Archive for the 'News' Category

End of Term

by Tona H - May 1st, 2012

For our last class on Monday and a very productive discussion about the War on Terror – what the boundaries are of its definition, and what are the legal arguments for and against the authorization to use military force in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in United States detention facilities on foreign soil.

I have posted your paper abstracts on a new permanent page, “Research Showcase” for your reference. Feel free to add the url to your resume or CV, it will remain there for you indefinitely.

Thanks for a terrific semester, everyone, and for all your hard work! Comments on the papers will be sent out individually by Thursday afternoon, and then my margin comments may make more sense (can’t promise!). Grades should be up by early next week. Please continue to use me as a resource as you rethink the paper and prepare your curriculum unit in Charlotte Haller’s Summer I class; keep in touch!

For 4/23 – Presidents on Trial

by Tona H - April 15th, 2012

We have some rich, complicated cases to consider in rapid succession as three presidents face serious Constitutional crises during their terms in office: Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Reading: MP Chapter 15, 531-536 (US v. Nixon). Yes, that’s all the reading there is – you have your papers to turn in, so this session will be more lecture-like than usual and less reading-heavy. The presenters are: J. Fails, M. Lynch, and S. Boosahda – if you need a suggestion, each of you could take one of the three presidential cases and provide either a quick overview of the episode and the Constitutional issues involved, or perhaps a discussion of a useful resource for studying that president’s moment of crisis and its resolution.

We will also have a very special opportunity during our class time. Our campus Women’s Studies program is hosting historian Brigid O’Farrell on Monday the 23rd, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: She Was One of Us. A sociologist by training, O’Farrell uses labor history to better understand the issues and barriers confronting today’s workers and their unions. She is currently a lecturer and project director at Mills College and affiliated with the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, George Washington University.

Earlier in the day she will be speaking about the content of her work on Eleanor Roosevelt, but in the evening she’s giving a special session for history graduate students and the general public about archival research, titled “The Challenge of Archives and Audiences, Unions and Universities.” We will all attend her talk (along with Dr. Haller’s research methods class) from 6-7 in the Student Center’s Blue Lounge, and then stroll back to our regular classroom to ponder presidential travesties.

Here’s a campus map – I marked our classroom location, and the location of the Blue Lounge. It’s in the ground floor of the Student Center in the corner closest to the landscaping pond and athletic fields.


Happy International Women’s Day

by Tona H - March 9th, 2012

After our discussion on Monday, I couldn’t resist posting this… thought you might enjoy. A little irreverent but a lot of fun.

Course Intro and News

by Tona H - November 26th, 2011

Welcome! This is the website for our Spring 2012 exploration into the history of the US Constitution since 1877, a graduate course for educators in the Worcester Public Schools. I look forward to meeting you in person in January.

The course will meet Mondays from 6-9 on the campus of Worcester State University in Sullivan room 102.


You will be provided the following texts as readings for the course and to keep as professional resources for your own collection. We will not use all of them in their entirety since our course only emphasizes the period since 1877, but hopefully they will also prove valuable to you beyond our coursework this semester.

Akhil Reed Amar, America’s Constitution: A Biography (New York: Random House, 2005). ISBN 978-0812972726

Kermit L. Hall and Timothy S. Heubner, eds., Major Problems in American Constitutional History, 2nd ed (Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2010). ISBN 978-0618543335

Brook Thomas, ed., Plessy v. Ferguson: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford St. Martins, 1997). ISBN 978-03120137434

Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford St. Martins, 1998). ISBN 978-0312111526