AS205 — Fall 2008

In-Between Peoples

American Studies 205


In this course, we will explore the struggles and triumph “inbetween peoples” after Reconstruction and before WWII.


September 02, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm


September 09, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

The Language of Civilization


  • Bederman, Manliness and Civilization.



  • Blog Posting

    Blogging will be key to the success in this course. For those of you who have never blogged before, no worries. This is not a technically difficult process. It’s more like sending an email than anything else. Pedagogically, however, it serves a number of purposes.

    First, blogging allows the members of the class a chance to critically reflect on the readings and our discussions in a public way. Rather than having a private conversation with the instructor through reflection papers, blogging allows the whole class to participate in an ongoing open conversation about the key themes, questions, and problems raised by our materials.

    Second, and in a closely related point, blogging encourages vibrant discussion in the classroom. Since every student must critically engage the material before the class meets, the pumps are primed for thoughtful conversation about significant issues when we come together in person.

    Finally, blogging leaves an archive of the trajectory of the course–the things in which we are interested and the problems with which we struggle throughout the semester.

    To encourage these goals, our blogging will follow a two step process.

    • Initial posting: Each week a students will offer opening posts that will serve as the basis of our conversation for the week. These posts are due the Sunday before the class meeting.
    • Comments: Before coming to class on Tuesday, students will comment on and respond to those initial posts. This process will begin our critical discussion before we enter the classroom.

    Some things to consider in your postings include: How does this reading deal with the distribution of power in American society? What frameworks does it offer us for understanding the distribution of power? What do you think is the most interesting part of this reading? Why? What criticisms do you have of the author’s approach? Her use of sources? Has the author overlooked something in her analysis? What will you continue to look for as you read more?

September 16, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm



  • Kraut, Silent Travelers.


September 23, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

InBetween the Law


September 30, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

“Civilized” Race and Gender


  • Bederman, Manliness and Civilization.


October 07, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Public Health


  • Kraut, Silent Travelers.


October 14, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Overflow/project work

October 21, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Religion and Modernity, Part 1


  • Flake, Smoot.

October 28, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Religion and Modernity, Part 2


  • Larson, Summer for the Gods.

November 04, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Southern Memory, Part 1


  • Faulkner, Light in August.



  • Annotated Bibliography

    6-8 of the most essential sources for your project, with annotations as described on the Edited Collection page.

November 11, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Southern Memory, Part 2


  • Faulkner, Light in August.


November 18, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Depression Part 1


November 25, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Depression Part 2


December 02, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Wrap-up and Closing Thoughts


  • Edited Collection

    This is the culminating project for the course. You will be responsible for creating and edited collection of 10 primary sources that focus on a topic or question of your interest related to our work. Each primary source will include a 100-200 word headnote, in which you will introduce the source and relate it to the collection. Additionally the collection will include a 2,000 word introduction in which you provide the background for your exploration and explain your rationale for selecting the sources in your collection.

December 16, 2008, 4:15 pm 6:35 pm

Edited Collection Due Date



Bederman, Gail. Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Kraut, Alan. Silent Travlers: Germs, Genes, and the “Immigrant Menace”. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

Flake, Kathleen. The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

Faulkner, William. Light in August (1932). New York: Vintage International, 1990.

Larson, Edward. Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Volume Chapters

Roediger, Dave and James Barrett. “Inbetween Peoples: Race, Nationality, and “New-Immigrant” Working Class.” Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.


Ngai, Mae. “The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law: a Reexamination of the Immigration Act of 1924.” Journal of American History 86, no. 1 .

Edited Collection

The culminating project for the semester will be an edited collection that addresses an inquiry question of your crafting that deals with some thematic element from the course.  The collection will consist of the following elements:

An Inquiry Question: This is the main frame for your work in the project.  Decide what issues you want to explore in greater detail.  Ask a question that will allow you to assemble a collection of sources and write a narrative introduction.  Our reading for the semester addresses issues of “in-betweenness” for citizens, groups, and cultures in the United States between Reconstruction and World War II.  In the course of thinking about in-betweenness, we are faced with questions of power, authority, citizenship, fitness for self-government, racial formation, gender relations, origin stories and teleology.  Your question should allow you to engage some of these issues while working with particular sources.

An Introductory Essay: This narrative essay (2000-2500 words) will answer your inquiry question and draw on the sources in your collection.  The format for the essay should be that of a traditional academic essay in which you employ accepted conventions of usage and style, you quote from and do close readings of your sources, and draw significant larger conclusions from your work.

8-10 Primary Sources with Annotations: These sources should be selected from a variety of forms (letters, documents, news accounts, advertisements, photos, paintings, songs, etc.).  Your sources should reflect a care effort to represent multiple points of view.  Each source should be presented with a title, an 100-200 word annotation, the source itself, and the Chicago Manual of Style formatted bibliographic citation.  The annotations (3-4 sentences) should situate the source in a general context, in the context of your project/inquiry question, and should point out the most interesting element of the source.

An Annotated Bibliography: This bibliography should include the 6-8 most important secondary sources related to your topic.  Again, you should use the Chicago Manual of Style format for your citations.  Each annotation should provide a summary of the source’s argument and a statement of its relationship to your project.

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