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Week 1.1: History of Slavery in the US: Course Introduction

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Leslie Schwalm

on 24 August 2017

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Transcript of Week 1.1: History of Slavery in the US: Course Introduction

Crosslisted as
Readings and homework
Midterm & Final Exams--take-home essays
Reaching Professor Schwalm
Weekly Office Hours
Tues. 11-12 222 SH
Weds. 10-11 410 JB
Thurs. 2-3 222 SH

Email (48 hour turn-around)
Course Website
Course format: What to expect
Assigned readings for each meeting
Lectures ("prezi-talks")
Structured discussions
Questions always welcome
Historians DESCRIBE and INTERPRET past events.

We pay attention to the events themselves, AND
we also pay attention to how other historians create arguments about and interpret those events.

1. Before you do the assigned reading, look at the syllabus to see
where the reading fits into the structure of the course
: What topics directly precede and follow it?

2. Look through the essay before you
read it -- pay attention to titles (both
main title
of the piece and

used to
separate sections
within the
piece). How do they
“map out” this essay

3. Read the essay, midful that HISTORY HAS A TECHNICAL VOCABULARY. As you come across vocabulary terms in the reading,
highlight them
. If you come across a term that you don't understand,
look the word up
in the dictionary. If the dictionary is not helpful,
create a list of words/terms that need explanation
--and ask! With help from you about what you don't understand, I can easily review new material in our class meetings.

4. As you read each paragraph,
write a note

to yourself in the margins to
remind you of
key ideas
in the paragraph. If you don't
understand something, put a
question mark

beside it. Whenever the author lists things,
words like "first," "second,"
and so forth.

5. When you get to the end of a section
within the reading, look back over the
section and try to
development of
the author's argument
What was the
main point
? What
or examples
were used? What critical
vocabulary was explained?

6. If you found the essay especially
difficult, go back and read the beginning
of it again. (If need be, read the whole
thing again.)
The key to comprehension
in this course is rereading.

Papers evaluated for content AND mechanics: grammar, form, clarity of expression, attention to assignment requirements

Plus and Minus grades used

How will your work be evaluated?
*Be on time
*Keep up with readings
*Ask questions: Raise your hand in lecture!
*Assignments MUST be on time--no late papers accepted
*Regular attendance and all assignments are required course components
*Students who miss class are responsible for material covered and announcements made
*Academic misconduct (plagiarism, cheating) will result in an “F” on the assignment and possibly an “F” in the course
*Following quizzes, all cell phones must be turned off
*Check ICON frequently for important course announcements

I would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact me during my office hours.

1991 Ph.D., History, University of Wisconsin at Madison; minor in African American Studies

Where are the books & readings?
Prairie Lights Bookstore (Downtown--Dubuque St.)

Take notes in longhand.

Review your lecture notes with a highlighter—what are the most important themes?

Use the study questions (in the course syllabus) for each assigned reading

Read with a pen in your hand: be an active reader

Ask questions if you don’t understand

Begin work on paper assignments early and ask for help

Use feedback from Writing Fellows to sharpen and improve your written work

Laptops can only be used in back row
If you BUY the books, MAKE THEM YOURS.
History is unique in the "liberal arts" because of its focus on change--how societies change, why they do or do not change, what persists from the past, what does not....

The Ability to Assess Evidence.

Learning how to interpret source materials from the past involves paying attention to the source itself as well as the context in which it was created.

The Ability to Assess Conflicting Interpretations.

Learning history means gaining some skill in sorting through diverse, often conflicting interpretations.

Experience in Assessing Past Examples of Change.

Analysis of change means developing some capacity for determining the magnitude and significance of change. Learning history helps one figure out, for example, if one main factor accounts for a change or whether, as is more commonly the case, a number of factors combine to generate the actual change that occurs.
Historical study is crucial to the development of the well-informed citizen. It provides basic factual information about the values and problems that affect our social well-being. It also contributes to our capacity to use evidence, assess interpretations, and analyze change and continuities.
WARNING: We sometimes cover a LOT of ground in one class meeting!
HOW you read matters!
a little about your professor this semester......
What history-related skills does this course emphasize?
According to a recent study published in
Psychological Science
, “Students who took notes on laptops tended to transcribe the content verbatim." Those students took many more notes, but seemed to process what they heard much less. In a test taken a few minutes after completing the lecture, students who had taken notes using longhand performed much better. The difference was particularly striking on conceptual questions, where students had to take two pieces of information they’d heard in the lecture and synthesize them into a conclusion.
I've written histories of
emancipation in the South...
...and in the North
Written chapters for books on the Civil War. . .
. .
...on the Black working class...
...and on the history of the South
...Some has been prize-winning
Like most historians, I've also written articles for scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals
I love to travel
Special Relief work among the families of African American Civil War soldiers
JB Entrance
Schaeffer Hall
I love to spend time in the archives doing research
The NYPL Central Reading Room is gorgeous!
Here's where I did my most recent research
Who are we this semester?
26 people in 12 different majors
Mathematics; English; Political Science; Journalism; History; African American Studies; Pre-Business; Music; Pre-Dentistry; Anthropology; Psychology
2 1st-year students; 6 2nd-year students; 6 3rd-year students; 9 4th-year students; 2 grad students
The National Police Archives in Guatamala--not so nice
Our Writing Fellows!!
Each student will be partnered with a Writing Fellow this semester. For each of the two major papers, you will submit a polished draft to your Fellow, who will review it, confer with you about how to think about revisions that will improve the paper, and you will then have a few days to make final revisions before turning in your assignments to Prof. Schwalm.
Why do this?
Working with a Writing Fellow means you get to spend extra time thinking about your writing, learning about your writing, and learning how to sharpen and correct your own written work. This kind of peer feedback is invaluable to academic sucess--for students and for your professors!!!
Cindy Garcia; Ashley Chong; Carla Seravalli
Ashley is interested in transnationalism, music (creating, listening, analyzing, performing), languages, and human stories. You will most likely find her listening to music, scribbling down a new idea, or chatting with a friend.
Ashley Chong
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Carla is a sophomore, English & Creative Writing major (with a minor in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies) from Nebraska. Aside from fellowing, she is the Events Manager for the English Society, and she has helped publish Ink Lit Magazine. She likes reading and writing poetry and also roller skating and making dumb videos of her friends set to music.
Carla Seravalli
Reading Worksheets
Reading worksheets will help you get more out of the assigned readings. They ask you to answer three questions: What does it say? What does it mean? Why does it matter?

What does it say?
In a few sentences, summarize the topic that the historian is investigating in this section you want to write about. Be sure you indicate the page or pages you are focused on. Don’t quote the author’s words—but stay as close as possible to what you think the author means here. What time and place is this part of the reading focused on? What kind of details or evidence does the historian present here? Is this part of the reading advancing an argument? Or describing a particular aspect of the experience of slaves or slave owners, or an aspect of the institution of slavery? This part of your worksheet asks you to use your skills in summarizing scholarly writing.

What does it mean?
Now, in your own words, briefly write about what this section or reading means. This part of your worksheet asks you to think about what you understand about and from this reading.
Why does it matter?
What is the importance of this passage or this reading to a larger understanding of US slavery? What does the author believe its importance to be? What do YOU think its importance is? This part of your worksheet asks you to explain what is significant about the information offered in the section or reading you have chosen.

By week 8, you must hand in 4 reading worksheets
Between week 8 and week 16, you must hand in an additional 4 worksheets.

Your first two worksheets should target one paragraph of an assigned reading that you find especially challenging, or interesting, or provocative.
Your next two worksheets should target 2-3 pages of a reading.
In the second half of the semester, your worksheets should address an entire reading assignment. Each worksheet is worth 5 points, for a total of 40% of your course grade. Both the form and directions for the form are on ICON. Submit your worksheets on ICON.

Both the midterm (25% of course grade) and final (25%) exams consist of take-home essay assignments. THESE ESSAYS EACH HAVE TWO DUE DATES TO ALLOW YOU TO WORK WITH YOUR WRITING FELLOW IN REVISING YOUR WORK. A polished draft of your Midterm essay is due to your Writing Fellow on 9/26 by 9:30 AM (submit via ICON).
A LATE SUBMISSION TO YOUR FELLOW WILL RESULT IN A GRADE DROP ON THE FINAL VERSION. FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR DRAFT TO THE FELLOW ON TIME WILL RESULT IN A 5-point deduction from your grade; failure to meet in conference with your fellow will result in another 5-point deduction from your grade.
The final version of your essay is due to Prof. Schwalm 10/10 @9:30 AM (submit via ICON).

The polished draft of your Final essay is due to your Writing Fellow by 11/28 @9:30; the final version is due to Prof. Schwalm 12/11 by noon of that day (submitted via ICON).

See the course website for further discussion of the exams. Both the essay prompts and the rubric I will use to grade them are posted on the course website.
Cindy is a senior majoring in History and Journalism at the University of Iowa. Along with being an Honors Writing Fellow, she is a Writing Center tutor and International Writing Program intern. In her free time, she likes to keep up with politics and discover new places to eat.
Cindy Garcia
Most recently I've published on emancipation and enslaved mothers
Charlottesville, the Klan, and History

More than 2000 African Americans lynched by whtes in America, 1865-1967
United Daughters of the Confederacy and one of the many memorials they erected
Why Charlottesville?
--A city-wide discussion about whether Confederate memorials belong in public space
Most Confederate monuments were erected during height of Jim Crow and civil rights movement
The vast majority of Confederate monuments were erected to CREATE a NEW set of ideas about the antebellum South, called "The Lost Cause ." "The Lost Cause" was used to fuel white support for segregation, for racial violence, and white opposition to the civil rights movement.

the war was an act of aggression by the North, which acted unconstitutionally by undermining state's rights (in other words, it was not a war about slavery)
African Americans were loyal to slavery and to their masters, and were unprepared for freedom
Slave owners were kind to their slaves
The Confederates were defeated only because of the North's superior numbers and resources
Robert E. Lee was a national hero
Southern women were loyal to the Confederate cause and sanctified by their wartime sacrifices
Reconstruction was a doomed enterprise and a deliberate effort to destroy the Southern way of life
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