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


Congratulations to OU student Eduardo Alberto Campbell Bethancourt, whose research essay “The Cold War: The Pursuit of Freedom from an Unfreed Nation, The United States of America” won the David W. Levy Prize for Spring 2020. Campbell’s research compares evidence from the Green Book guides for African American travelers during the Jim Crow era with contemporaneous U.S. presidents’ public statements about unfreedom in the Soviet bloc. Though nuanced by his attention to regional variation—for example, the 1952 Green Book’s discussion of the relatively good experiences of African American travelers to New Orleans—Eduardo’s paper shows how the injustice of Jim Crow shaped (and was shaped by) the Cold War ideological conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States of America.

Recent Submissions

  • The Cold War: The Pursuit of Freedom from an Unfreed Nation, The United States of America 

    Bethancourt, Eduardo Alberto Campbell (2020-04-24)
    The end of World War II brought some temporary joy to the United States and many other nations across the globe. Nevertheless, such a joy barely lasted as tension among its wartime ally, the Soviet Union, escalated to what ...
  • After the Revolution: The Natural Rights of Women 

    Tobin, Caitlin (2019-04-25)
    The post-Revolutionary American woman was idealized as an embodiment of virtue, heralded for fulfilling her duties to family and society, but kept well outside of politics, academia, and other traditionally masculine ...
  • Thomas W. Woodrow's Appeals for Socialism Based on Religion and Economics 

    Overcash, Joshua
    During the early 1900s, Oklahoma contained one of the largest socialist parties in the United States. In his magazine, Woodrow's Monthly, Thomas W. Woodrow, a socialist Christian pastor in Hobart, Oklahoma, created a wide ...
  • The Hull House, its Co-Founders, and the Progressive Era 

    Towe, Cassidy
    Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr were the co-founders of the first settlement house in Chicago. This home, the Hull House, provided a plethora of amenities, clubs, and academic classes for poverty-stricken people in the ...
  • Protesting Miss America 

    Garrett, Kylie
    Topic statement: How did the 1968 Miss America Pageant protests exemplify the values of women during this time period, and how did the feminist movement affect other civil rights movements at the time?
  • 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 ...

View more