2008-2009 Session - Teaching American History - The Enduring Legacy of the American Revolution: Liberty Freedom and Equality


2008-2009 Session
Theme: 19th Century Heroes of Freedom - Abolition Movement and Women's Rights Movement

Photographs of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman

"Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers."
Mignon McLaughlin

(left to right:  Elizabeth Cady Stanton with Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman)


Year Two: 2008-2009
Summer Seminar Dates: July 14-18, 2008


2008 Summer Seminar Spring 2009 Book Discussion
2008 - 2009 Photos: Project Presentations 2008 VASS Conference Photos including Hildene Tour

Lesson Plans & Projects: 2008-2009 Program

Course Information

2008-2009 Syllabus - Revised 7/16/08 (PDF)

2008-2009 Course Schedule (PDF)
(includes summer seminar, important dates & deadlines)

2008-2009 Text & Readings (PDF)

Teacher Support Team List (PDF) Contact information for participants and their assigned Teacher Support Team Leaders


Each annual program begins with a summer seminar.  Teacher-participants will receive a complimentary instructional kit that includes key books on content, standards, and the teaching of American history and a one-year free membership in the Vermont Alliance for Social Studies. In the kit we have included books which contain primary documents and are to be read in conjunction with the Summer Seminar and throughout the year.

Summer Seminar Lodging is available in our residence halls at a special rate.  Contact Mary Giordano for details.

Field Trips:

Premier bus trip to Rokeby Museum (Underground Railroad Site)
Premier 2 day bus trip to Seneca Falls (National Historic Site of Women's Movement)

For more information on the topics covered in year two, visit our links page.

Featured Speaker:

Donald Yacovone, Research Manager, W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University

Summer Seminar: "The godless will of a criminal nation: Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and Black Abolitionism."

Donald Yacovone
is research manager of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He has collaborated on many public history programs in the Boston area and has written extensively on the antislavery movement, the Civil War, and nineteenth-century gender roles. His latest book is Freedomís Journey: African American Voices of the Civil War (2004), a documentary history.



Book Discussion Leaders:

Fall 2008: Amy Morsman, Middlebury College

Amy Morsman is an Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College, where she teaches courses on nineteenth-century American history. Her specific teaching and research interests focus on the Civil War era and in womenís and gender history. Morsman received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2004. Her book, The Big House After Slavery: Virginia Plantation Families and their Postbellum Domestic Experiment is under contract with the University of Virginia Press.

Degrees, Specializations & Interests:
M.A., University of Virginia; Ph.D., University of Virginia.

Areas of Specialization:
American History, U.S. Gender History, History of 19th-century South.

Courses Taught:
Reconstruction: Southerners After Confederate Defeat; American History Survey, parts I and II; Survey of American Women's History; West Africa and the Slave Trade; History of Gender and Sexuality in America; Southern Women, Black and White; Civil War and Reconstruction

Spring 2009: J. William Harris, UNH, Finalist for Publicist Prize in History

J. William Harris, professor of history at the University of New Hampshire for more than 20 years, has been awarded the annual Lindberg Award for his achievements as both an outstanding scholar and teacher in the College of Liberal Arts.

"Billís teaching is legendary in the history department," said Janet Polasky, chair of the history department, in her nomination of Harris. "We - the old timers - still talk about the class he taught when he came for his interview almost 20 years ago. It was a large gen ed class; instead of lecturing as every other candidate has always done, he boldly led a discussion with 50 students he did not know in front of the entire faculty. Not only that, but it worked."

Polasky went on to say that Harris truly combines his teaching and his scholarship, writing books that are accessible to non specialists as well as academics. "He is the perfect embodiment of the Lindberg ideals of bringing scholarship to our students and of teaching through our publications."

Harris's publications include Plain Folk and Gentry in a Slave Society, which is still taught widely in college classes after 20 years; Society and Culture in the Slave South, which he edited; and Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation. Deep Souths was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2002 and won the James Rawling competition for books dealing with race relations.

"It should come as no surprise the Deep Souths, written by J. William Harris, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize . . . Deep Souths brings us closer to an understanding of how place and time shaped the different ways that the politics and cultures of segregation played out on the Georgia Sea Coast, in the Mississippi Delta, and in the Georgia Piedmont." ó Sarah Judson, Journal of American History

His latest book, The Making of the American South: A Short History, 1500-1877, was published earlier this year. Harris has held fellowships at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the National Center for the Humanities in North Carolina and the Center for Humanities at UNH, and taught as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Genoa.

In addition, Harris is consistently at the top of course evaluation rankings by students. "Those who have worked on research papers with him cannot overstate the patience displayed and time committed to their projects. He is, without question, the ultimate teacher," Dean Hoskin of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of New Hampshire, said.

Courses Taught:
HIST 506: African American History
HIST 611/811: Civil War Era
HIST 625: Southern History and Literature HIST
787: Quantitative Methods and Computers for Historians

Fields of Research:
history of the American South, civil war, African American history


2007-2008 Session

2009-2010 Session


Copyright 2008, Teaching American History