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History: Interpretations Of American Civil Rights, c.1860-1990 With Dr Sarah Miller Davenport and Dr Andrew Heath From The University of Sheffield

March 22 @ 12:45 - 13:45



Over the past two decades, historians have found new ways to interpret the story of civil rights in the United States. In this session, University of Sheffield lecturers Dr. Sarah Miller Davenport and Dr. Andrew Heath will talk you through how – and why – historians have begun to rethink the struggle for black equality between the 1860s and the 1990s.

We’ll explore what Jacquelyn Dowd Hall means by a ‘long civil rights movement’, why globalization has led us to look at the battles of the ‘50s and ‘60s in a new light, and whether we can breathe new life into old questions about presidents, the Supreme Court, and activists’ tactics.

After we give an introduction to the way interpretations are changing, we’ll discuss some questions with schools, and will draw on our own research and teaching on American history – alongside A Level students’ expertise – to offer perspectives on the period.

The session is designed to help with the interpretation component of A Level modules and should also give students a taster of the kind of questions they might encounter in degree-level study of U.S. History.


About our Speakers: Dr. Sarah Miller-Davenport teaches twentieth-century American history at the University of Sheffield. Her book, Gateway State: Hawai‘i and the Cultural Transformation of American Empire, examines how the admission of Hawai’i to the United States was shaped by – and also shaped – battles over civil rights.

Dr. Andrew Heath  teaches nineteenth-century American history at the University of Sheffield. His book,  In Union There Is Strength: Philadephia in an Age of Urban Consolidation, explores how a northern city responded to the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction.

Suitable for: Year 12 and 13 students studying, or with a possible interest in studying, History.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: We will share some questions with schools in advance for students to consider. There will be an opportunity for students to discuss their responses to these questions during the event. Students can also think about questions they have about studying History at university level.

The IT Setup: The setup is similar to Skype, using a pc and webcam, although students take part as a group with the image projected on a whiteboard rather than as individuals in front of lots of pcs. Dedicated videoconferencing equipment is also compatible if available to the school. We will work with your IT department to ensure everything is set up and working prior to the event. The sessions are generally limited to 3 to 5 schools to maintain the interactive nature of the experience.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you have a group of students that you would like to take part in this event, please click here 

Subject to availability we will book a place for you.


March 22
12:45 - 13:45
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