Spring 2020

HIST-T 560, The United States & the World: Comparative History

Course Dates: 1/13/2020 - 5/8/2020

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Course Description

A history of the United States, like that of any nation, can be celebratory or critical, but it is often defined by a self-proclaimed exceptionalism and contained within geographical, political, and cultural boundaries. This course, however, will consider important themes from the American past that connect it to the wider world. If slavery and race, for example, are principal elements of our history, they also shape the history of other regions. How do they compare? The course will also examine topics and scholarship in transnational history, a recent successor to comparative history that demonstrates how American life has been influenced by people and ideas from other parts of the world.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Learning Materials

George M. Fredrickson, Racism: A Short History

Wim Klooster, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History

Rebecca J. Scott & Jean M. Hebrard, Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation

Penny Von Eschen, Satchmo Blows up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War

We will also examine scholarly articles available from JSTOR through the Indiana University libraries or accessible from the web.


Book Reviews (4): 40%
Historiographical Essay: 30%
Discussions (6): 30%