The African American Experience From Slavery To The Presidency HIST4027

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The election of Barrack Obama in 2008 was a groundbreaking event in African American history, and has led many to question whether the United States is now 'post-racial.' This course will examine black history, race relations and gender from the perspective of African Americans: beginning with the emancipation of enslaved African Americans during the Civil War, through the civil rights struggles that began during Reconstruction and continued into the twentieth century, and ending with a discussion of African American culture and politics in the twenty-first century.


Taught twice weekly

Requirements of Entry

Admission to honours in History.

Excluded Courses





Coursework - class essay (2000 words approximately)

Examination duration - 120mins

Coursework - seminar presentation

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims common to all the Department's Honours modules are as follows:

1. the development of the intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years.

2. awareness of previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options.

3. to offer the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness.

4. familiarity with complex historical debates and interpretations, skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research.

5. the development of transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Chart the course of African American history since the Civil War

■ Analyse the changing role of African Americans in US society, politics and culture

■ Articulate the ways in which African Americans have challenged the status quo, and evaluate the extent to which African Americans have been successful in improving their status in the United States

■ Engage with and critically evaluate different historiographical and popular interpretations of African American history and culture

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.