James Ralph

Dean Faculty Dev. & Research; Rehnquist Prof of American History & Culture

 
 Davis Family Library 225C

Jim Ralph is the Rehnquist Professor of American History and Culture and has taught in the History Department since 1989.  He specializes in American History, particularly the Civil Rights Movement.  Jim is also the Dean for Faculty Development and Research and the director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research.

Jim is the author of Northern Protest:  Martin Luther King, Jr., Chicago, and the Civil Rights Movement (1993). 

He has just completed a co-edited volume on the Chicago Freedom Movement to be published by the University Press of Kentucky.  Jim is also at work on a history of the struggle for racial equality from the 1840s to the present in Peoria, Illinois.

His most recent publications include a foreword to Robert McKersie’s memoir of his involvement in the Chicago civil rights movement, A Decisive Decade: An Insider’s View of the Chicago Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s (2013) and a chapter  “Black Church Divisions and Civil Rights Activism in Chicago,”  in R. Drew Smith, ed.,  From Every Mountainside: Black Churches and the Broad Terrain of Civil Rights (2013).

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

AMST 0217 - History of Urban America      

The History of Urban America
"The magnification of all the dimensions of life," writes Lewis Mumford, " . . . has been the supreme office of the city in history." Mumford's appraisal of the mission of the city can be debated, but the importance of the city to civilization cannot be denied. This course traces the rise of the city in America from the colonial era to the present. It explores why Americans have huddled in concentrated settlements and the consequences of that clustering. Special attention will be given to the growth of the industrial city of the late 19th century and the modern metropolis of the 20th century. (formerly HIST/AMST 0375) 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc. HIS NOR

Fall 2011

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HIST 0217 - History of Urban America      

The History of Urban America
"The magnification of all the dimensions of life," writes Lewis Mumford, " . . . has been the supreme office of the city in history." Mumford's appraisal of the mission of the city can be debated, but the importance of the city to civilization cannot be denied. This course traces the rise of the city in America from the colonial era to the present. It explores why Americans have huddled in concentrated settlements and the consequences of that clustering. Special attention will be given to the growth of the industrial city of the late 19th century and the modern metropolis of the 20th century. (formerly HIST/AMST 0375) 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc. HIS NOR

Fall 2011

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HIST 0372 / AMST 0372 - The Civil Rights Revolution      

The Civil Rights Revolution
A study of the quest for a more inclusive American polity in the twentieth century. The modern civil rights movement is the central focus, but this course offers more than a survey of events from Montgomery to Memphis. It explores the pre-World War II roots of the modern black freedom struggle, the impact of the heroic phase of the civil rights movement, and the ambiguous developments since 1970. This course employs a "race relations" perspective, stressing the linkages among the experiences of African Americans, whites, and other groups. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc. CMP HIS NOR

Fall 2014

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HIST 0415 - Rdgs US History-Protest      

Readings in American History: The Protest Impulse
An exploration of the protest impulse in American history, with particular attention given to the American Revolutionaries, Populists, and Civil Rights activists. Among the key questions to be explored are: What are the principal causes of insurgency? What is the relationship between a leader and a protest movement? Is there an American protest tradition? Why are some insurgent groups more successful than others? As these questions are discussed, we will examine the qualities of good scholarship, the role of theory in history, and the influence of political commitments on the shaping of interpretation. (formerly HIST 0410) 3 hrs. sem HIS NOR

Spring 2014, Fall 2015

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HIST 0500 - Special Research Projects      

Special research projects during the junior year may be used to fulfill the research seminar requirements in some cases. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.

Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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HIST 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

The History Senior Thesis is required of all majors. It is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. The project is generally begun in the fall and completed during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring, and such students must still attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops that take place in fall and winter.

Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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Department of History

Axinn Center at Starr Library
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753