Dudziak on Globalizing History

I truly enjoyed Mary Dudziak’s January 22 presentation.  Both of her books, Cold War Civil Rights and Exporting American Dreams, are terrific reads and her presentation deepened the analyses, insights,  and stories featured within.

What I got the most out of the evening, though, was the way she framed the discussion.    She started by showing us the typical US map she remembers from her childhood:  A US floating in space, without context (and with Alaska and Hawaii floating just to the west.)

In contrast is the world as we know it (and would like our students and world leaders to see it):  Interconnected and related.  Historians need to look beyond borders to understand the past.

So, Dudziak related, when she was studying Brown v Board and looking at newspapers heralding the results – alongside headlines about the McCarthy hearings – she had to ask:  How might the story of the federal response to the struggle for civil rights and the Cold War be related?

The documents she put together for the presentation along with the readings from her books, all found here, are fantastic; this simple way of looking at US History was invaluable.

How do you globalize your US History instruction?

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2 responses to “Dudziak on Globalizing History

  1. Pingback: Dudziak on Marshall/Brown - January 22 « Teaching American History in SW Washington

  2. The next day my class discussed research papers and information others have overlooked. In imitation of Professor Dudziak, my students located the 9-0 decision in Brown as well as the Army-McCarthy hearings from a collection of front pages from the New York Times. We passed it around and they saw the reference that encouraged her research! We’d finished “The Crucible” and discussed its relevance to Salem witch trials as well as McCarthyism and its progeny – “America Love it or Leave It”. Here it was in 1954 issue juxtaposed to Brown! I related her remarks concerning the Amicus Brief in Brown and the international ramifications of our country’s treatment of minority citizenry as a possible catalyst for a rise of communism. They guessed what similar situation we were faced with today.
    Professor Dudziak’s broad outlook encouraged research in areas seemingly decided and reflected during their life time. This thinking cements learning because of its relevance to our time. She was an excellent choice.

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