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Amherst college first Year Seminar 6

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First Year Seminar 6


Fall 2010 Professor David W. Wills

T,TH 11:30-12:50 Chapin 112

September 7: Introduction to the Course
September 9: Hawaii and Indonesia

Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father, pp. vii-xvii, 1-52

September 14: Punahou, Occidental, and Columbia

Obama, Dreams, pp. 53-129

Paper Due in class
September 16: Chicago I

Obama, Dreams, pp. 133-206

September 21: Chicago II

Obama, Dreams, pp. 207-295.

Paper Due in class
September 23: Kenya I

Obama, Dreams, pp. 299-366

September 28: Kenya II

Obama, Dreams, 367-442

Paper Due in class
September 30: Montgomery and the Beginning of the Boycott

Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom, preface, chs 1-4

October 5: Violence and Nonviolence

King, Stride, chs. 5-8

Paper Due in class
October 7: Desegregation and Beyond

King, Stride, chs. 9-11


October 14: King and the Civil Rights Movement: From Montgomery to Memphis

David Levering Lewis, “Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Promise of Nonviolent Populism,” in John Hope Franklin and August Meier, eds., Black Leaders of the

Twentieth Century, pp. 277-303 (packet)
October 19: King, Malcolm X, Black Power, and Black Theology

Malcolm X, “Twenty Million Black People in a Political, Economic, and Mental Prison,” in Bruce Perry, ed., Malcolm X: The Last Speeches, pp. 25-57 (packet).

Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power, ch. 2 (packet).

James Cone, Black Theology and Black Power, ch. 1 (packet).

October 21: King’s Response:

Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, ch.2 (packet)

Paper Due in Class
October 26: Martin Luther King, Jr. : Sources of His Thought and Rhetoric

James Cone, “The Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Union Seminary Quarterly Review, XL, 4 (1986): 21-39 (e-reserve)).

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Autobiography of Religious Development,” in Clayborne Carson, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Vol 1, pp. 359-363 (packet)

Martin Luther King, Jr., “MIA Mass Meeting,” C. Carson, King Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 71- 79 (packet).

Keith D. Miller, “Composing Martin Luther King, Jr., “ Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol. 105, No. 1, pp. 70-82 (e-reserve).
October 28: Liberalism vs. Prophetic Realism

David Chappell, A Stone of Hope, introduction and chs 1-3 (purchase)

November 2: Niebuhr, King, and African American Religious Intellectuals

Reinhold Niebuhr, “The Ethic of Jesus and the Social Problem,” Religion in Life, 1932 (packet)

Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society, chs. 7 & 9 (packet)

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Reinhold Niebuhr’s Ethical Dualism,” The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Vol. 2, pp.141-152 (packet)

Dennis Dickerson, “African American Religious Intellectuals and the Theological Foundations of the Civil Rights Movement, 1930-55,” Church History ,74:2 (June 2005): 217-2`35 (e-reserve)
November 4: The Civil Rights Movement as a Religious Revival

Chappell, Stone, chs. 4-5

November 9: Foundations of the Christian Right?

Chappell, Stone, ch 6 (pp. 105-123 only), ch 7 (pp.139-152 only), ch. 8 and conclusion.

Paper Due in class
November 11: Partisanship, Values, and the Constitution

Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, prologue, ch. 1 (pp. 15-21, 25-42 only), chs 2-3, and ch. 4 (pp 102-104, 109-115 only) (purchase).

November 16: Economics, Opportunity, and Foreign Relations

Obama, Hope, chs. 5 and 8

November 18: Religion, Race and Jeremiah Wright

Obama, Hope, chs. 6-7

Kelefa Sanneh, “Project Trinity: The Perilous Mission of Obama’s Church,” New Yorker, April 7, 2008, pp.30-36 (packet).

Jeremiah Wright, Jr., “Doing Black Theology in the Black Church,” in Linda E. Thomas, ed., Living Stones in the Household of God, pp. 13-23 (packet)

Barack Obama, “A More Perfect Union, (packet).

Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor, “A Strained Wright-Obama Bond Finally Snaps,”

New York Times, May 1, 2008 (packet)

November 19: Friday 4:00 P.M. Paper Due


November 30: Getting Elected, Taking Charge

Jonathan Alter, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, preface, prologue, chapters 1- 6 (purchase).

Barack Obama, Election Night Remarks (packet)

December 2: First Months

J. Alter, Promise, chapters 7-8, 10-12, acknowledgments, note on sources

“Obama’s Inaugural Speech” (packet)

December 7: Method, Style, and Issues of Race

J. Alter, Promise, chapters 9, 13, 16-17, 19

December 9: Foreign Policy--Afghanistan

J. Alter, Promise, chapters 14, 20-21.

“Barack Obama Cairo Speech,” June 4, 2009 (packet)

“Obama’s Address on the War in Afghanistan” (packet)

“Obama’s Nobel Remarks” (packet)

December 14: Domestic Policy--Health Care, Wall Street, and Economic Recovery

J. Alter, Promise, chapters 15, 18, 22 and epilogue

December 17

Friday: 4:00 P.M. Final Paper Due

Books for Purchase (Jeffrey Amherst College Store)

Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father (Three Rivers)

Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom (Harper)

David Chappell, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (North Carolina)

Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope (Three Rivers)

Jonathan Alter, The Promise: President Obama, Year One (Simon & Shuster)

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