The Boundaries of Citizenship: Inclusion, Exclusion, and the History of Civil Rights under Law
This course explores access to citizenship in historical context, examining how membership in the social and political community has been defined in the United States, and how those definitions have changed over time. We will ask what rights could be claimed when —and on what basis—by formerly enslaved persons, by women and by men, by immigrants, by Indigenous peoples, and by residents of territories acquired by the United States. Students will work in teams on key historical cases, and will carry out individual primary-source research on related topics. There is a midterm exam and a final paper requirement, but no final exam. We will read case decisions as well as books and articles by authors including Martha S. Jones, Kunal Parker, Eric Foner, and Thomas C. Holt.
A draft syllabus may be downloaded from the “Syllabi” link on the instructor’s website: