Spring 2020

Student Activism in U.S. History: Past and Present

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-310  |  History, as HIST-251


Mike Jirik (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 251 and BLST 310) What are the limits and possibilities of students engaging in social justice movements within a college campus? Which political issues have sparked student movements in the U.S. and why? Why do some student movements succeed, why do others fail, and how might one define and evaluate the meaning of success? How have student movements in higher education changed over time? This course surveys the history of collegiate student activism for freedom and racial equality during the abolition movement; Reconstruction and Jim Crow; The Long Civil Rights Movement; and Black Lives Matter. In particular, this course will explore how students have fought to secure freedom, equality, and citizenship through higher education. Students will also critically engage with how other social movements have impacted college campuses. Readings include historical monographs and student writings. Assignments include two papers based on primary and secondary sources and a presentation. Two class meetings per week.

Spring Semester. Professor Jirik.


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2021