At my request, soon-to-be-Dean Karen Merrill kindly forwarded a copy of her syllabus for History 357: Race, Region, and the Rise of the Right. Comments:

1) Many thanks to Professor Merrill for sharing this syllabus with us! It is always a pleasure to work with Williams professors who are open to dialog with alumni. I am occasionally depressed that so many professors refuse to even acknowledge my polite requests for information. (I have no problem with a professor says, as some do, “Busy now with classes! Drop me another e-mail during the summer.” The teaching of undergraduates should always come ahead of goofy alumni questions.)

2) Professor Merrill is interested in seeing what comments we might have. Depending of time constraints, she might even reply. So, be constructive!

3) Although I am not an expert in this topic, it seems that the syllabus is fair, at least viewed from the perspective of the Right. How can any Republican complain when the syllabus includes classics like God and Man at Yale by Williams F. Buckley and “An Autobiographical Memoir” by Irving Kristol? Only an idiot like David Horowitz could see evidence of the left-wing takeover of the academy here.

4) Is it just me or does the workload seem a little light, especially for a 300-level class. Consider:

F. 9/23: Frederickson, Dixiecrat Revolt, pp. 118-216

T. 9/27: Goldberg, Barry Goldwater, pp. 67-117

I haven’t read either book, but isn’t this reading load less than we had back in the day? And we had to walk through more snow too! And Williamstown was colder! ;-)

I hope to post more substantive comments later. What do members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (Eph Division) think?

Print  •  Email