History Department
History Department

Signe Fourmy


LecturerPh.D.,, University of Texas at Austin; J.D., University of Houston Law Center; B.A., Notre Dame

Signe Fourmy

Contact

Interests


Slavery, Resistance, and the Law

Courses


HIS 317L • Intro To African Amer Hist

39479 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.104
HI (also listed as AFR 315K)

This course is a survey of African-American history from the colonial era to the present focusing on the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Black people in the United States. Throughout the semester we will examine major topics and themes in African-American history that include: its beginnings in Africa; the Middle Passage and trans-Atlantic slave trade; colonial and antebellum slavery; the abolition movement; the free black experience; emancipation; “Jim Crow” segregation; racial violence; mass incarceration; mass migrations and the “New Negro”; Black participation in international wars; Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Feminist Movement(s); popular culture; and ongoing struggles against social, political, and economic inequality. We will pay special attention to the meanings of citizenship, social movements, sexuality, class, and gender.

Course materials will include primary and secondary sources. Students will be required to complete four short (500-words) written assignments and then will have the opportunity to determine how to demonstrate their learning by selecting the other assignments that contribute to their final grade from a pre-determined “menu” of options. At the end of the course, students will have developed an understanding of African American history and met specific learning objectives that require students to: 1) Critically examine historical documents (primary sources) and scholarly interpretations (secondary sources) concerning key elements of African-American history; 2) Analyze the impact of enslavement and discrimination, as well as ideologies of race, gender, sexuality, status, and white supremacy, on the experiences of African-Americans; 3) Explain the causes and ramifications of mass migrations of African-Americans from rural to urban areas, as well as from southern to northern and western sites; 4) Analyze the effects of significant events on African-Americans (e.g., the Great Depression and world wars); 5) Identify and compare strategies of organizations and social movements focused on civil rights; and 6) Demonstrate the ability to think and communicate critically and analytically in written work.

HIS 345L • Amer Civ War/Reconstr, 1861-77

39629 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM UTC 1.102
CD HI

What caused the Civil War? Was the Civil War inevitable? Was it necessary? How does a divided nation reunite? Was Reconstruction a success or a failure? This course will examine historians’ changing interpretations and approaches to answering these questions as we consider the causes, course, character, and consequences of the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Starting in 1850 and continuing through the end of Reconstruction in 1877, we will examine the period and its people from multiple perspectives and consider the war’s effect on different groups including those who experienced it firsthand on the battlefronts, the enslaved and formerly enslaved, indigenous Americans, and women of all social orders.

The primary goal of the course is for students to understand the multiple meanings of, arguably, the most transformative event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes will be closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction.

At the end of the course, students will have developed an understanding of the social, political, economic, and cultural forces that led to the Civil War as well as the consequences of that war. Students will: 1) Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources; 2) Critically assess the social, economic, and political factors that contributed to and resulted from the Civil War; 3) Evaluate the success/failure of Reconstruction; and 4) Develop, articulate, and defend educated arguments and conclusions using fact-based evidence, both orally and in writing.
Course materials will include primary and secondary sources.

Required readings:
Bruce Levine, The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution that Transformed the South (New York: Random House Books, 2013).

Thavolia Glymph, The Women’s Fight: The Civil War’s Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2020).

Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War

All other readings and primary sources will be available on Canvas.

Assignments/Grades:
Attendance (5%)
Primary Source Analysis Responses (20%)
Confederate Monuments Assignment (15%)
The Civil War in Popular Culture Assignment (15%)
Historical Newspaper Assignment (15%)
Final Assessment (30%)

HIS 350R • Domestic Slave Trade-Wb

39410 • Spring 2021
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDWr HI (also listed as AFR 350T)
 

HIS 350R • Black Women On Trial-Wb

38214 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr HI (also listed as WGS 340)
 

HIS N315K • The United States, 1492-1865

81960 • Summer 2019
Meets MTWTH 11:30AM-1:00PM MEZ B0.302
CD HI

This class will cover United States history from European exploration of North America (1492) to the culmination of the Civil War (1865). Lectures, discussions, and assignments will encourage students to think critically, analyze competing points of view, and develop and articulate an understanding of important events, themes, people, and changes over time.  

We will examine pivotal events in American history such as reasons for colonization; the causes and consequences of the American War for Independence; the creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution; the evolution of political thought through the Early Republic and antebellum periods; the emergence of sectional loyalties that contributed to divisions between the Southern slaveholding and Northern free states; and the causes and results of the Civil War. In addition to studying these specific events, we will look at broader historical shifts such as the gradual transition from indentured servitude to race-based slavery; the emergence of republicanism; the development of the free labor ideology; the role of religion in shaping American culture; the transition from an agrarian to a market economy; and technological innovations that revolutionized travel, communication, and warfare.

We will examine the people, ideas, and legislation that shaped American life, paying special attention to the themes of race and gender. Focusing on the long arc of slavery as central to the development of American economy and prosperity, we will consider the transition from indentured servitude to race-based slavery; the role of slavery in defining liberty and citizenship; the political and social conflicts stemming from the expansion of the domestic slave trade; and the abolition of slavery. In tandem with race, we will focus on gender in order to evaluate whether concepts of domestic and public spheres adequately defined women’s roles in the home and community; assess women’s contributions to religious and reform movements; and consider how women participated in the emerging political economy of early America.

History is more than the study of dates—it is the examination of peoples’ public and private lives; it is the consideration of individuals’ and groups’ actions, perspectives, motivations, successes, failures, and purposes; it is understanding how and why people acted, interacted, and reacted the ways that they did. Understanding history involves analyzing how actions and reactions shaped life locally, regionally, and nationally. History is the study of continuity and change in communities—large and small—across time and space. Therefore, we will endeavor to connect issues confronting our 21st century world to their historical roots in order to understand how the past has shaped the present/future.

 

REQUIRED READING:

-    Online Text: The American Yawp

-    Williams, Heather A. American Slavery: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

-    Primary Source Readings, posted on Canvas

 

EXAMS & ASSIGNMENTS:

-    Attendance 10%

-    In-Class Quizzes 10%

-    Midterm 20%

-    Primary Source Analysis Assignments 25%

-    Final Exam 35%

 

HIS F315K • The United States, 1492-1865

82865 • Summer 2018
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM CAL 100
CD HI

This class will cover United States history from European exploration of North America (1492) to the culmination of the Civil War (1865). Lectures, discussions, and assignments will encourage students to think critically, analyze competing points of view, and develop and articulate an understanding of important events, themes, people, and changes over time.  
We will examine pivotal events in American history such as reasons for colonization; the causes and consequences of the American War for Independence; the creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution; the evolution of political thought through the Early Republic and antebellum periods; the emergence of sectional loyalties that contributed to divisions between the Southern slaveholding and Northern free states; and the causes and results of the Civil War. In addition to studying these specific events, we will look at broader historical shifts such as the gradual transition from indentured servitude to race-based slavery; the emergence of republicanism; the development of the free labor ideology; the role of religion in shaping American culture; the transition from an agrarian to a market economy; and technological innovations that revolutionized travel, communication, and warfare.
We will examine the people, ideas, and legislation that shaped American life, paying special attention to the themes of race and gender. Focusing on the long arc of slavery as central to the development of American economy and prosperity, we will consider the transition from indentured servitude to race-based slavery; the role of slavery in defining liberty and citizenship; the political and social conflicts stemming from the expansion of the domestic slave trade; and the abolition of slavery. In tandem with race, we will focus on gender in order to evaluate whether concepts of domestic and public spheres adequately defined women’s roles in the home and community; assess women’s contributions to religious and reform movements; and consider how women participated in the emerging political economy of early America.
History is more than the study of dates—it is the examination of peoples’ public and private lives; it is the consideration of individuals’ and groups’ actions, perspectives, motivations, successes, failures, and purposes; it is understanding how and why people acted, interacted, and reacted the ways that they did. Understanding history involves analyzing how actions and reactions shaped life locally, regionally, and nationally. History is the study of continuity and change in communities—large and small—across time and space. Therefore, we will endeavor to connect issues confronting our 21st century world to their historical roots in order to understand how the past has shaped the present/future.

REQUIRED READING:
-    Online Text: The American Yawp
-    Williams, Heather A. American Slavery: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
-    Primary Source Readings, posted on Canvas

EXAMS & ASSIGNMENTS:
-    Attendance 10%
-    In-Class Quizzes 10%
-    Midterm 20%
-    Primary Source Analysis 15%
-    Historical Monument Video/PowerPoint 15%
-    Final Exam 30%

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