Hist. 498, Section 016
Offered by the Department of History, University of Arizona
Fall Semester, 2017
Syllabus URL: http://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/content/hist-498-section-016-fall-2017
Pacheco ILC Rm. 117
David N. Gibbs, Professor of History
Office: Chavez 338
Office hours: Monday and Wednesday, 8:30-10:00am
** Class Announcements **
Students should check the announcements page regularly.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to methods of historical research for recent and contemporary US foreign relations, with a special focus on the post-1898 period. The class will emphasize the following specifics: basic features of historical methodology, especially with regard to finding and interpreting primary source materials; how to use source materials to construct logical arguments; how to use theoretical perspectives (from both history and social science) to improve the quality of arguments; and the mechanics of designing a college-level research paper.
The main assignment will be a research paper of 15-20 double-spaced pages. It is important that you select a topic and begin at least preliminary work on their papers as early in the semester as possible. You will be expected to turn in a take-home midterm exam; a draft version of the research paper and a final version of the paper, all at intervals throughout the semester as indicated below. Students are expected to meet with me several times during the semester to discuss their progress in conceptualizing and writing the paper.
Note that student papers meet the specified length requirements, or they will not be accepted.
In general, students will receive significant feedback on their draft papers from the instructor and, hopefully, from other students, which will aid them in writing the final version. All draft papers will be uploaded to the Class Announcements page, above, so they will be available to the class. Students will read each other's papers (downloaded from the Announcements page). During the last sessions, the class will discuss the whole set of papers, and we will collectively provide constructive comments to each other on how to improve the draft versions.
Students must properly attribute any information or material borrowed from other sources. When turning in papers, please attach copies of the first page of all research materials that were used in preparing the papers. Students should also keep a copy of the paper on their computers. The reason for these requirements is to dissuade plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. If I have any doubts about a student paper, I may ask the student to produce computer disks and/or additional research materials. For further information on the issue of plagiarism, see the UA History Department's Policy on Academic Dishonesty.
There will be no in-class exams for this class. Final grades will be based on the following three assignments, weighted by percentages as noted:
Take-home midterm, 5-8 pages -- 30 percent (handed out October 18; due October 25);
Draft research paper, 15-20 pages -- 30 percent (due November 15);
The take-home midterm exam will involve a short paper, in which students will be asked to answer specific questions on the class readings, as well as class discussions of those readings. After the midterm, we will focus on the research papers. Scheduled assignments must be turned in on time, on the dates specified. Late assignments will be penalized. All students will be expected to use standard syntax and spelling, as well as correct Chicago-style citation technique.
Please note: Students may not use material obtained through simple Google searches, and may not include such material in their research papers. Also to be minimally acceptable, the papers must meet the required length and must contain at least 20 sources. Students who hand in papers that do not meet these minimum requirements will have them returned for revision, with a penalty.
This is a class in which consistent attendance is vital. Since we will meet only once per week, for two and a half hours, in-class discussions will comprise approximately half of each class. All students are expected to have done the assigned readings for each week, and to be able to discuss the readings in class. Note that readings are to be completed by the specified class date, as listed in the syllabus. Students will lose three points from their final grade for each class that they miss (unless they have a legitimate excuse for missing class, such as illness). If students miss a total of three classes, they will then lose six points from their final grade for each additional class that they miss, beyond the first three.
Note that the following circumstances constitute legitimate reasons to miss a class or class assignment without penalty: illness, death in family, religious holiday, or mandatory military service. Students who present such reasons must be prepared to present documentation, such as a note from a doctor, clergy, or commanding officer. Students are expected to arrive in class on time. Please do not come late on a regular basis, as this is disruptive.
Writing Skills Improvement ProgramStudents may also consult the following classic: William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth edition (New York: Allyn & Bacon, 2000). It is short, inexpensive, and available in the UA bookstore. For those on a tight budget, an earlier version of this book is available online (click here for full text). Also check out the online . This is the standard writing guide used by journalists at magazine of London.
I will be happy to arrange the assignments in any reasonable way that is consistent with the student's needs, in cooperation with the UA Disability Resource Center. It is the student's responsibility to find out what the Center requires, to fill out the forms, and to undertake the necessary "foot work" for special arrangements. The student is responsible to make sure that all deadlines are met.
The following text can all be purchased at the University Book Store, located in the Student Center:
Christopher Layne, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007).
Several articles listed below are available through one of several electronic databases. Other materials, as indicated below, are available through D2L electronic reserve. The readings from the electronic reserve and from the databases can be obtained free of charge at any computer on campus.
I may make some small changes in the reading list -- with advance notice -- during the course of the semester.
Introduction to the class
No assigned reading.
Peter Novick, D2L.(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 281-319. Available through
Bruce Cumings, "Preface," in I. F. Stone, D2L. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1988), pp. xi-xx. Available through
Sigmund Freud, Click here for full text (go to "B/W PDF"). (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), pp. 1-59, 110-21.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba," March 13, 1962 (recently declassified). Click here for full text.
David N. Gibbs, Click here for full text., electronic guide.
: Students should finalize a research topic and meet with me to discuss it during this week.
America as an Empire?
Layne, , chaps. 2, 3, 4.
David N. Gibbs, "The Military-Industrial Complex in a Globalized Context," in Ronald W. Cox, ed., click here.(London: Routledge, 2012). For full text,
Layne, , chap. 5.
James Petras and Steve Vieux, "Bosnia and the Revival of US Hegemony," click here., no. 218, 1996. For full text,
Democracy Promotion and US Foreign Policy
William I. Robinson, D2L. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), chap. 5. Available through
Layne, , chap. 6.
The Military Industrial Complex
Dwight D. Eisenhower, "Farewell Address," January 17, 1961. For full text, click here. Note especially section IV.
Arindrajit Dube, Ethan Kaplan, and Suresh Naidu, "Coups, Corporations, and Classified Information," click here (click on "PDF").126, no. 3, 2011. For full text,
General David M. Shoup, "The New American Militarism," Periodicals Archive Online., September/October, 1969. Available through
October 11, no class.
US Policy during the Post-Cold War Period
Layne, , chap. 7
John J. Mearsheimer, "Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault: The Liberal Delusions that Provoked Putin," click here., September/October, 2014. For full text,
Chalmers Johnson, "The Economic Disaster that is Military Keynesianism: Why the US has really Gone Broke," click here., February 2008. For full text,
George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," in click here. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday-Anchor Books, 1954). For full text,
Papers can be handed in during class, or placed in my mailbox, in Cesar Chavez Bldg, Room 423.
Class papers discussed.
No class, Thanksgiving.