About Exploring U.S. History (HIST 1483 and HIST 1493)

Understanding the past, including the unique rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, is essential for our collective future. These courses will introduce you to the means and methods of original research, and will enhance your ability to articulate your own ideas and arguments-- both orally and in writing. These skills should serve you well throughout your academic and professional careers. We look forward to working with you!

James Hart, History Department Chair, University of Oklahoma

OU Exploring U.S. History


David W. Levy Prize for Writing in the U.S. History Survey

Congratulations to OU student Rafael Anguiano, whose research paper “Out of the Closet and into the Streets: On the Flamboyance and Fervor of the Gay Liberation Movement” won the David W. Levy Prize for Spring 2018. Mr. Anguiano’s essay draws on manifestos and newspaper reports to show how gay liberation activists in the 1970’s drew on feminist and national liberation movements to create the militant, audacious style of protest still associated with LGBTQ Pride events today.

Congratulations as well to the other finalists for the Levy Prize in Spring 2018: Jasmine Graves, Democracy Deposed: U.S. Media Coverage of 1950's Guatemala; and Alexander Steele, “The Corrupt Bargain: A Story of the Cherokee Plight.”

Their research makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge of U.S. History and models excellent writing for future students of American history.

Recent Submissions

  • Out of the closet and into the streets : on the flamboyance and fervor of the gay liberation movement 

    Anguiano, Rafael
    Ironically enough, mere moments after bemoaning today's young generation of LGBT men and women for being uneducated on the history of LGBT rights, drag performer Derrick Barry erroneously asserted that "people were killed" ...
  • Democracy deposed : U.S. media coverage of 1950's Guatemala 

    Graves, Jasmine
    After World War II, the United States established itself as a crusader for democracy and capitalism around the world. The urge to fight communism while advocating for democracy meant a dilemma when faced with countries ...
  • The corrupt bargain : a story of the Cherokee plight 

    Steele, Alexander
    The Cherokee Nation is one of the many Native American nations that had their rights and lives stolen by the United States, and arguments are made that they suffered the worst. The Cherokee did not admit defeat from the ...
  • Buying your health : medical consumerism in the early twentieth century 

    Randall, Erica
    After WWI, the United States saw an unprecedented rise in economic production and mass consumerism, an era that came to be characterized by wealth, prosperity, and vanity. Spurred on by the second industrial revolution, ...
  • What the Black Panther Party did for you 

    Every, Alvian
    In October of 1966 Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, a socialist, multi-racial, black nationalist group that endeavored to awaken the black community and unify it in activism ...
  • "Manifestly unfit" : an analysis of eugenics in relation to race and disability 

    Kumar, Kirtana
    Eugenics was one of the darkest movements of the Progressive era. The eugenics movement argued that preserving "superior" humans will create a more productive and healthy class of people. It dated back to Francis Galton's ...
  • The Mexican-American War : a war of American values 

    Jackson, Dooley
    The Mexican-American War significantly expanded the territories of the United States. This has become common knowledge throughout the public, and the war is frequently left at that defining statement. However, the ...
  • The rush to save the ill 

    Farley, Hannah
    Benjamin Rush is not to be dismissed as history has shown-his extensive medical training and experience, when contextualized within his own time, was highly beneficial to the people of Philadelphia during the summer 1793 ...
  • Law and order : Nixon's rhetoric and the Southern strategy 

    Hopewell, Audrey
    Today's familiar Democratic and Republican party coalitions have not always existed; rather, they began to emerge in the 1960s as demographic and geographic groups shifted party alliances. This paper focuses on one factor ...
  • "The new Negro" : center of the Harlem stage 

    Ting, Katherine
    Amidst a tragically long-standing history of oppression, the Harlem Renaissance was arguably the pinnacle of African American prosperity in the United States during the early twentieth century. The Harlem Renaissance, being ...
  • American terror 

    Walters, Matthew O.
    For 150 years, those that have come to call the American Civil War "the War of Northern Aggression" have cited General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea as an unnecessary act of terror; opponents claim the South ...
  • 50 shades of slavery : sexual assault of black male slaves in antebellum America 

    Perkins, Dedrick K.
    Male slave owners used sexual assault to dominate, dehumanize, and emasculate male slaves in American Antebellum South. The oppression and violence that characterized the institution of chattel slavery are easily accessible, ...
  • Survey of the Marine Corps as a distinct branch of the United States military from 1775 to 1805 

    Terselic, Abigail
    When the "shot heard 'round the world" sparked the American War for Independence in 1775, the emerging American nation was rattled, but only for a moment. The iron will of the Colonial forces provided the foundation for ...
  • Edwin C. DeBarr and the University of Oklahoma's reponses from 1923-1988 

    Lynn, Kathryn
    In 1982, A University of Oklahoma student initiative strove to change a building's name after uncovering that Edwin C. DeBarr, for whom it was named, had been a grand dragon in the Ku Klux Klan. Then Oklahoma University ...
  • Women of the Civil War : the denial of gender assumptions 

    Diring, Madison
    A female nurse by the name of Kate Cummings described the following scene in her diary that she had witnessed when she served on a battlefield: "Gray-haired men--men in the pride of manhood--beardless boys...mutilated in ...
  • Between students and state : desegregation and the University of Oklahoma 

    Manriquez, Gabriela (2016)
    In 1948 George McLaurin sat outside his first class at the University of Oklahoma. McLaurin was the first African American to be admitted to the University of Oklahoma on a segregated basis. The University of Oklahoma ...
  • A prescription for desegregation 

    Vaughan, Dakota (2016)
    The American Civil Rights Movement that in many respects defined the 20th century was itself defined by its leaders. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X are today household names. While these nationally ...
  • American ideals reinforced through advertisements 

    Hall, Molly (2016)
    The economic and housing boom that followed World War II paved the way for America to become the consumer-driven economy that it is today. These booms also created competition among companies, therefore leading to the ...
  • The effect of the Monitor and Merrimack on naval warfare 

    Kenney, Russell (2016)
    On March 9th, 1862, in a largely uneventful and inconclusive battle near Hampton Roads, Virginia, the course of naval warfare throughout the world was forever changed. It was during this Civil War battle that the world’s ...
  • Print media : the catalyst in New York’s revolution 

    Arangi, Ram Adithya (2016)
    Around the year 1770, New York witnessed its emergence as a central zone for various revolts that focused on attaining independence from the British. The citizens in New York City played an active role in the conduction ...

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