Syllabus – Fall

Schedule for Fall, 2016


Week 1: Aug. 29/31

Monday: Welcome/Course Expectations

Wednesday: Church that Dorothy Day is born Into/This is How we Blog

Reading: Day, The Long Loneliness

Blogging: Set up your blog. Write an exploratory blog post in which you introduce yourself as a historian and situate yourself in relation to our subject of study this semester. In the same post, identify and describe an example of Catholic social justice activism in or around Chicago. It can be historical or contemporary. Try to include images, and consider the authorial voice you are creating.


Week 2: Sept. 5/7

Monday LABOR DAY, no class

Wednesday: The Church and Modernity

Reading: R. Scott Appleby, “Exposing Darwin’s ‘Hidden Agenda’: Roman Catholic Responses to Evolution, 1875-1925,” in Ronald L. Numbers and John Stenhouse, eds., Dissseminating Darwinism: The Role of Place, Race, Religion, and Gender (2000), 173-207.

Blogging: Reflect on the historical and contemporary relationship between religion


Week 3: Sept. 12/14

Monday:  The Church and Modernity, Part II

Wednesday:  Dorothy Day’s Chicago, guest lecture by Elliott Gorn

Reading: Dominic Pacyga, Chapter 1, “Spectacle,” of Slaughterhouse


Week 4: Sept. 19/21

***Monday: Field Trip to Back of the Yards, led by historian Dominic Pacyga, meet at Stanleys, 1pm, 4258 S. Ashland for lunch (proprietor: Wanda Kurek)

Wednesday:  Catholicism, Socialism, and Communism

Reading: Day, “Selected Writings,” SAKAI, Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum SAKAI

Blogging: Consider the role of place in history. Reflect on Dr. Gorn’s guest lecture and our field trip to Back of the Yards.


Week 5: Sept. 26/28

Monday: Catholic Worker

Reading: Day, Catholic Worker selections, and “This Land is Home to Me”

Wednesday: Introduction to Library Research by Jane Currie, Meeting at IC 120

***White Rose Catholic Worker Field Trip****


Week 6: Oct. 3/5

Monday: Monday rest after field trip

Tuesday, October 4: Lecture by John McGreevy, “Jesuits and the World”, 5PM, 4TH Floor IC

Wednesday: Discussion of McGreevy

Reading: John McGreevy, Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global (2016)

Blogging: Reflect on field trip and McGreevy’s lecture. How do the goals of 2016 differ from or resonate with what we’ve read about the historical Catholic Worker?  How does Jesuit history of propagating Catholicism globally intersect with the communities of action created by Day and Maurin?


Week 7: Oct. 10/12

Monday MID-SEMESTER BREAK, no class

Wednesday:  Broadcasting CST

Clear your throats and dress appropriately.  We will take turns reading This Land is Home to Me out loud on the campus green.


Week 8: Oct. 17/19

Monday: Discussion of Reading with Amelia

Reading: John McGreevy, Parish Boundaries, Chapter 4; Thomas Merton, Seven Story Mountain, Chapter

Wednesday:  Lecture by Randal Jelks: “I Am Free to Be Want I Want: The Role of Roman Catholicism in the Inner Lives of Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, and Eldridge Cleaver,” Cuneo 109, 5-6pm

Blogging: Reflect on the Randal Jelks’ lecture and the role of spirituality in personal identity.


Week 9: Oct. 24/26

Monday:  Trip to Women and Leadership Archives: Meet at Piper Hall, 3rd Floor

Wednesday: Catholics and the Mid-20th Century American Dream

Reading: Read Orsi, “Mildred, Is It Fun to be a Cripple?” SAKAI

Collaborative Project: Online Exhibit: You will work collaboratively in small groups to make an online Omeka exhibit using the primary sources that your group examined at the Women and Leadership Archive. Your exhibit will contain an argument, create a persuasive visual narrative, consider your online platform, write engaging labels, and speak to a wide audience.


Week 10: Oct. 31/2

Monday:  Vatican II and the new Catholic order

Reading: Read and/or watch JFK’s speech to the Houston Ministerial Council in 1960.

Wednesday: Lecture by Kevin Schultz, “The first Catholic President,” IC 4th Floor, 5-6pm

Blogging: Consider the role of religion in 20th century American presidential elections.


Week 11:  Nov. 7/9

Monday: Discussion of Schultz and Catholic Presidency

Tuesday, Nov. 8th is Election Day, History Department Event at Damen Student Center, details forthcoming

Wednesday: Anti-Communism

Reading: “Anti-Communism and Catholicism in Cold War Detroit,” in Colleen Doody, Cold War Detroit



Week 12:  Nov. 14/16

Monday: Catholic Left

View “Camden 28” documentary at library [pick up at the check-out counter, where it will be reserved for you]

Wednesday: From Liberation Theology to Sanctuary

Reading: Jeffrey Klaiber, “Prophets and Populists: Liberation Theology, 1968-1988” Norma Stolz Chincilla, The Sanctuary Movement and Central American Activism in Los Angeles,” Latin American Perspectives

Blogging: Reflect on liberation theology and its role in global post-colonialism and liberation movements.


Week 13: Nov. 21/23

Monday: Feminism

Guest Participant/Discussant: Susan Ross, Theologian

Readings: TBA

Wednesday, THANKSGIVING BREAK, no class


Week 14: Nov. 28/30

Monday: Abortion, Family Planning and the Continuous Life Ethic

Reading: Pope Paul VI, Humane Vitae, Daniel K. Williams, Defenders of the Unborn, “National Right to Life,” and “After Roe”

Wednesday: Abortion and the Catholic Family, Part II

Blogging: Reflect on choosing a research topic.


Week 15: Dec. 5/7

Monday:  Catholic Stewardship and Environmentalism

Pope Francis, Laudato Si

***Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 30 minute Oral Exams in Prof. Nickerson’s Office, Amelia Will Schedule Them***

Wednesday: Celebration!!!!!