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2018 Scholar: Ralph Young

Tuesday, July 24 – Thursday, July 26
8:30 - 10:15 AM at Smith Wilkes Hall


Overarching theme:

This course will be examining, analyzing and discussing the historical evidence to support the thesis that dissent is central to American history. That, in fact, dissent created the United States, that it was the precipitating factor in the formation of the United States, it is in our DNA and is the most significant, defining characteristic of the American people. Dissent is the fuel for the engine of progress. Dissent is the most patriotic expression of "American-ness." 

Suggested reading for general background (not required):
Dissent: The History of an American Idea, Ralph Young, NYU Press (2015)

Dissent in America: Voices That Shaped a Nation, Ralph Young, Longman Publishing Group (2009)
While a full edition of the book is available with these all assembled, the readings that are most essential include the following:

Day 1: 

The focus will be on the European foundations of dissent that culminated in the formation of the United States. Roughly, we will be dealing with the time period 1487-1789.

Day 2:

On Day 2, we will look at the evolution of dissent through the 19th century and early 20th centuries, focusing on Transcendentalism, Abolitionism, Feminism, Workers' Rights, Radicals and Socialists. 

Day 3:

Lastly, we will focus on the 1960s (Civil Rights, Antiwar, Counterculture) dissent movements as well as contemporary dissent (Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Indivisible, Never Agan, March for Our Lives).

About the Facilitator

Young Ralph 1045am 07232018Ralph Young is a Professor of History at Temple University and the author of Dissent: The History of an American Idea, a narrative history of the United States from the standpoint of dissenters and protests movements. That book was a finalist for the 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Ralph Waldo Emerson Award.

Young is also the author of Make Art Not War: Political Protest Posters from the Twentieth Century and editor of Dissent in America: Voices That Shaped a Nation. His writing has appeared in The New England Quarterly, USA Today Magazine, the History News Network and in blogs for the National Constitution Center, Salon and, among other outlets.

At Temple University, Young is the founder of weekly, campus-wide teach-ins, in which students and faculty investigate the historical context of controversial contemporary issues. Young has been honored with the Provost's Award for Innovative Teaching in General Education, the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, Honors Professor of the Year, and most recently the Lindback Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence.

He was a Fulbright Specialist Fellow at the University of Rome and every two years, he teaches a seminar on dissent movements at Charles University in Prague. Previously, he taught at the University of London and at Bremen University in Germany. Young received his PhD from Michigan State University.