The Department of History and Global Studies will offer African American History since 1865 as a course option for the first time in the spring.
The course, taught by Dr. Jeremy Elliott, assistant professor of language and literature, will cover emancipation and the civil rights movement.
“The biggest gap I feel like in my education: I studied a little bit about slavery and then we, basically, skipped right on to MLK and didn’t talk about everything that happened in between,” Elliot said. “I could sit here for 20 minutes and just list names of people who did something in between and those are the people that I want to focus on. It’s really weird that we don’t offer this class already, most universities do have it.”
The history department worked with Carl-Spain Center for Race Studies and Spiritual Action on a plan that launched at Summit in September.
Dr. Ron Morgan, professor of history and global studies and department chair, said the department is now working toward the creation of new curriculum and additional minor degree plans.
“I just began to realize, for one thing, how if you look across the campus, there’s not much course work offered in broadly global things and in African American or Latino culture or history,” Morgan said. “Our curriculum just needed more diversity.”
History of Mexico, taught by Dr. Ron Morgan, will be offered this spring for the first time in three years. Morgan said he plans a field trip for the class to visit the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, a library full of Latin American sources at the University of Texas at Austin.
“One thing I’m excited about is that I’ve reached out to Latino students at ACU who are interested in the subject, so I have lots of non-majors in the class,” Morgan said. “Probably about half of it or more, are students who are not history or teaching majors.
Morgan said another new cultural history class, Atlantic World, will be offered in the fall of 2019. The class will study the emergence of the Atlantic World as a world economic and cultural system from the time of Christopher Columbus and the connections between Europe, West Africa and the Americas.
Morgan said the course will also focus on the history of slave trading from Africa and the development of slave societies and cultures in Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica and the United States.
“One of the things that we are going to be working on for the next year or so, for the catalog, adding some new minors that will be interdisciplinary and that will allow people to take a little history, maybe literature, sociology, or Bible.” Morgan said. “Several things that will fit together and form a minor in European studies, or a minor in Latin American studies. That’s going to have to be really cooperative because it’s going to include a variety of different departments.”