Spring 2020

Student Activism in U.S. History: Past and Present

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-310  |  History, as HIST-251


Mike Jirik (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 251 and BLST 310) What are the limits and possibilities of students engaging in social justice movements within a college campus? Which political issues have sparked student movements in the U.S. and why? Why do some student movements succeed, why do others fail, and how might one define and evaluate the meaning of success? How have student movements in higher education changed over time? This course surveys the history of collegiate student activism for freedom and racial equality during the abolition movement; Reconstruction and Jim Crow; The Long Civil Rights Movement; and Black Lives Matter. In particular, this course will explore how students have fought to secure freedom, equality, and citizenship through higher education. Students will also critically engage with how other social movements have impacted college campuses. Readings include historical monographs and student writings. Assignments include two papers based on primary and secondary sources and a presentation. Two class meetings per week.

Spring Semester. Professor Jirik.

HIST 251 - L/D

Section 01
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM JOCH 202
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM JOCH 202

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum American TBD
The Black Revolution on Campus TBD
Campus Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know TBD
We Demand: The University and Student Protests TBD


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2023