Brian G. Casserly
Introduction to the discipline of history for new or prospective majors. Emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historian's craft. Each seminar discusses a different subject or problem.
"Fighting the Vietnam War: The Experience and Memory of U.S. Military Personnel"
This class will provide students the opportunity to explore the wide experience of U.S. military personnel during and after American involvement in Vietnam. We will examine issues such as the draft/enlistment, training, the experience of combat in Vietnam, return to the U.S., and anti- and pro-war sentiment on the part of members of the military, to name but a few. We will also look at how the war and veterans' experiences have been remembered, both by individual veterans and by the wider society and culture.
This class aims to help students acquire the skills necessary to be an effective historian. In particular, students will work on developing skills in critical thinking, written and oral communication, and researching a historical problem in a wide range of sources.
Student learning goals
Students should understand some of the key issues in the experience of U.S. military personnel in Vietnam and how those experiences have been remembered.
Students should improve their ability to effectively conduct research in a wide range of primary and secondary sources.
Students should improve their critical thinking skills.
Students should be able to use evidence to write thesis driven papers that analyze and critically evaluate key aspects of the military experience in Vietnam.
General method of instruction
Classroom discussion, hands on research, extensive reading load.
Students should be prepared to actively participate in class, to complete all reading and assignments in a timely manner, and to be prepared to conduct research in a variety of different sources.
Class assignments and grading
To be finalized, but likely to include some combination of class participation, several shorter papers/assignments, and a longer research paper.