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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Topics in American History - JTM074
Title: Topics in American History
Guaranteed by: Department of North American Studies (23-KAS)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2023
Semester: summer
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:0/2, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (20)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Guarantor: Dr. phil. Lucie Kýrová, M.A.
Teacher(s): Dr. phil. Lucie Kýrová, M.A.
Class: Courses not for incoming students
Incompatibility : JTM033
Is incompatible with: JTM033
Is interchangeable with: JTM033
The focus and goal of this course it to introduce students to the diverse views and ideas about freedom, subjugation, and hegemony as they developed within the American society throughout its history, from the initial contact to the present. The aim of the course is not to present a comprehensive chronological narrative, rather, it will concentrate on pivotal moments and events that will allow students to examine the developing meanings and definitions of freedom to people from different walks of life at different times. The students will examine the role and intersections of class, race, and gender relations in formulating these ideas within the context of domestic and internationals relations.
Last update: Kýrová Lucie, Dr. phil., M.A. (29.01.2024)
Aim of the course

At the end of the course, students will be able to critically engage with the concept of freedom and understand its historical developments within the contexts of domestic and international relations of the United States and the intersections of class, gender, and race.


Last update: Kýrová Lucie, Dr. phil., M.A. (29.01.2024)
Course completion requirements

Succesful fulfillment of assignments:


class participation/attendance 20%

research project 50%

final exam 30%


Grading will follow the  Dean's provision: 

More in SMĚRNICE S_SO_002: Organizace zkouškových termínů, kontrol studia a užívání klasifikace A–F na FSV UK.

Last update: Lochmanová Sára, Bc. (31.01.2024)

Alison R. Bernstein, American Indians and World War II: Toward a New Era in Indian Affairs (University of Oklahoma Press, 1991)


David Chandler, Empire in Denial: The Politics of State-Building (Pluto Press, 2006)


Nan Estand, Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture, and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999)


Eric Foner, “Freedom: America's Evolving and Enduring Idea,” OAH Magazine of History (July, 2006), 9 - 11. 


Grace Elizabeth Hale, Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)


Laura McEnaney, Civil Defense Begins at Home: Militarization Meets Everyday Life in the Fifties (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000)


Gary B. Nash, The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America (New York: Viking, 2005)


Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green, The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents (Boston and New York: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1995)


Margaret Sanger, Motherhood in Bondage (Brentano’s, Inc., 1928; reprint New York: Pergamon Press, 1956)


Ralph Young, Dissent: The History of an American Idea (New York: New York University Press, 2015)


And a selection of additional primary and secondary sources.

Last update: Kýrová Lucie, Dr. phil., M.A. (29.01.2024)
Teaching methods

Class meetings will consist of discussions of the assigned readings, complemented with short lectures that will provide necessary background.

Moodle course:


Last update: Kýrová Lucie, Dr. phil., M.A. (16.02.2024)



1. What is Freedom?

2. The American Revolution, part I:  What is freedom and who has it?

3. The American Revolution, part II: Freedom for whom?

4. Domestic and International Imperialism, part I: Westward Expansion, Cherokee Removal and Indigenous Power in the Southwest

5. Domestic and International Imperialism, part II: Manifest Destiny in International Settings/Liberal Imperialism

6. Slavery and Sharecropping: Free and Slave Labor before and after the Civil War

7. Women’s Rights at the Turn of the 20th Century

8. Jim Crow Shellshock:African-American experiences in the Civil War, WWI and WWII

9. Pursuit of Fairness?  WWII Homefront

10. Challenging the Status Quo: The Freedom to Dissent?

11. Conservative Backlash - "The Oppressed Majority"

12. Empire in Denial

Last update: Kýrová Lucie, Dr. phil., M.A. (29.01.2024)
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