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8 American History Classes In Honor Of An American Holiday

American History Classes at SUNY

Are you a fan of history? How about America? Would you like to take a class you’ve never heard of before? Well, in the spirit of Independence Day, I’ve searched through all  64  of our SUNY campuses to find some of the most diverse American history courses.

So check out these 8 classes that illuminate American history, progress or change–or check out the dozens more with the interactive SUNY Program Search tool!


Revolution & The Founding

This course is a political, legal, and social history of the American Revolution and the founding of the United States of America. With extensive reading in primary documents and scholarly articles, this intensive study is intended to aid in the development of your critical reading and writing abilities, help you construct a complex understanding of the past, and introduce you to the significance and excitement of the revolutionary birth of the United States of America.
Binghamton University


Civil rights: A Documentary Approach

It is here where you will look at the intersection of history and media as it pertains to the American civil rights movement. Focusing on the landmark archival television series Eyes on the Prize and a range of primary and secondary sources (documents, films, music, and more), you will study not only the historical events depicted on screen, but also the ways in which these events were documented, archived, and later shaped into public media.
University at Albany


The Cold War: To the Brink of Armageddon

Here students examines and analyzes the causes, conduct, and impact of the U.S.-Soviet struggle for global supremacy between 1945-1991. It also emphasizes  the “Forgotten War” in Korea , the Cuban Missile Crisis (when the world tottered on the brink of nuclear holocaust), and the Vietnam War, the longest and most divisive conflict in American history.
Finger Lakes Community College


Sex in American History

This course is essentially a survey, examining the last four hundred years of sexualities in the regions that currently make up the United States. Among the topics covered are reproduction, fertility, birth control, and abortion; prostitution, pornography, and commercialized sex; and same-sex and cross-sex sexualities. This class explores the importance of sexuality in history; the relationship between sexuality and class, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, and sex; and the ways in which the study of sexuality offers opportunities to re-think major themes in U.S. social, cultural, and political history.
Binghamton University


“Aren’t I a Woman?”: The Construction of Womanhood in the U.S.

This course traces competing images of American womanhood from the colonial era to the present, paying particular attention to groups outside of the mainstream: the poor, slaves, people of color, immigrants, and women’s rights activists (including radical feminists and lesbians). The course revolves around questions like: What constitutes womanhood? Who is excluded? What are the implications of their exclusion?
SUNY Purchase College


Wealth and Inequality in the Modern Corporate Age

This course dives into the dynamics by which wealth has been created in an American economy dominated by large corporations, and the changing patterns of inequity that have followed. Here you will learn about large corporations in United States and their impact. This is a perfect class for those who might have been interested by the latest Occupy Movement.
Stony Brook University


Movies and Modern American Society

Students examine the political and social context out of which some American film classics emerged. In this class you will study a variety of major movies, ranging from “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Casablanca,” “Dr. Strangelove,” and “M.A.S.H.,” to more recent hits like “Star Wars,” and “Platoon.”
University at Buffalo


 Food and Culture in the U.S.

While this is not your typical “American History class” it might be something you find interesting. This class explores the way food, eating, and popular culture intersect. Topics include: the social history of food in the U.S.; the role food plays in shaping ethnic and gender identity; how food processing advertising influences eating habits; the cultural significance of current food trends.
SUNY Plattsburgh


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    Written by Steven Molinari

    Steven was a student assistant in the Office of Communications of the State University of New York in summer 2014. He is an undergraduate political science student at Binghamton University.

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