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HIS 280 Race & Civil Rights in the USA International Relations & Political Science Program Spring 2020 Semester - Prague

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HIS 280 Race & Civil Rights in the USA

HIS 280 Race & Civil Rights in the USA Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: Anglo-American University
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Primary Subject Area: History
Instruction in: English
Course Details: Level 200
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 42


Race can mean different things, to different people, in different places, at different times. However one understands it, there is no question that today race is a lively topic of discussion of the United States, and this public conversation has specific historical roots that must be carefully considered. This course examines the meanings and uses of the concept of race in modern American history. This course is arranged around three historical topics. First, the intellectual history of the development of race as a modern concept. Second, the historical context in which distinctly American race beliefs crystalized. The two main topics are: 1.) the relationship between the "white" United States and Native Americans, and 2.) the institutions of Slavery and Segregation. Thirdly, there is a discussion about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, which occurred mainly in 1950s and 1960s. African Americans played a leading role in Civil Rights and provided a model which other "race" groups have often found inspiring. However, even by the middle of the 1960s, questions about racial identities began to emerge which remain unsolved today. The class will explore, for example, the tension between concepts of "colorblind" rights for individuals and the rights of groups seeking to preserve and strengthen cherished "racial" identities. The tension between these two conceptions of "rights" is not easy to solve, and there have been fascinating and creative Americans on both sides of the issue.

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