HS3T69-‘Race’, Ethnicity and citizenship in America

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Emily West

Email: e.r.west@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Topics involve the study of specific periods, subjects or types of history.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
identify and explain the main issues and events studied
acquire a detailed knowledge of the events through extensive reading in specialised literature
locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research
appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject
organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student's effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skils by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
This module explores key issues related to ‘race’, ethnicity and citizenship in America from colonial times to the social protests of the 1960s, using a combination of chronological and thematic perspectives. It questions American conceptions of citizenship, inclusion, and exclusion in relation to the ‘peopling of America’ and queries the extent to which people of different ethnicities have (or have not) faced discrimination in the USA. Beginning with an overview of theoretical explanations of assimilation, the module then explores early American conceptions of citizenship and how these changed over time. It also considers immigration to America across time and space, via the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the development of the system of slavery. African American history will then be explored during the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, and during the Civil rights protests of the 1960s. A history of Native Americans from colonial times to the 1960s will also be covered here. The module explores relations with Mexicans in the borderlands of the Southwest and the rise of nativism (anti-immigrant sentiment), which culminated in a series of exclusionary measures in the 1920s which stood in place until 1965. There will be a focus on gender throughout this module.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars for which students must carry out full preparatory reading and research. Seminars rely on structured group discussion and may also include: seminar papers by students; discussion of evidence; team-based exercises and debates; study visit to a relevant location. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 169
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write one essay of not more than 2,500 words, to be handed in by 12 noon on the Friday of week 8 of the term, which should be submitted electronically via Blackboard and in hard copy to the History office.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 3 examinations.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in September. Where students are permitted to re-sit this module, coursework will be Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) ONLY in August. These will be capped at a maximum mark of 40%. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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