Teaching

At Dartmouth College, I teach courses on the history of U.S. foreign relations from 1865 to the present, the Cold War, and World War II in the Pacific.  Click below for syllabi from my most recent courses.

The Cold War and American Life (Syllabus Fall 2013)

This course examines the diverse ways in which the Cold War changed how Americans understood and experienced their lives at home and abroad. Looking at the years from 1945 to 1975, it focuses on the relationship between international affairs and domestic society.  How do international changes shape life within the United States?  How do domestic developments affect American interactions with the world? To answer these questions, this course uses primary and secondary readings, novels, movies, and songs to examine how Americans “lived” the Cold War.  Topics covered include the rise of the national security state; anti-communism; the concept of the “free world”; the impact of the Cold War and decolonization on thinking about race and civil rights; suburbanization and consumerism; nuclear culture; gender and the family; and Cold War conflicts in Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam.  This lecture and discussion-based class is open to students from all class years and majors.

The United States and the World, 1865 – 1945 (Syllabus Fall 2014)

This course examines the United States’ interactions with the wider world from 1865 to 1945, a time of vast changes within the United States and throughout the international system. This course begins with a newly reunited United States at the end of the Civil War, and ends with the close of World War II. Thus, a major theme of this course is the United States’ growth as a world power.  How did the United States become a global power? Why did the United States use its growing power in certain ways? How did Americans understand the United States’ changing global role?  To explore these questions, this course examines themes such as state and nation-building; empire, colonialism, and territorial expansion; the nature of national power; the evolution of international law; the role of race and gender; concepts of civilization and development; and economic growth and market penetration.  Taking a broad definition of “foreign relations” this course examines how U.S. actions have affected and changed the wider world and how interactions with people, places, events, and ideas defined as “foreign” have transformed the United States.  This lecture and discussion-based class is open to students from all class years and majors.

The United States and the World, 1945 – Present (Syllabus Spring 2015)

This course examines the United States’ interactions with the world from 1945 to the present.  It seeks to answer several key questions.  How has the United States tried to shape the world since 1945? What were the goals and strategies of leading policymakers? What underlying ideas, assumptions, and beliefs framed their actions? How has U.S. foreign policy been challenged abroad and reformed at home? How has life in the United States, in turn, been shaped by encounters with the rest of the world?  In this course, we  explore themes such as occupations, nation-building, and development; the global economy; transnational movements such as human rights and environmentalism; genocide and humanitarian intervention; overt and covert military action; the rise and fall of the Cold War; and the War on Terror.  Taking a broad definition of “foreign relations” this course examines how U.S. actions have affected and changed the wider world and how interactions with people, places, events, and ideas defined as “foreign” have transformed the United States.  This lecture and discussion-based class is open to students from all class years and majors.

World War II in the Pacific, 1931 – 1945 (Syllabus Fall 2015)

This course examines the origins, nature, and consequences of World War II in the Pacific. Moving beyond the common American focus on the war as a U.S.-Japanese conflict, it explores the different nations, political movements, ideologies, and empires that clashed across Asia-Pacific from 1931 to 1945. Topics covered include Japanese, American, and European imperialism; the relationship between the Chinese Civil war, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the trans-Pacific War; invasion and occupation in Southeast Asia; key historiographical debates, such as the dropping of the atomic bomb; and the legacies of these conflicts for international law, empire, and global politics.  An upper level seminar for history majors, this course culminates with the writing of a 20 – 25 page research paper that examines some aspect of the Pacific Wars in an international context.

 

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