Race in America

Subject HIST30059 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Jennifer Jeppesen


David Goodman


Subject Overview:

The American understanding of race has changed over time, but in different ways race has been a crucial line of division in American society since the seventeenth century.The subject begins and ends in the present, but circles back to survey the hsitory of race in America over centuries. The history of African Americans from slavery through the eras of legal segregation, the civil rights era and beyond, forms a central strand in the subject, both because of its own importance and because the black experience has at many times affected how other racial minorities have been understood and treated in US history. We will also study Native American history, from the treaty-making frontier to the era of assimilation and beyond, examine the long history of US relations with Hispanic people within and without the nation and survery Asian American history. The history of whiteness in the US, including the history of the procession of immigrant groups seeking assimilation into the category of white Americans, will also be a theme. The subject concludes with reflections on the way that in the contemporary US, the increasing Hispanic and Asian-American populations were rendering the bipolar, black/white understanding of race in America increasingly obsolete, just as the first black president was elected.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have an enhanced understanding of African American, Native American, Asian American and Hispanic history and of the issues they has raise about race in US national life;
  • have demonstrated an ability to undertake guided independent research on a topic in the history of race in US history;
  • have an enhanced understanding of the major interpretive debates about the history of race in America;
  • have an enhanced understanding of the extent of change and continuity over the long history of race in America,
  • have demonstrated an ability to communicate historical arguments in writing and orally.

A research essay of 2500 words 60% (due late in semester) and a reflective essay of 1500 words 40% (due in the exam period).

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available on line

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History

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