Course Syllabus

Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958. Whitney Museum of American Art.

Welcome! This is a lower-division small lecture course exploring the history of the most important job in the world: President of the United States. How did it get that way? How have the men who have occupied the office since 1789 shaped it and public perceptions of it? Where does myth-making end and history begin? This class tackles these questions, exploring the office's origins and evolution, significant presidents and their times, and how historical sources and methods can contextualize America’s political present.

This is a 5-credit in-person class meets in Winter Quarter 2022 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30-3:20PM. Class time is a mix of lectures, reading and writing, group work, and discussion. Lectures will be recorded and available on Panopto after each class.

Required books are available at the University Bookstore and on reserve at the UW Libraries. Shorter articles and primary sources are available electronically on Canvas. Course assignments include an essay-based midterm and final and weekly online discussion posts. This course is W optional; students interested in that credit can write an additional 10-12 page paper building on course content.

A full syllabus is here.

Course policies are here.

More about the instructor, Prof. Margaret O'Mara, is here.