2016-2017 Seminar Schedule

 The Rutgers Institute for High School Teachers is pleased to offer the seminars listed below for the 2016-2017 academic year.  All seminars will run from 9am--2:30pm, with the exception of the one on March 1, which will be 10am-3:30pm.

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Fall Semester 2016

New Jersey’s Native American History

Friday, September 30, 2016, 9am-2:30pm
Camilla Townsend, Professor, Department of History, Rutgers

In the past, it has often seemed that we know everything and nothing about the Lenni Lenape people. Few indigenous groups have been as much written about in fiction and non-fiction, yet many of these writings are somewhat irresponsible. The truth is that the peoples who once lived in what is today New Jersey left behind few traces of their culture before they were pressured to travel west, eventually landing in Oklahoma and other places. This seminar will treat three main topics: 1) What does a careful sifting of existing evidence tell us about Lenape history, religion and way of life before the arrival of Europeans? 2) How and why did the Lenape lose power to the Swedes, Dutch and English who settled in the area, and how did they envision their situation? What did they think, for instance, when they saw the enslaved Indians who lived in New York City? 3) In later years, in the nineteenth century, after most of the surviving Lenape had migrated west, what did New Jersey residents think about Native Americans? New Jersey Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen was one of the nation’s strongest opponents of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. How did he and others respond to the last of the Lenape? In brief, what should we teach our young people about New Jersey’s heritage in regards to Native Americans?

What was “the Cold War”?  (WAIT LIST ONLY)

Friday, October 21, 2016, 9am-2:30pm
David S. Foglesong, Professor, Department of History, Rutgers

More than twenty-five years after it was declared over, “the Cold War” continues to captivate the political imaginations of Americans. Journalists proclaim that “a new Cold War” is developing against Russia, China, or another nation. Politicians draw lessons from events during the Cold War and try to apply them to contemporary situations. Filmmakers dramatize events from the Cold War in movies like Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies.” But what was “the Cold War”? A bipolar geopolitical confrontation between two nuclear-armed superpowers that began after the Second World War and ended with the release of Eastern Europe from the grasp of the Soviet Union? A global ideological rivalry between capitalism and socialism that originated in 1917, with the conflicting visions of Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin, and ended when Mikhail Gorbachev gave up the pretension that communism offered a superior model of modernization?  An objective condition of international relations or a subjective state of mind?   In this seminar teachers will consider different approaches to understanding three fundamental questions: (1) What was “the Cold War”? (2) When did “the Cold War” begin? (3) How did “the Cold War end? They will hear lectures on these topics from David Foglesong, a specialist on American-Soviet relations who has written two books: America’s Secret War Against Bolshevism (1995) and The American Mission and “the Evil Empire” (2007). Teachers will read stimulating essays on the Cold War by leading scholars and they will examine important documents they can ask their students to analyze.

What is Africa to Me?

Friday, November 4, 2016, 9am-2:30pm
Abena P. A. Busia, Associate Professor, Department of English, Rutgers
Chair, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers

The experience of being a part of the “New Diaspora” of African Immigrants in the United States has enabled me to recognize the extent to which certain, sometimes very subtle, aspects of American culture from collard greens and grass baskets to ring shouts and quilts are familiar to me because they seem to shadow familiar forms from “home”. This seminar will focus on sharing my journey of learning to recognize the different ways in which Africa is “remembered”, as legacy and metaphor, as well as in the practice of daily living in unexpected ways, in the United States. Through reading essays such as Sheila Walker’s ‘Everyday Africa in New Jersey: Wonderings and Wanderings in the African Diaspora,’ which discusses West and Central African linguistic roots of such expressions as “hip”, “dig” and “jive”; thinking about the recipes in Jessica Harris’ cookbooks; listening to the music suggested by Paule Marshall’s novel Praisesong for the Widow; and watching the documentary film The Language You Cry In, we will start to appreciate the multiple ways in which the arrival of Africans in America has shaped the everyday lives of people in the New World, and continues to do so.

The Culture of the 1960s (WAIT LIST ONLY)

Friday, November 18, 2016, 9am-2:30pm
Leslie Fishbein, Associate Professor, Departments of American Studies and Jewish Studies, Rutgers

The Culture of the Sixties traces the political and cultural movements that shaped the decade: the civil rights movement and Black Power, the rise of youth culture and campus rebellion, hippies and the counterculture, mounting opposition to American military involvement in Vietnam, the women’s liberation movement, and the rise of rock music and its presence in festivals like Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and Altamont, examining their origins in previous eras and their subsequent influence on American culture. The approach will be an interdisciplinary one employing primary source documents, art, music, photography, and film. Readings will feature The Port Huron Statement of Students for a Democratic Society, a New Left student group; writings by Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers; statements from the women’s liberation movement; and excerpts from the Winter Soldiers Investigation, testimony given in Detroit, Michigan on January 31, February 1, and February 2, 1971 sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Our discussions will focus on what was “new” about the New Left, on the complex relationship between the civil rights movement and Black Power, on the varieties of feminism represented in the women’s liberation movement, and on the degree to which radicals opposed the Vietnam War as an example of American imperialism abroad and/or as a threat to American democracy and social justice at home.

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