First Summer Session, 2008
John E. Semonche

Students will find these web sites useful during the course.

The following assignments, which are to be completed by the date listed, are drawn from one book available for purchase at the Student Stores: Hall, Wiecek & Finkelman, eds., American Legal History: Cases and Materials, 3rd ed. (referred to below as Sourcebook); and one book available from me: Keeping the Faith: A Cultural History of the U.S. Supreme Court.



1. This History 395 course is run as a seminar without formal lectures and without formal testing. Its success is dependent upon your contributions to each class period. Its major requirement is a research paper on a subject of your own choosing within the broad reaches of the seminar topic. (Because of the compacted nature of the summer semester, I have provided more of a structure for your choice of paper topics in a separate handout.) The grade on your final paper will count two-thirds and your class participation will count a minimum of one-third. In the event of outstanding class work, participation will count more if it helps your final grade.

2. You should find the reading thought-provoking. Each of you will be adding your own research agenda to the seminar's requirements for the purpose of producing a substantial and thoughtful interpretive paper. To aid you, individual conferences will be scheduled a number of times during the course of the semester.

3. This syllabus is intended to give you a structure for the seminar, but it can be modified to serve your interests better. To make this seminar work, you need to be an active participant in the learning process. Special assignments from the reading will be given to each seminar member, who will then have the responsibility to lead the discussion. You will have the opportunity to hone both your oral and written communication skills during the semester.

4. As you note from the schedule, you will submit the best paper that you are capable of writing on June 9th in multiple copies. It will then be submitted to each member of the class for criticism. A primary critic will be appointed, but each member of the seminar is responsible for criticizing each paper. After this thorough criticism, you will rewrite the paper for final submission at 10:30 a.m., June 16th.

5. In addition to the other handouts, I will be providing you will one that will give you a number of websites that you may find useful. Also, on this syllabus on the web, at http://ibiblio.unc.edu/semche/history/395ss08.html, you will find some hot links. My home page is at http://ibiblio.unc.edu/semche/history/jackweb.html.

6.You can find Semonche in Hamilton 416 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and by appointment. He can also be reached by phone at 919-962-8079 and by email at semche@email.unc.edu.

This page was created by John E. Semonche. It was last updated May 2008. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to contact Prof. Semonche here.