220.192 (17S) To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics)

Sommersemester 2017

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Erster Termin der LV
02.03.2017 12:00 - 14:00 , N.1.04
... keine weiteren Termine bekannt

Überblick

Lehrende/r
LV Nummer Südostverbund
GSJ01005UL, GSJ02004UL
LV-Titel englisch
To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics)
LV-Art
Kurs (prüfungsimmanente LV )
Semesterstunde/n
2.0
ECTS-Anrechungspunkte
3.0
Anmeldungen
22 (25 max.)
Organisationseinheit
Unterrichtssprache
Englisch
LV-Beginn
02.03.2017
eLearning
zum Moodle-Kurs
Anmerkungen

!!! INTRODUCTORY MEETING on March 2 !!!
(content: discussion of pragmatics, first contact with the American presidency & constitutional history)

!!! DROP DATE March 16 !!!

Possible extracurricular event #1: a talk organized in cooperation with the US Embassy Vienna.

Possible extracurricular event #2: In cooperation with the Austro-American Society, the class will take part in and contribute to the society’s annual 4th of July party/BBQ (date/details: TBA)

If enrollment numbers exceed the class limit, there will be a pre-selection process.

LV-Beschreibung

Intendierte Lernergebnisse

On January 20, 2017 Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. He did so by pledging to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”. Found in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, the oath was drafted by the Committee of Detail at the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. Even before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, concerns over a potential constitutional crisis began to surface, and they have yet to cease as the new administration continues to roll out. However, a certain level of crisis is arguably built into the Constitution especially with regards to the Office of the President. The sparseness of Article II on the executive — barely a thousand words — provides few clues as to the president’s exact role and position in government. This should not be surprising for a political office created within a framework where government endures while leadership changes. By its very nature, the presidency has crisis, or at least tension and struggles that play out between it and the legislative and judiciary branches, already built-in. Consequently, what else but ‘crisis’ can we expect from an office that was created by “separating to unify” a nation, an ongoing experiment perhaps best described perhaps as a “perpetual ordeal”. For the framers of the Constitution, no office in the new government aroused more suspicion than the presidency. Only by peering through a specifically crafted historical lens can one see links between and among presidents, from George Washington to present-day leaders—links that would otherwise be obscured by a web of distant events.

By way of a concerted, semester-long group effort, our class will engage closely with presidential and constitutional history, aiming to disentangle, explore and understand the origins and development of the American presidency from its creation to the onset of the ‘modern presidency’ (Franklin D. Roosevelt onward). Students will learn that the office occupied by the person who has become known as “the most powerful man on Earth” is in effect not clothed with that much power nor was he ever intended to be. By tapping into key historical documents, like the Constitution, the Federalist papers, inaugural addresses, treaties, etc., and by contextualizing them, students will learn to navigate the forces of contracting and expanding executive power as it shaped American government and culture at large. By way of hands-on work with presidential texts/documents, student will become intimately familiar with a number of better and lesser known presidents through their own words.

Lehrmethodik

Cast in presidential rhetoric:
ASK NOT WHAT THIS COURSE CAN DO FOR YOU; ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THIS COURSE.

Course mode: mini-lecture input, self-directed library research, group discussions, interpretative activities, peer-led/hosted/organized talks, close readings and critical contextualization of primary sources, work on Moodle, possibly extracurricular events, etc.

Be prepared to critically formulate, present & discuss your own (!) thoughts on the topics/texts covered in class since a large part of this class will depend on your concerted input. This class is an interactive and peer-created course and thus students will be expected to engage in self-directed research and to take responsibility for guiding their peers through historical documents. All of the material you will need to get you started will be provided in digital form.

Inhalt/e

The sparseness of Article II on the executive provides few clues as to the president’s role. Too much was left unwritten or unspecified. The Constitution left the contours of that high office to be sketched out in real time, as history played itself out over distinctive eras in American life. Presidents passed through history they did not make but could influence. What had come before was theirs to manage, along with events that occurred during their tenure and while acting on their own agenda of issues. Major events and personalities influenced the development of a presidency for which there was no analog, as would the need for the executive to work in concert with the other branches. Therein lay the boldness of the ‘American experiment’, that is, in separating the institutions enough to prevent tyranny but not so much as to produce gridlock. 

From the earliest presidents onward into the 20th century, individual presidents would vary in regard to their perceptions of the role of presidential leadership. Typically, events such as economic crises, foreign wars, and, most notably, the Civil War were influential in determining which presidents would be the most active, and thus determine presidential success and/or failure. 

Hence, presidential and constitutional history as well as American cultural history at large will provide the main trajectories for our course. Many of the questions that were on the minds of the framers of the constitution continued to cast long shadows:
* Who would make vital appointments?
* Who would command the military?
* Who would make treaties and assume other foreign policy functions?
* What would be the legislative role performed by the president?
* Who would act in national or international emergencies?

The relatively limited definition of the executive office in the Constitution ensured that these questions contributed to the process of the presidency being tried, tested and revised over the course of the ‘continental century’ in the US (i.e. the 'long' 19th century). These developments also foreshadowed the ‘modern presidency’ that we have come to know in the 20th and 21st century.

Topics include but are not limited to:
* Imagining the presidency
* The president as a national symbol
* From the Articles of Confederation to the Constitutional Convention and the ratification of the Constitution
* The cult of the presidency and the discourse of the presidency (special focus: inaugural addresses)
* “[R]emember the ladies”: First Ladies
* “[T]he most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived”: The Vice Presidency
* The republican presidency (Washingtonians/Jeffersonians)
* The democratic presidency (Jacksonians)
* Expansion and contraction of presidential power during and after the Civil War
* The progressive presidency, and the first global presidents

Literatur

Primary
Binkley, Wilfred. 2009. The Man in the White House: His Powers and Duties. The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.
Gormley, Ken. 2016. The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History. New York Univ. Press.
Jones, Charles O. 2016. The American Presidency: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford Univ. Press.
Milkis, Sidney and Michael Nelson. 2012. The American Presidency: Origins & Development, 1776-2011. Sage.
Newton Lott, Davis. 1994. The Presidents Speak: The Inaugural Addresses of the American Presidents, from Washington to Clinton. Henry Holt and Company.

presidency.ucsb.edu. 2017. The American Presidency Project. Available at: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/index.php (accessed 12 February 2017)

Secondary
Cronin, Thomas and Michael Genovese. 1998. The paradoxes of the American presidency. Oxford Univ. Press.
Fiorina, Morris P. et al. 2004. America’s New Democracy (2nd edition). Pearson.
Genovese, Michael. 2010. Encyclopedia of the American Presidency. Facts-on-File.
Hamilton, Neil. 2005. Presidents: A Biographical Dictionary (2nd edition). Facts-on-File.
MacDonald, Forrest. 1994. The American presidency: An intellectual History. Univ. Press of Kansas.
Pious, Richard. 2001. The presidency of the United States: A student companion. Oxford Univ. Press.
Vile, John. 2010. A Companion to the United States Constitution and its Amendments (5th edition). Praeger.

A comprehensive transmedial bibliography, which includes titles that are all available either in our library, via the class lecturer or on the internet, will be provided on Moodle. Making use of these resources will be part of the graded performance (e.g. presidential annotation project, impulse talks).

EVERY student is directed & required to obtain and read texts (primary & secondary) which are tied to individual assignments in order to successfully participate in the class. All texts that are tied to graded assignments will be provided in digital form. Other course material (slideshows, reading assignments, other relevant material etc.) will also be made available in digital form on Moodle.

Prüfungsinformationen

Prüfungsmethode/n

IN-CLASS:
1) Attendance/participation/reading assignments/work on Moodle,
2) ‘Committee of Text’-work,
3) A ‘The presidents in context’-talk, OR: a ‘In their own words’-talk

WRITTEN:
4) A ‘Presidential annotation’
5) A final essay (contextualization/analysis of one presidential document/primary source)

Prüfungsinhalt/e

You will need to achieve a positive grade in ALL pillars of assessment (parts 1-5) in order to receive a passing grade for the class ("sudden death-rule").

Sign up for assignments will be conducted via Moodle (first-come, first-served).

Beurteilungskriterien/-maßstäbe

All written assignments MUST be submitted via Moodle before the given deadlines.

Late submissions of ANY assignments that have a deadline attached to them will generally NOT be accepted once the deadline has passed.

Any case of plagiarism will inevitably lead to immediate expulsion from the class.

Beurteilungsschema

Note/Grade Benotungsschema

Position im Curriculum

  • Bachelorstudium Angewandte Kulturwissenschaft (SKZ: 642, Version: 09W.3)
    • Fach: Gebundene Wahlfächer (Wahlfach)
      • Modul: Wahlfachmodul Geschichte
        • Wahlfachmodul Geschichte ( 6.0h XX / 12.0 ECTS)
          • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 4.0 ECTS)
  • Bachelor-Lehramtsstudium Bachelor Unterrichtsfach Geschichte, Sozialkunde und Politische Bildung (SKZ: 411, Version: 15W.2)
    • Fach: Geschichte der Menschen, der Geschlechter, der Kultur(en) und Gesellschaften (Wahlfach)
      • GSJ.001 Lehrveranstaltung zu Geschichte der Menschen, der Geschlechter und Gesellschaften 1 ( 2.0h VO, KS / 2.5 ECTS)
        • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 2.5 ECTS)
          Absolvierung im 5., 6., 7., 8. Semester empfohlen
  • Bachelor-Lehramtsstudium Bachelor Unterrichtsfach Geschichte, Sozialkunde und Politische Bildung (SKZ: 411, Version: 15W.2)
    • Fach: Geschichte der Menschen, der Geschlechter, der Kultur(en) und Gesellschaften (Wahlfach)
      • GSJ.002 Lehrveranstaltung zu Geschichte der Menschen, der Geschlechter und Gesellschaften 2 ( 2.0h VO, KS, VU / 2.5 ECTS)
        • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 2.5 ECTS)
          Absolvierung im 5., 6., 7., 8. Semester empfohlen
  • Bachelorstudium Geschichte (SKZ: 603, Version: 11W.1)
    • Fach: Vertiefungsfach 1 (Epoche) (Pflichtfach)
      • Modul: Zeitgeschichte
        • Eine weitere vertiefende Lehrveranstaltung (Zeitgeschichte) ( 2.0h VO/KU / 3.0 ECTS)
          • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 3.0 ECTS)
            Absolvierung im 4., 5., 6. Semester empfohlen
  • Bachelorstudium Geschichte (SKZ: 603, Version: 11W.1)
    • Fach: Vertiefungsfach 2 (weiteres Fach) (Pflichtfach)
      • Eine weitere vertiefende Lehrveranstaltung ( 2.0h VO/KU / 3.0 ECTS)
        • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 3.0 ECTS)
  • Bachelorstudium Geschichte (SKZ: 603, Version: 11W.1)
    • Fach: Gebundenen Wahlfächer (Wahlfach)
      • Gebundenen Wahlfächer ( 0.0h LV / 36.0 ECTS)
        • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 3.0 ECTS)
  • Masterstudium Geschichte (SKZ: 803, Version: 11W.1)
    • Fach: Vertiefungsfach 1 (Pflichtfach)
      • Eine weitere vertiefende Lehrveranstaltung ( 2.0h VO/KU / 3.0 ECTS)
        • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 3.0 ECTS)
  • Masterstudium Geschichte (SKZ: 803, Version: 11W.1)
    • Fach: Vertiefungsfach 2 (Pflichtfach)
      • Eine weitere vertiefende Lehrveranstaltung ( 2.0h VO/KU / 3.0 ECTS)
        • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 3.0 ECTS)
  • Masterstudium Geschichte (SKZ: 803, Version: 11W.1)
    • Fach: Gebundene Wahlfächer (Wahlfach)
      • Gebundene Wahlfächer ( 0.0h LV / 29.0 ECTS)
        • 220.192 To preserve, protect and defend: The American presidency (History, Culture, Politics) (2.0h KS / 3.0 ECTS)

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