Tag Archives: History Department

Bulkpacks and History Classes

By Rob Williams, C’93

Penn History bulkpack from Prof. Childers' class

History 2 bulkpack from Campus Copy Center, photo courtesy of Rob Williams, C’93

Ah, bulkpacks — because we didn’t have Blackboard or Canvas, Google, or on-line library resources to easily connect us on-line to thousands of e-book and journal articles!  I can’t say I miss the grainy, poorly copied, sometimes off-center, and often hard to read copied-for-the-millionth-time pages.  As a former adjunct at American University teaching graduating seniors and now as an adjunct associate professor with Georgetown University’s MSFS program, most students today have easy access to materials that will not make you prematurely put you in reading glasses or add 15 pounds to a backpack.  I have to say, I am fairly certain none of them have ever thumbed through a card catalogue and wandered the stacks looking for books.  But, maybe, that experience represents our good-ole-days.

Penn history bulkpack

Table of Contents for Prof. Childers’ History 2 Bulkpack. Photo courtesy of Rob Williams, C’93

As for Professor Childers’ history course, it started me down a path I did not fully appreciate at the time–into a career protecting the United States and its position in the world.  Combined with Professor Walter McDougall‘s courses in Diplomatic History, Professor Daniel Deudney‘s course in International Relations Theory, and Professor Thomas Naff‘s courses on the Middle East, they opened doors into different worlds, contextualized our present, and sketched for us an arc of history while equipping us with ways to critically think about the world system, which is our heritage.  They helped us to better understand a world that is ours to care for, or not.  To learn from humanity’s collective historical mistakes.  To properly frame the present.  To do better for the future.  Indeed, Childers and MacDougall offered us insights into the importance of Allies and Alliances, balancing other countries that challenge the world order, and managing well internal stresses as countries rapidly change while being shaped by technological developments. Lessons we would be foolish to ignore today.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of December 8 – 9, 2017, marked 22 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 14, 2018)! Meet us at the Button!

Join us we count down the weeks to our reunion #93tothe25th:

  • Do you have old photos or mementos from our time at Penn? Photos of Spring Fling? Football at Franklin Field? Classes at DRL? We are taking a trip down memory lane and would love for you to share your memories with our class in a future post. Please email us upenn1993@gmail.com!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
  • Donate to The Penn Fund in honor of our reunion! We want to break the 25th reunion participation giving record and every gift matters!

Book Your Hotel Room for Alumni Weekend NOW!

The Marriott Downtown (where we had a Penn 1993 and a Penn Alumni room block) is sold out for Alumni Weekend. There are alternative hotels near by. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th


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Filed under 25th Reunion, Class of 1993, Memories of Penn

A Day in History Class

Author: John Mosley, C’14

Being a freshman at Penn is an exciting experience in many ways. I live on my own, I meet new people ll the time, and I am exposed to new ideas on a daily basis. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this college experience for me has been the opportunity to take classes that high school never offered. From my German course to my Introduction to Acting seminar, I have been given the opportunity to explore new interests and receive new perspectives on life. Perhaps the most interesting and exciting of these courses is the course titled “America in the 1960s,” which I am currently enrolled in for this Spring 2011 semester.

Taught by Professor Thomas Sugrue, this course is a comprehensive look at the decade which can be classified (arguably) as the most controversial and influential of the 20th century. Personally, I elected to take this course because of my fascination with the music of the 1960s. My favorite bands are The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles. However, I quickly discovered that there was more to the 1960s than rock and roll and the Civil Rights movement. Many revolutions were occurring simultaneously throughout the decade, from the rise of the “New Right” (led by Conservative Barry Goldwater) to the headline-making rise of the “New Left” (led by college students across the country who belonged to the group known as the Students for a Democratic Society).

On October 22, 1967, Bernie Boston photographed his iconic, “Flower Power” photograph, which featured Vietnam War protester George Harris inserting flowers into a National Guardsmen’s rifle barrel.

“America in the 1960s” recounts the “long” 1960s (specifically the period from 1954-1974). No account of the 1960s can be complete without inclusion of the influence of the 1950s, a decade of affluence and growing discontent in the youth of the country. Professor Sugrue skillfully weaves in the 1950s as a precursor to the 1960s; the preceding decade fostered the roots of the women’s liberation movement, rock and roll music and the civil rights movement to name a few.

As the semester winds down, I look forward to the exciting conclusion of the story told by Professor Sugrue and his foray into the 1970s. However, at the same time I am saddened to see this infinitely intriguing narrative course come to an end. Every Monday and Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM, I am nearly hypnotized by Professor Sugrue’s skillful storytelling and insight into the decade that forever changed the discourse of American politics, media, fashion, music and literature. Nearly every facet of American life today can be traced back to the “long” 1960s, and by studying the decade, I am effectively enhancing my understanding of modern times.

For more information on Penn’s history department, the “America in the 1960s” course and Professor Thomas Sugrue, check out Penn’s history department website here.

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Filed under John Mosley, Student Perspective