History

History 9

History 9 places an emphasis on “making” history through the production of contested versions of the past. This course examines the complexity of the human experience in texts, contexts, and critiques across time and place. It seeks to instill the judgment, empathy, and cultural literacy needed for civic participation. History 9 fosters the development of historical thinking skills and essential skills in reading, collaboration, writing, and speaking. An introduction to research methods is an integral feature. Consistent with the vision to value and empower the many voices of our community and the grade-level theme (“Who am I?”), History 9 also traces the construction of the self through selected readings and visual media from global history.

History 10

History 10 places an emphasis on the twin themes of perspectives and processes in the global past and present. It examines the complexity of the modern world with consideration to historical antecedents. Cultural geography and political simulation are integral features. History 10 fosters the refinement of historical thinking skills and essential skills in reading, research, collaboration, writing, and speaking introduced in History 9. Consistent with the goals of a place-based education and the grade-level theme (“Where am I?”), History 10 also investigates those interesting questions that arise at the juncture where global processes intersect with their local manifestations.

U.S. History

U.S. History is a study of United States’ history from pre-Columbian America through the Cold War. Students study the major political, social, economic and cultural aspects of the American experience through extensive use of original documents. Broad themes are explored, including independence and constitutional government, sectionalism and civil war, industrialism and the foundations of modern American, and the responsibility of citizenship. Analytical writing assignments include document-based essays. Students complete a major research paper in the second semester.

Night Will Fall: Advanced Topics in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Fall)

Taking a cue from the documentary film by André Singer, Night Will Fall, this course examines political and moral lessons from the tragedies of the Shoah and the mass killings in Armenia, Cambodia, the Balkans, Rwanda, and Darfur. Holocaust and Genocide Studies considers the implications of these events for American foreign policy, international law, scientific and medical experimentation, restitution for survivors, and interfaith understanding. This course asks troublesome questions about collaboration and complicity. Attempting to understand the Shoah from “within the Jewish experience,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies gives considerable attention to the study of Jewish thought and practice and the history of anti-Semitism. Using honest language and historical images, this course evaluates the evolving and often conflicting literature on the Final Solution, including the contentious Browning-Goldhagen debate over culpability: Was the Holocaust perpetrated by “ordinary Germans” or “willing executioners”?

Political Theory with Current History (Spring)

Political Theory with Current History is a team-taught seminar that brings together the study of the theory and reality of politics. Examining texts from Plato, Locke, and other thinkers, students examine the theory of politics: how the world ought to work. Considering complementary current issues and their historical antecedents through The New York Times, The Atlantic, and other publications, students reflect on the reality of politics: how the world does work. Preparation for civic participation in the “real world” is an integral part of the course. As a seminar, this course is reading- and discussion-based. It also requires frequent, short writing assignments, with occasional mandatory revisions. As a final project, students complete a case study on the theory and reality of one of the seminar’s topics, such as freedom, justice, or globalism.

U.S. in the World Since 1945 (Spring)

U.S. in the World Since 1945 will focus on the United States after World War II and its growing, and changing, role in the world. This course will cover most major subjects that have had a lasting effect on US history – the politics and culture of the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War and the turmoil of the 1960s, the “lost decade” of the 1970s, the rebirth of American exceptionalism and the defeat of the Soviet Union, the uncertainty of the 1990s, and America post 9/11. However, the essential dual focus of the class will be on how the United States and its political, cultural, and economic happenings affected the world around them and how international events and endeavors changed and shaped America. Students will examine global connections including: the execution of US foreign policy and its outcome, sex and race relations around the world, the turmoil in the Middle East, the rise of Asia and political Islam, democratic successes and failures around the World, and the spread of capitalistic institutions.

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