In this class we will study the history and relationship of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism. We will examine the origins of both movements and the history of their conflict. Significant attention will be given to the conflict over Palestine which culminated in the establishment of Israel in 1948 as well as the half-century of war, protest and occupation which followed. We will read primary and secondary sources from many perspectives, and will view films and other materials. This course is suitable for first year distribution requirements. Learning Goals: EXP, MCP, PRJ, PRS, REA, WRI; Distribution Area: PCSJ; Cumulative Skills: IND, MCP, WRI
Who should care for the old, the sick, the unemployed, the poor? Is this a collective responsibility, to be fulfilled by government as it promotes the general welfare of the nation? Or is this an individual, personal responsibility: each adult responsible for his or her own welfare, with private charity picking up those who fall through the holes of a tattered safety net? This is the axis around which U.S. social welfare policy has turned since the early 20th century. For the last 30 years we have seen government policy move inexorably to the individual responsibility side of the debate. The state has been shifting responsibility for coping with the risks of aging, sickness, unemployment, and poverty to the individual, while relying increasingly on the private market to actually provide services. The results have not been pretty. Why this has occurred, who suffers and benefits, what are the institutional forces behind this trend, what are the prospects for change - these are the central questions to be explored in this course. We will look closely and critically at the history and politics of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, Workers' Compensation, and supplemental income programs. Students will work collaboratively to develop alternative approaches to these issues of social welfare policy.
During the Great Depression, misery was visible. People lined up for soup, furniture of recently evicted tenants cluttered the streets and unemployed workers rode the rails. Today, poverty seems to be less visible. We hear about foreclosures and evictions through statistical rundowns on the nightly news, but are rarely confronted with images. When we compare the Great Depression and the current recession, many questions emerge. Why did people take to the streets during the Great Depression? What did the working class get out of the New Deal and what does the working class today get out of the Stimulus? Why did workers in the Thirties join unions at a record pace, while today membership is in steep decline? During the Great Depression, African Americans paid the price for the passage of social welfare legislation that benefitted White Americans. How does having an African American President complicate the interplay of race and class in American politics? During the Thirties socialism and the Soviet Union stood as viable alternatives to capitalism, while today few challenge the legitimacy of the established economic order. In this course we will be studying the history of the working class's struggle for economic security. We are particularly eager for students to engage with contemporary movements. For example, the anti-foreclosure movement has been active recently in nearby Springfield. Much of the material used in this class will be primary source documents, including memoirs, novels, films and photographs.
In this course, students will explore the complex and little understood history of the relationship between the Arab Middle East and the United States. We will look at the role missionaries, oil engineers, scholars and diplomats played in forging the relationship. We will pay particular attention to how the Arab-American community has attempted to influence perceptions of the Middle East and government policy. Students will be active learners in this course. We will be reading early twentieth century primary sources as well as scholarly and popular texts. Students will define and explore areas of particular interest and share them with the class.
Professor of History
Mail Code SS
Franklin Patterson Hall 212
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002