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COURSE NAME: "The Other America: History of the Counterculture in the US"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Andrea Lanzone
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 1:30-2:45 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Junior Standing; Corequisite: EN 110

History Research Seminar: 300-level history courses designated by the prefix HS-RS indicate courses being offered as Research Seminars. These courses are writing-intensive and help to train students to carry out original research by guiding them through the preparation of a significant research paper. History majors are encouraged to take these before their senior year, and especially before the semester in which they prepare their thesis.
The seminar analyzes the history of Counterculture in the United States and examines the impact that Counterculture had during the Sixties and early Seventies (and the legacy and influence that certain particular experiences and ideas have had on later generations). The Other America also aims through the words of Whitman, Steinbeck, Woody Guthrie, Kerouac, Dylan, Springsteen, and many other writers, poets, activists, and musicians to observe the inequities encountered by different American minorities in the 20th Century and to disclose their strategies of survival as they have sought justice and dignity.

This seminar is designed to give students a broad overview of the History of Counterculture in the United States. Students will learn about the beginning of the Other America's history (Native Americans, African Americans, European immigrants) and how the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and its standard bearers (Mario Savio, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Russell Means etc.) have shaped and changed the American national identity, politics and society. In order to do so, the class will discuss the assigned readings. Students’ active participation in discussions is absolutely necessary to making the course work well. The very high percentage of the final grade will be based on class participation. There will be two class meetings per week. Lectures will be followed by questions and discussion. All assigned readings should be completed before each class meeting.


The seminar provides the student with a deep and critical understanding of United States of America’ history in terms of historical events, social systems, economic processes and ideologies. One of the aims of the course is to enhance student's skills in critical thinking and reading. Group discussions will be a central part of the course structure.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
America DividedMaurice Isserman, Michael KazinOxford0-19-516047-9  
Boom! Voices of the SixtiesTom BrokawRandom House978-1-4000-6457-1  
The Other AmericaMichael HarringtonTouchstone978-0-684-82678-3  

Attendance and ParticipationAttendance is mandatory. Participation is graded based on the student's comments, questions, active note-taking and general active engagement in class discussions and activities.30%
Paper # 1Students will develop a paper on one of the problems/issues discussed in class and will analyze its dynamics, problems and prospects.20%
Final Essay-based exam in which students critically engage with the materials and debates presented in class lectures, discussions and readings.30%
Paper # 2Students will develop a paper on one of the problems/issues discussed in class and will analyze its dynamics, problems and prospects.20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cou
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

More than two absences will have a negative effect on the grade, the more absences, the negative-er the effect.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


week 1 - Identity, Democracy & American Dream

week 1 -The End: John Lennon in New York City

week 2 - History of Counterculture: Indians, African-Americans and European immigrants

week 3 - Sacco and Vanzetti

week 4 -Steinbeck, the 1930s and Bruce Springsteen: the American migrants

week 5 -American Poetry: From Whitman to Kerouac

week 5 -Portrait of the Beat Generation

week 6 -1950’s: Cultural Revolution

week 6 -America Divided: the 1960s

week 7 -Mario Savio and the Making of a Youth Culture

week 8 - Midterm Exam

week 9 -War on Poverty: The Other America

week 9 -Civil Rights

week 10 -Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

week 11 -The Vietnam War

week 11 -The Sixties in Sport: Muhammad Ali

week 12 -The Sixties in Music: Woodstock

week 12- Black Panther's Party and American Indian Movement

week 13 -Winners, Loosers and Consequences

Final Exam