of their Own demonstrate that America's fascination with World War II does not stop with scholars. The origins, conflicts, and consequences of this war continue to capture the world's imagination, wielding particular power over politics, culture, and foreign policy. While "the Good War" is often remembered as a united effort toward righteous ends, this class will seek a more nuanced and complex perspective on the Home Front experience. Coursework will steer students toward examining primary sources and peer-reviewed scholarship to gain a richer understanding of the events, figures, movements, and processes that shaped the Home Front. Topics will include war mobilization, women's labor, union strife, civil rights protest, conscientious objection, Japanese internment, atomic development, and Holocaust intervention. This course introduces students to the discipline of history by exploring compelling themes or problems in history. Through study of different topics, each section instructor will teach students the core methodological skills of historical analysis and interpretation. Students are expected to appreciate differing interpretations of the same historical questions. Students will study appropriate primary and secondary sources in the field, and learn the basic analytical and writing skills historians use to interpret the past.