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ZOOM: The History Wars: The 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory   

**This class will be taught on Zoom**

By now, it seems everyone has an opinion about The 1619 Project, a special edition of The New York Times’ Magazine (August 14, 2019) that tried to focus readers’ attention upon the continuing legacies of race slavery in American life. Legislators in many states have since passed laws to ban it from school curriculums, along with the teaching of Critical Race Theory—or CRT—a set of premises developed by legal scholars in the 1990s to interpret America’s institutions in the context of race and civil rights.
The 1619 Project and CRT have both been the subjects of widely publicized controversy, debate, and now politicization. Their claims and tenets have each been disputed by some historians and defended by others. They have been championed in some schools and universities and ignored or rejected in others. They have been attacked by many conservatives and promoted by many liberals. They have been mischaracterized and oversold—and remain widely misunderstood by many. 
So in this six-week course, we’ll go back to basics. We’ll push past the headlines, the op-eds, and the shouting on cable news and talk candidly about what The 1619 Project actually says—and what it doesn’t say. We will engage with the debates among leading scholars as to its claims and to their merits and get as close as we can to the subjects—like the American Revolution, the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln, and Reconstruction—around which so many of these debates over The 1619 Project have swirled.
Critical Race Theory is, of course, a bit harder to pin down. There’s no manifesto, no mission statement, or special magazine supplement. That’s made CRT a moving target. Our goal will be to establish its core premises, describe them accurately, and interrogate their validity—and do so with respect for those moments when we inevitably disagree. Our purpose here is not to promote and persuade, or to disparage and reject, or let alone to proselytize. Instead, we hope to leave you with a better understanding of both The 1619 Project and CRT upon which you can then base your own informed opinions.

Week 1. The History Wars: Introducing the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory

Week 2. Beginning in 1619? Debating the Origins of Slavery in America

Week 3. To Preserve Slavery? Debating the Causes of the American Revolution

Week 4. Property in Man? Debating the Slavery Politics of the Constitution

Week 5. The White Man’s President? Debating Lincoln’s Racial Politics in the Civil War

Week 6. Institutional Racism? Debating the Legacies of Slavery in America



This class is not available at this time.