History is an attempt to understand the stories of the past.  We must not ignore dates and facts, but interpretations define the way we view the world around us.

Course Information:


U.S. History in Film  (The expansion of American Individualism and exceptionalism)


Hist 262


Fall 2017


 12:30-1:45 Mon./Wed.


 LC 309


Instructor:                                                                                                                Questions:


John (Kinch) Kincheloe

                               What is this course?



What do I need to do?



How do I do assignments?



What are the Course Rules?

Office Location:


HEC 316-A


Office Hours: Listed on Home page (link)


Course Schedule:  USFilmFA17schedule.html


Presentation Schedule: Click here

Film List (to choose from): Click here


What is this Course?

Course Description and Objectives:

Course Description:

                Surveys the general history of the United States presented in film.  This course examines selected events, movements, and personalities from America's social, cultural, and intellectual development in light of the perceived and historical truths.  The content material contrasts the "mythology" surrounding these events with the actual facts in order to provide a broader view of the circumstances prompting behaviors.  Main topics included in this course:  Colonial America, the Early Republic, Age of Reform, the Civil War, Westward Expansion, Industrialization, the New Era-1920s, the Great Depression & the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, Post-War America (1945-1970) & Suburbia and Civil Rights, the Rise of Conservatism, and the U.S. since 1980.

Course Objectives:

                Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:

·         Establish a chronology of historical events in American History from Colonial America to present.

·         Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the evolution of early American history.

·         Evaluate and interpret historical documents and primary sources.

·         Interpret films as texts that can help reveal the nature of historical characters and events.

·         Explain how movies reveal the social, political, and cultural concerns of the time in which they were produced.

·         Evaluate films as cultural documents that reflect the concerns of the era in which they were produced.

·         Write an effective historical essay.

Course Goals:

                Students will recognize and evaluate significant events, themes, and people in American history; demonstrate critical thinking skills through the study of American political, economic, cultural, and social institutions; identify major trends and influences in the intellectual development of the United States; distinguish the development and evolution of political and cultural trends during the development of the United States; examine movies as historical documents; evaluate significant films that depict events, movements, and personalities in American History; and, identify history as an academic discipline and evaluate its relevance to the lives of contemporary people.

Recommended Co-requisites or Pre-requisites:

There are no prerequisites for this course.  It is preferable but not mandatory that the student has taken a general course in American history before enrolling in History 262.  Students should also have reading and writing skills appropriate for college-level sophomores.  This class will be conducted as an upper level course.


Course Materials:

-Required textbook:, Hollywood's America:  Twentieth-Century America Through Film, (Fourth OR Fifth Edition), edited by Steven Mintz and Randy W. Roberts (ISBN:  9781405190039). 

-Students will need to critically watch a minimum of 10 films over the course of the semester.

-Students are required to search out critiques of their films and include them in their assignments. 

-Recommended internet sources include the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), www.imdb.com; Movie Review Query Engine, www.mrqe.com; Rotten Tomatoes, www.rottentomatoes.com; Metacritic, www.metacritic.com; and, Turner Classic Movies, www.tcm.com.

-Additional online materials will be made available via the Course Schedule



What do I need to do?

Grading Policy:





In class Participation/Attendance



BB Discussion



Film Presentations (2)



Papers (3)


Grading Scale


Final Historical Film Research Project



















59 and below


Course Schedule:  USFilmFA17schedule.html


o   Participation

§  Based on in class attendance and active engagement in daily discussions.


o   BB Discussion

§  Every week after Wednesday's class discussion is completed, a question will be released on BB that you will have to make multiple posts addressing the question put forth by the start of class on the following Monday.

§  The questions will build off and upon the subjects of that week.

§  You will be graded based on both quantity and quality of your posts.


o   Papers  =Each student will complete  3  argumentative essays utilizing multiple films as source material.
     § Paper 1 = Due week 3
     § Paper 2 = Of the first 2 sections of this course, you will write a paper at the end of either 1 or 2.
                                        (Must be the opposite of what you choose to do for the presentations.)
                        -As sources the student must use the films watched and discussed in class as well as 1-2 other relevant                                     films of the students choosing.
     § Paper 3 = Final week of course.

o   Presentations =Each student will give 2 presentations about films with historical content or significance. 

§  Presentation 1= Of the first 2 sections of this course, you will give a presentation in either 1 or 2.
                             (Must be the opposite of what you choose to do for the papers.)

§  Presentation 2= With your Group, you will chose 2 movies that either complement or contrast with one another.  Your class presentation will compare and contrast the films' approaches, points of view, accuracy, and historical value. 


§Students will select historically appropriate films on the genre assigned and submit to Kinch by email for approval at least 2 weeks in advance of the presentation.  Use the Video List to help you find a period appropriate film
If a film has not been submitted AND approved by Kinch by the date outlined on the                                                                     Presentation schedule (Click here) there will be a 10% grade deduction on the presentation.


§  Presentations should be approximately 15 minutes long, with 3 minutes devoted to a clip or clips from the film, provide a brief summation of the film, and at least 5 minutes dedicated to historical analysis (such as context, influence, and accuracy presented). 


§  You must also generate three questions related to the film and your analysis that you can pose to the rest of the class so as to lead a 10-15 discussion on the context of or surrounding the film.

                                                                Film Presentations Rubric: Click Here     


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 1201, prohibits copying or excerpting films for any purpose other than use in media studies classrooms.  Excerpts shared with the class should be no longer than three minutes.

Extra Credit Assignments (due by the end of Week 13) =

-Digital History Project- http://www.nvcc.edu/home/jkincheloe/extracredit.html

                   Take a look and talk to Kinch if you are interested.


How do I do assignments?

Tree Preservation

This is a paperless course. 

- All additional readings, assignments, submissions, and course materials are on Blackboard.

-All primary source readings are online and accessible through links in the BB “Course Schedule.”

-You will need to check Blackboard acct. weekly for readings and assignments.

-To access Blackboard = Log in to “My NOVA”  https://nvcc.my.vccs.edu/jsp/home.jsp

Guidelines for Written Work 

Formatting: All Papers should be double spaced, using 12 point Calibri font and one inch margins.  All papers must be word processed and submitted through Blackboard as “doc,” “docx,” or “rtf.”      E-mail submissions will not be accepted.  

Style and Grammar: You must present your arguments in clear, concise, and grammatically correct English.  Make sure to proofread and use spell-check. For information on writing papers for this class, make sure to read Kinch’s writing guide (under course documents on BB.)  You also might want to consult the following handy websites:

o       NVCC Loudoun's Writing Center

o       Charlie Evans’ History Writing Center

Citations:  You MUST include a formal citation any time you refer to a specific passage in a text, even if you do not quote the text directly.  The required method for citing sources in this class is Chicago Style formatting for footnote citations.  According to this format, you “Insert Footnote” (under references) and enter the citation information as laid out in this link.


What are the course rules?

 Makeup/Late Policy 

-Late posts will not be accepted. 

-Late papers will recieve half credit, if turned in before the last classroom meeting of the semester.
If you fail to attend class on the day of your Film Presentation you will receive a zero for that assignment.  It is your responsibility to know the dates of your presentations and mediate any potential conflicts.

                          IF you secure an excused absence from Kinch well in advance of your presentation day, you will need to be ready to present                                             beginning the next class to fill in when ever there is an open time slot that becomes available.


-All assignments should be stored on a cloud server and submitted online.  Excuses such as “my dog ate my homework” and “my computer crashed” are no longer valid.


Posting of Grades

Assignments will be graded and posted within two weeks of their due date whenever possible.

Electronic Devices

**All devices must be stowed and silenced during presentations… failure to show respect to your colleagues will result in grade deductions.

Laptops and tablets are encouraged in class
, but surfing for non-subject related material during class will not be tolerated.  If seen you will be asked to explain the relevance of what is on your screen and you may be asked to leave the room.  You will be required to engage with your own or provided devices during class discussion.
**Screens under 7 in. are not valid in-class devices
for this course. Phones should be stowed and silenced during class time. If the device is heard, I reserve the right to respond to the call or incoming message.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance is mandatory due to the nature of this course:

 (It is your responsibly to check in on the sign in sheet for every class.)

Absences, Late arrival, and leaving early will affect a student’s grade due to the student not being able to participate in class/group discussions. Students missing more than thirty percent of the scheduled classes without an excused absence from the professor will receive ZERO points for the class participation grade. Class absence does not excuse a student from meeting assignment due dates

Academic Dishonesty: 

Academic Dishonesty will not be tolerated.

Students involved in cheating will receive a grade of “0” on the activity during which cheating occurred and particularly flagrant or obviously intentional instances of cheating or plagiarism will result in a grade of "F" for the course.  In addition the student will be reported to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.

**Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  F. Academic Dishonesty in the Student Handbook.


Academic dishonesty, as a general rule, involves one of the following acts:

1.       Cheating on an examination or quiz; including the giving, receiving, or soliciting of information and the unauthorized use of notes or other materials.

2.       Substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for one’s self.

3.       Plagiarism - This is the act of appropriating passages from the work of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one’s own work. This includes any submission of written work other than one’s own.

-Please note that even copying a sentence or two from another source without citing it is enough to trigger a plagiarism penalty.  Likewise, changing a word here or there from content which you copy is plagiarism.  Your work should be entirely in your own words except for the passages which you quote and appropriately cite. All of your papers for the class will be checked for plagiarism by SafeAssign software.

4.       Collusion with another person in the preparation or editing of assignments submitted for credit, unless such collaboration has been approved in advance by the instructor.

5.       Knowingly furnishing false information to the College; forgery and alteration or use of College documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud.

Be aware of the following:

- Internet-enabled devices, dictionaries and/or calculators are prohibited during testing.

- If you need to leave the room during testing, for whatever reason, your test will be collected immediately for grading without any additional time for more work on the test or quiz.


Instructor/Student Communications Policy:

The primary means of communication outside the classroom between the Instructor and the student is via Blackboard Announcements and e-mail. Students should check Blackboard and their e-mail daily for any Instructor communications. Failure on the part of the student to check Blackboard and e-mail on a regular basis is not an excuse for missed /late assignments or exams. The Instructor turn-around time to respond to e-mails is 24-to-48 hours Monday through Friday.

Instructors receive a significant number of e-mails from students over the course of the semester. To specifically identify the course in which the student is enrolled, all e-mail from the student must include the course and section number (e.g., ACC211-000) in the Subject of the e-mail.


I will email you at the email address on my class list which is your VCCS email address. If you do not check this address frequently, I would recommend you set it up for automatic forwarding to an email address you do check more frequently. When emailing the instructor, always send email from your VCCS email address.


Student Professionalism

Please be considerate. Disruptive behavior, on the ground and online, will not be tolerated.  Private conversations during lecture or class discussions, ringing mobile phones, texting, sleeping, or walking into class late or out of class early all distract and disturb your instructor and your classmates, and will count against your participation grade.  Repeated instances of rude behavior will result your removal from the classroom.   If you have a question or a comment on the course material, please raise your hand and share it with the class.

All students are considered adults and will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  B. Student Conduct in the Student Handbook.



"Netiquette" is an abbreviation for "Internet etiquette" – simply, basic rules of the road for the "Information Superhighway." Online learning involves much communication using email, bulletin boards, chats and other methods.

Anonymity – While anonymity is often, and justifiably, desired in many Internet communications, maintaining your identity is essential in an online course. If at any time you have concerns about your privacy in an online course, please let your instructor know. Make sure you include your name on all your emails as some messaging systems will not include this and many email addresses do not indicate the name of the sender.

Brevity – Very few people want to read long messages. Other than for special situations, try to keep most of your communications brief and to the point. Others will thank you, and you'll be equally grateful to everyone else.

Communication – Use the Subject Line. Make your entry in the Subject Line concise and informative. Focus on one subject per message and always include a pertinent subject title for the message; that way the user can locate the message quickly. Include your name at the bottom of email messages. Be careful when using sarcasm and humor. Without face to face communications, your joke may be viewed as criticism.

Inappropriate material – Suggestive or pornographic content or links do not belong in online courses, nor does anything promoting hatred or discrimination.

Large files – Avoid sending unnecessarily large files and attachments. Many of those cute screen savers and computer games circulated via email place a heavy load on email systems and create large downloads, particularly for those who are on slower modems or using older computers. They often may also carry malicious content such as viruses.

Privacy – It is simple to forward a message you have received from someone else. However, unless it is clear you have their permission to do so, check first. This is particularly important when you post a private message sent to you from someone else to a public bulletin board or email list.

Readability – Try to format your messages with lots of breaks and headings. One long paragraph that fills some else's full screen with no breaks will very likely not be read. Watch for errors: a careful read as well as a spell-check will solve most problems--lots of mistakes are extremely annoying.

Shouting – What is shouting? THIS IS: TYPING A MESSAGE IN CAPITAL LETTERS IS TYPICALLY UNDERSTOOD AS THE EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING AT SOMEONE. It is perceived as rude and will usually result in a request by others to "Stop yelling" or worse, a "flame"--a flurry of angry responses that will bombard your email inbox.

Adapted from http://www.jibc.bc.ca/onlineLearning/online/online/net.htm.


IT Helpdesk

The IT Help Desk provides first-level technical support to all faculty, staff and students of Northern Virginia Community College. Additional details and resources are located at http://www.nvcc.edu/ithd/.

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday:

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.







Anyone observing an emergency situation should contact the Campus Police Office or the dean of students.

Loudoun Campus

Campus Police:


Dean of Students:



Disability Services for Students:

The College is committed to the goal of providing each qualified student an equal opportunity to pursue a college education regardless of disability. Efforts will be made toward meeting reasonable requests for services to students with disabilities eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Please read the section titled Disability Services for Students in the Student Handbook.

Students requiring special needs in accordance with the American’s With Disabilities Act must provide to the professor the NOVA Accommodation Form. Every effort will be made to meet student’s special needs when the student makes those needs known appropriately. It is the student’s responsibility, not a counselor’s, to present the NOVA Accommodation Form to the professor. Accommodations will begin as soon as the form is received and are not retroactive.

Please visit the Disability Support Service (DSS), Disability Documentation Guidelines, and Students with Disabilities Intake Packet NOVA website pages for additional details and list of Disability Counselors by Campus. 

Northern Virginia Community College, Disability Services http://www.nvcc.edu/current-students/disability-services/

-Accommodation forms should be given to the instructor no fewer than 7 days before the date the assignment or exam requiring the accommodation is due, and preferably at the very beginning of the semester.

Classroom Emergency Response Procedures

All classrooms have an evacuation plan and directions (showing the route to the nearest building exit) posted next to the light switch by the doorway of each room. When the fire alarm sounds, immediately evacuate the classroom or lab with all of your belongings in accordance with the Evacuation Plan. Do not take the elevator. Do not activate cell phones or radios and please help assist the disabled.

Inclement Weather Policy

You may find out whether the college is closed by checking the web site, the TV or radio news, or by signing up for text message announcements. Please visit https://www.nvcc.edu/emergency/closing/index.html   for detailed information. Individuals may also call the College Call Center at 703–323–3000, NOVAConnect Phone at 703–323–3770, or in Prince William County 703–330–3770. Do not call individual offices.

If weather conditions cause the College to close, all NOVA campuses and off-campus locations are closed.

Emergency Procedures for Class Continuance 

In the event of a College-wide emergency, course requirements, classes, deadlines, and grading schemes are subject to changes that may include alternate delivery methods, alternate methods of interaction with the instructor, class materials, and/or classmates, a revised attendance policy, and a revised semester calendar and/or grading scheme.

=Normal Class cancelation due to weather will not affect the course schedule – You are responsible for all readings and assignments regardless of whether we have class on not.

Nova Emergency Alert Registration: https://alert.nvcc.edu

In event of an emergency just regarding this class, check Blackboard for announcements regarding course progress/assignments.

------Note: The instructor has the right to alter or change the course and course schedule at any time as he deems appropriate.-------



contact: jkincheloe@nvcc.edu