HIST-382 Topics in US History: [see description below]
Fall for 2017-2018
Professor Chad Frazier
This number will be used for seminars devoted to specific subjects in the area of American history. Students may take more than one of the courses offered under this number. Each course will be announced in the course schedule and receive its own sub-title.
In Fall 2017 the following course is offered: Topic: Free Speech in America: The freedom of speech and the press occupies an ambiguous position in the firmament of U.S. culture, politics, and law. On the one hand, the right to express one’s thoughts and opinions is enshrined not just in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution but in the constitutions of all fifty states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Politicians, journalists, and other commentators of every political and ideological stripe write and speak routinely about the importance of the freedom of speech and the press to U.S. society and politics. On the other hand, Americans have frequently tolerated, sometimes demanded, the introduction and enforcement of restrictions on ideas, texts, or even entire categories of speech that they find offensive or dangerous. This seminar will afford you the opportunity to examine how people in the United States have understood the freedom of speech and the press at key points in their history, including the Colonial and Founding Eras, the Civil War, World War I, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Class meetings will revolve around the discussion of a mixture of primary and secondary sources that for the most part addresses the legal evolution of speech and press rights in the United States. You will also conduct a semester-long research project that will provide you with a guided experience in the creation of an academic paper, which relies on a combination of primary and secondary sources to make an original, well-balanced argument about the history of the freedom of speech and the press in the United States. Your project will consist of a 5-page primary source analysis, a 5-page proposal that outlines your research question and the sources that you will examine in your final paper, a short oral presentation, and a 20- to 25-page research paper.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '17: Frazier C (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: