History Department
History Department

David M. Oshinsky


Professor EmeritusPh.D., 1971, Brandeis University

Jack S. Blanton, Sr. Chair Emeritus in History
David M. Oshinsky

Contact

Biography


Dr. Oshinsky is currently Director of the Division of Medical Humanities at New York University. He can be contacted at:
http://www.med.nyu.edu/biosketch/oshind01#


Awards/Honors

2010 Cartwright Prize from Columbia University Medical Center for his research into the history of polio

2009 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dean’s Medal for significant contributions to the field of public health

2006 Pulitzer Prize winner in the History category for his book, Polio: An American Story, (Oxford University Press, 2005)


Courses


HIS 350R • Const Issues In 20th-C Us

39575 • Spring 2013
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM PAR 101

This course will consider a number of the key constitutional issues in modern America, including gun control, reproductive rights, free speech codes, campaign financing, affirmative action, and the death penalty.  Students will be expected to participate actively in class and to research and write a term paper, approximately 40 pages in length, on a constitutional topic.  The class will consist of weekly seminar meetings followed by weekly individual meetings with Professor Oshinsky to go over drafts of the term papers.  

BOOKS:

Peter Irons, THE COURAGE OF THEIR CONVICTIONS

Anthony Lewis, FREEDOM FOR THE THOUGHT WE HATE

David Oshinsky, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ON TRIAL

Richard Posner, NOT A SUICIDE PACT: THE CONSTITUTION IN TIMES OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Geoffrey Stone, PERILOUS TIMES

Scott Turow, ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT

GRADING:

Based on a number of factors, including class participation and attendance.  But the main element-- and course objective-- is to produce a term-paper, approximately 40 pages in length. focused heavily on original research and primary sources.

T C 357 • History Of American Medicine

43120 • Spring 2013
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM CRD 007A

Description:

This seminar will explore the immense historical importance of infectious disease, in particular, using it as a lens to confront larger issues in the changing world of medical practice and investigation. We will study the impact of disease at critical points in American history, focusing upon the great epidemics that devastated our nation, as well as the scientific breakthroughs in epidemiology, vaccines and antibiotics that tamed the scourge of cholera, polio, typhoid fever, and influenza, among other deadly diseases. We will see, as well, how the battle against disease revolutionized philanthropy and medical research in the United States. And we will see the impact of disease upon different segments of the American population.

 

Texts/Readings:

Steven Johnson, THE GHOST MAP

James Jones, BAD BLOOD

Gina Kolata, FLU

Paul Offit, AUTISM’S FALSE PROPHETS

David Oshinsky, POLIO: AN AMERICAN STORY

Judith Walzer Leavitt, TYPHOID MARY

 

Assignments:

Students will be required to lead one class discussion, write one book review, and write a term paper, approximately thirty pages in length, based largely on primary sources.  

 

About the Professor:

Professor Oshinsky specializes in 20th Century U.S. political and cultural history. He is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and holds the Jack S. Blanton Chair in History.  Professor Oshinsky was the Pulitzer Prize winner in 2006 in the History category for his recently published book, Polio: An American Story.  In 2009, he was awarded the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dean’s Medal for significant contributions to the field of public health. In 2010, he won the Cartwright Prize from Columbia University Medical Center for his research into the history of polio.

 

HIS 350R • Const Issues In 20th-C Us

39440 • Spring 2012
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM PAR 101

The first part of the term will be devoted to classroom discussion of First amendment issues regarding freedom of speech, the press, and religion, as well as Eighth Amendment issues regarding the death penalty.  The second part of the term will be devoted to the term paper, 45-60 pages in length, based upon clear writing, original research, and the analysis of primary sources.  Each student will meet individually with Professor Oshinsky once every week, in the second half of the term, to over a portion of the paper the student has handed in.  At least two drafts of the term paper will be required of each student during the term.

BOOKS:

Peter Irons, THE COURAGE OF THEIR CONVICTIONS

Anthony Lewis, FREEDOM FOR THE THOUGHT WE HATE

David Oshinsky, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ON TRIAL

Richard Posner, NOT A SUICIDE PACT: THE CONSTITUTION IN TIMES OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Geoffrey Stone, PERILOUS TIMES

Scott Turow, ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT

GRADING:

Based on a number of factors, including class participation and attendance.  But the main element-- and course objective-- is to produce a term-paper, 45-60 pages in length. focused heavily on original research and primary sources.

T C 357 • History Of American Medicine

42965 • Spring 2012
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM CRD 007A

Description:

The course will focus on the theory and practice of medicine in the United States from the 17th century to the present.  Topics include our changing biological environment, the history of public health campaigns, the development of medical research, the role of the physician, and the impact of disease on American history.

 

Texts/Readings:

Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague

Judith Leavitt, Typhoid Mary

David Oshinsky, Polio: An American Story

Charles Rosenberg, The Cholera Years

Paul Starr, The Transformation of American Medicine.

 

Assignments:

Students will be required to lead one class discussion, write one book review, and write a term paper, approximately thirty pages in length, based largely on primary sources.  

 

About the Professor:

Professor Oshinsky specializes in 20th Century U.S. political and cultural history. He was the Pulitzer Prize winner in 2006 in the History category for his recently published book, Polio: An American Story.

HIS 350R • Const Issues In 20th-C Us

39757 • Spring 2011
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM PAR 101

The first part of the term will be devoted to classroom discussion of First amendment issues regarding freedom of speech, the press, and religion, as well as Eighth Amendment issues regarding the death penalty.  The second part of the term will be devoted to the term paper, 45-60 pages in length, based upon clear writing, original research, and the analysis of primary sources.  Each student will meet individually with Professor Oshinsky once every week, in the second half of the term, to over a portion of the paper the student has handed in.  At least two drafts of the term paper will be required of each student during the term.

BOOKS:

Peter Irons, THE COURAGE OF THEIR CONVICTIONS

Anthony Lewis, FREEDOM FOR THE THOUGHT WE HATE

David Oshinsky, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ON TRIAL

Richard Posner, NOT A SUICIDE PACT: THE CONSTITUTION IN TIMES OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Geoffrey Stone, PERILOUS TIMES

Scott Turow, ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT

GRADING:

Based on a number of factors, including class participation and attendance.  But the main element-- and course objective-- is to produce a term-paper, 45-60 pages in length. focused heavily on original research and primary sources.

T C 357 • History Of American Medicine

43455 • Spring 2011
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM CRD 007A

Description:

The course will focus on the theory and practice of medicine in the United States from the 17th century to the present.  Topics include our changing biological environment, the history of public health campaigns, the development of medical research, the role of the physician, and the impact of disease on American history.

 

Texts/Readings:

Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague

Judith Leavitt, Typhoid Mary

David Oshinsky, Polio: An American Story

Charles Rosenberg, The Cholera Years

Paul Starr, The Transformation of American Medicine.

 

Assignments:

Students will be required to lead one class discussion, write one book review, and write a term paper, approximately thirty pages in length, based largely on primary sources.  

 

About the Professor:

Professor Oshinsky specializes in 20th Century U.S. political and cultural history. He was the Pulitzer Prize winner in 2006 in the History category for his recently published book, Polio: An American Story.

 

T C 357 • History Of American Medicine

43585 • Spring 2010
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM CRD 007B

PLAN II HONORS SEMINAR: HISTORY OF AMERICAN MEDICINE
                                                TC 357

                                   Spring 2010, DAVID OSHINSKY
                                   Email: oshinsky@mail.utexas.edu
                                   Office: Garrison Hall, 3.504
                                   Office Hours: Monday 11:00-1145. 3:00-4:00
                                                           Tuesday 8:30-915
      
This seminar will focus on the ways in which American medicine and medical research have advanced over the past few centuries, shaped by dramatic scientific breakthroughs and sweeping cultural changes.  At the center of our study is the immense historical importance of infectious disease, from the first contact between Europeans and Native Americans to modern-day crises inflicted by influenza, tuberculosis, and AIDS.  We will study the impact of disease at critical points in American history, such as westward expansion, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and various waves of immigration.  We will discuss the great epidemics that devastated our nation, as well as the scientific advances in vaccines and antibiotics that tamed the scourge of smallpox, polio, and pneumonia, among other deadly diseases.  We will see, as well, how the battle against disease revolutionized philanthropy and medical research in the United States.             

GRADING:  As an honors seminar, this course will have a heavier workload than normal.   Students will be expected to keep up with the reading and to participate actively in class discussion.  Each student will help to lead one class meeting.  There will be one book review (800 words) and a term paper, based on original research (10,000  words ).  The 800-word review, from a book on the course reading list, must be handed in before that book is discussed in class and cannot be the book associated with the weekly discussion that the student has chosen to lead.   The term paper must be on a medical subject of historical and/or contemporary importance.  All paper topics must be cleared with Professor Oshinsky

REQUIRED TEXTS:

Steven Johnson, THE GHOST MAP
James Jones, BAD BLOOD
Gina Kolata, FLU
Howard Markel, WHEN GERMS TRAVEL
Paul Offit, AUTISM’S FALSE PROPHETS
David Oshinsky, POLIO: AN AMERICAN STORY
Judith Walzer Leavitt, TYPHOID MARY

CLASS SCHEDULE:

January 25:  GOSPEL OF GERMS,
                     Markel, 5-176

February 1:  CHOLERA YEARS,
                     Johnson (entire).

February 8:    QUARANTINE,  CULTURE, AD PUBLIC HEALTH
                      Walzer (entire)

February 15:  THE GREAT INFLUENZA
                        Kolata (entire)   
 
February 22:  RACE AND MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION in AMERICA
                       Jones (entire)

March 1:       THE GREAT POLIO CRUSADE
                      Oshinsky (entire)

March 8:       THE VACCINATION CONTROVERSY
                      Offit (entire)

March 15:      SPRING BREAK

March 22:     FIRST INDIVIDUAL MEETING WITH PROF. OSHINSKY

     
      From March 22 to the end of the term, students will meet individually with Professor Oshinsky each Monday to discuss their progress in writing the term paper.  Six new pages of the draft will be required every week; the student and Professor Oshinsky will go over these pages, line by line, until the draft is transformed into a polished finished product.  Students will email their weekly pages to Professor Oshinsky no later than 4:00 p.m. each Friday.    

     The Final Paper is due no later than THURSDAY. MAY 6 at 4:00 p.m.  Late papers will not be accepted.

HIS 350L • Const Issues In 20th-C Us-W

40955 • Fall 2007
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436A

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

HIS 355P • United States Since 1941

41005 • Fall 2007
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CAL 100

This course examines major shifts and changes in the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the U.S. since 1941, paying particular attention to some of the defining historical frameworks of the era: World War II and the origins of the Cold War, Suburbanization in the Fifties, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, the “Sixties,” the Women’s Movement, the “Seventies,” Reagan and the triumph of conservatism, the end of the Cold War, and politics and society in the global era.  Classes will consist of both lecture and discussion, and we will be drawing from a variety of sources, such as works of historical analysis, fiction, primary documents, photographs, and film clips.  Students will read, analyze, and critique the arguments of historians and other chroniclers of the times with the aim of formulating and developing their own arguments.  Class discussions, exams, and written assignments will serve as opportunities for students to hone their analytical and argumentative skills. 

  

Required Texts:

Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics.  Free Press, 2001.

Howard-Pitney, Martin L King, Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents.  Bedford, 2004.

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II.  Back Bay Book, 2001.

Elaine May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era.  Basic Books, 2008.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction.  Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

CP: Course Pack available at Speedway Printers in Dobie Mall

 

Course Requirements

Three reading handouts (15%)

Three in-class exams (60%)

Five-page argumentative Essay (25%)

Plus/Minus grades will be assigned as the final grades

HIS 392 • 20th-Century United States

40045 • Spring 2007
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 554

Graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

 

HIS 350L • Const Issues In 20th-C Us-W

40635 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 128

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

HIS 355P • United States Since 1941

40695 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CAL 100

This course examines major shifts and changes in the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the U.S. since 1941, paying particular attention to some of the defining historical frameworks of the era: World War II and the origins of the Cold War, Suburbanization in the Fifties, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, the “Sixties,” the Women’s Movement, the “Seventies,” Reagan and the triumph of conservatism, the end of the Cold War, and politics and society in the global era.  Classes will consist of both lecture and discussion, and we will be drawing from a variety of sources, such as works of historical analysis, fiction, primary documents, photographs, and film clips.  Students will read, analyze, and critique the arguments of historians and other chroniclers of the times with the aim of formulating and developing their own arguments.  Class discussions, exams, and written assignments will serve as opportunities for students to hone their analytical and argumentative skills. 

  

Required Texts:

Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics.  Free Press, 2001.

Howard-Pitney, Martin L King, Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents.  Bedford, 2004.

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II.  Back Bay Book, 2001.

Elaine May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era.  Basic Books, 2008.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction.  Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

CP: Course Pack available at Speedway Printers in Dobie Mall

 

Course Requirements

Three reading handouts (15%)

Three in-class exams (60%)

Five-page argumentative Essay (25%)

Plus/Minus grades will be assigned as the final grades

HIS 350L • Constitutnl Iss In 20th-C Us-W

38600 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 107

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

HIS 355P • United States Since 1941

38730 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 3.102

This course examines major shifts and changes in the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the U.S. since 1941, paying particular attention to some of the defining historical frameworks of the era: World War II and the origins of the Cold War, Suburbanization in the Fifties, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, the “Sixties,” the Women’s Movement, the “Seventies,” Reagan and the triumph of conservatism, the end of the Cold War, and politics and society in the global era.  Classes will consist of both lecture and discussion, and we will be drawing from a variety of sources, such as works of historical analysis, fiction, primary documents, photographs, and film clips.  Students will read, analyze, and critique the arguments of historians and other chroniclers of the times with the aim of formulating and developing their own arguments.  Class discussions, exams, and written assignments will serve as opportunities for students to hone their analytical and argumentative skills. 

  

Required Texts:

Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics.  Free Press, 2001.

Howard-Pitney, Martin L King, Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents.  Bedford, 2004.

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II.  Back Bay Book, 2001.

Elaine May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era.  Basic Books, 2008.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction.  Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

CP: Course Pack available at Speedway Printers in Dobie Mall

 

Course Requirements

Three reading handouts (15%)

Three in-class exams (60%)

Five-page argumentative Essay (25%)

Plus/Minus grades will be assigned as the final grades

HIS 315L • United States Since 1865

38025 • Fall 2004
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WCH 1.120

Survey of United States history since the Civil War.

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

 

HIS 350L • Constitutnl Iss In 20th-C Us-W

38240 • Fall 2004
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 107

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

HIS 315L • United States Since 1865-Hon

35657 • Spring 2004
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CBA 4.332

Survey of United States history since the Civil War.

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

 

HIS 355P • United States Since 1941

35903 • Spring 2004
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.124

This course examines major shifts and changes in the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the U.S. since 1941, paying particular attention to some of the defining historical frameworks of the era: World War II and the origins of the Cold War, Suburbanization in the Fifties, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, the “Sixties,” the Women’s Movement, the “Seventies,” Reagan and the triumph of conservatism, the end of the Cold War, and politics and society in the global era.  Classes will consist of both lecture and discussion, and we will be drawing from a variety of sources, such as works of historical analysis, fiction, primary documents, photographs, and film clips.  Students will read, analyze, and critique the arguments of historians and other chroniclers of the times with the aim of formulating and developing their own arguments.  Class discussions, exams, and written assignments will serve as opportunities for students to hone their analytical and argumentative skills. 

  

Required Texts:

Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics.  Free Press, 2001.

Howard-Pitney, Martin L King, Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents.  Bedford, 2004.

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II.  Back Bay Book, 2001.

Elaine May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era.  Basic Books, 2008.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction.  Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

CP: Course Pack available at Speedway Printers in Dobie Mall

 

Course Requirements

Three reading handouts (15%)

Three in-class exams (60%)

Five-page argumentative Essay (25%)

Plus/Minus grades will be assigned as the final grades

HIS 392 • 20th-Century United States

36997 • Fall 2003
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM GAR 107

Graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

 

HIS 350L • Constitutnl Iss In 20th-C Us-W

36220 • Fall 2002
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RAS 211B

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

HIS 355P • United States Since 1941

36355 • Fall 2002
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM UTC 3.134

This course examines major shifts and changes in the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the U.S. since 1941, paying particular attention to some of the defining historical frameworks of the era: World War II and the origins of the Cold War, Suburbanization in the Fifties, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, the “Sixties,” the Women’s Movement, the “Seventies,” Reagan and the triumph of conservatism, the end of the Cold War, and politics and society in the global era.  Classes will consist of both lecture and discussion, and we will be drawing from a variety of sources, such as works of historical analysis, fiction, primary documents, photographs, and film clips.  Students will read, analyze, and critique the arguments of historians and other chroniclers of the times with the aim of formulating and developing their own arguments.  Class discussions, exams, and written assignments will serve as opportunities for students to hone their analytical and argumentative skills. 

  

Required Texts:

Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics.  Free Press, 2001.

Howard-Pitney, Martin L King, Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents.  Bedford, 2004.

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II.  Back Bay Book, 2001.

Elaine May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era.  Basic Books, 2008.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction.  Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

CP: Course Pack available at Speedway Printers in Dobie Mall

 

Course Requirements

Three reading handouts (15%)

Three in-class exams (60%)

Five-page argumentative Essay (25%)

Plus/Minus grades will be assigned as the final grades

HIS 350L • Constitutnl Iss In 20th-C Us-W

36645 • Fall 2001
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 205

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

HIS 355P • United States Since 1941

36785 • Fall 2001
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM ART 1.110

This course examines major shifts and changes in the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the U.S. since 1941, paying particular attention to some of the defining historical frameworks of the era: World War II and the origins of the Cold War, Suburbanization in the Fifties, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, the “Sixties,” the Women’s Movement, the “Seventies,” Reagan and the triumph of conservatism, the end of the Cold War, and politics and society in the global era.  Classes will consist of both lecture and discussion, and we will be drawing from a variety of sources, such as works of historical analysis, fiction, primary documents, photographs, and film clips.  Students will read, analyze, and critique the arguments of historians and other chroniclers of the times with the aim of formulating and developing their own arguments.  Class discussions, exams, and written assignments will serve as opportunities for students to hone their analytical and argumentative skills. 

  

Required Texts:

Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics.  Free Press, 2001.

Howard-Pitney, Martin L King, Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s: A Brief History with Documents.  Bedford, 2004.

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II.  Back Bay Book, 2001.

Elaine May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era.  Basic Books, 2008.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction.  Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

CP: Course Pack available at Speedway Printers in Dobie Mall

 

Course Requirements

Three reading handouts (15%)

Three in-class exams (60%)

Five-page argumentative Essay (25%)

Plus/Minus grades will be assigned as the final grades

Curriculum Vitae


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