UVIC, Summer 2006, J01

Meeting Times:    M-F 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Meeting Place:    Clearihue A303

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office:  Clearihue B228   

Office Hours:  Tues, Thurs: 3:00-4:00 p.m. (or by appointment)

Home Phone:   477-4058 (Do not hesitate to call with course-related questions).

Office Phone:   721-7000, Ext. 7395

Web-Site: http://www.misterdann.com/contentsvietnamwar.htm

E-Mail: dhinman@telus.net


Thursday, June 1: INTRODUCTION

Reading Assignment:

Friday, June 2

a)  Video: "Dear America: Letters From Home" (84 minutes)

Reading Assignment:

Monday, June 5

a)  Introduce Vietnam/Iraq Comparison Grid

b)  Discussion: Reflections on the War

c)  Lecture: Reflections on the Wall

Reading Assignment:

Tuesday, June 6

a)  Lecture: "Why Must We Take This Painful Road?" -- The Roots of American Involvement in Vietnam (206 BCE-1965)

[Includes Segment from "Vietnam: A Television History"]

Wednesday, June 7

a)  Video: "Two Days In October" [1967] (80 minutes)

Thursday, June 8


b)  Video: "Fog of War" (50 minutes)

c)  Discussion: McNamara's War

Reading Assignment:

Friday, June 9

a)  Video: "Remember My Lai"

b)  Discussion: Achilles In Vietnam

Reading Assignment:


Optional Extra Reading:

Monday, June 12

a)  Discussion Sections: ****Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides

b)  Video: "Vietnam's Unseen War: Pictures From the Other Side"

Tuesday, June 13

a)  Lecture: "Hey, Hey, LBJ": The War at Home

Reading Assignment:

Wednesday, June 14

a)  Video:  "Independent Lens: Weather Underground" (85 minutes)

Thursday, June 15

a)  Discussion: Weather Underground.  For more information about the film, see the companion web-site at    .

b)  Discussion: Fonda's War

c)  Discussion: Vietnam War/ Iraq War Comparison Grid

Reading Assignment:

Friday, June 16

a)  Discussion: The Vietnam War in Time Magazine

b)  Video: "Reporting America at War: Which Side Are You On?" (50 minutes)

c)  Lecture: The Living Room War -- Journalism And The Vietnam War

Monday, June 19

a)  Discussion Sections: ****Things They Carried

b)  Video: "Ethics In America -- Under Orders, Under Fire, Part I"

Tuesday, June 20

a)  Lecture: "Waist Deep In The Big Muddy": The United States and Vietnam (1965-1975)

b)  Video: "Playing The Game -- Cambodia, The Bloodiest Domino" (55 minutes)

Wednesday, June 21

a)  "Do We Get To Win This Time?": THE FILMS OF WAR

b)  Discussion: Canada and the Vietnam War

Reading Assignment:

Optional Listening/Viewing Assignment:

Thursday, June 22

a)  Discussion: John Kerry's War and The 2004 Presidential Election Campaign


c)  Course Evaluations

Reading Assignment:


Friday, June 23


***Journal is Due Thursday, June 29.


Christian G. Appy, Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides, (New York: Viking, 2003).

Tim O'Brien, Things They Carried (New York: Broadway, 1988).


Letter of Introduction                                                                   1%

Journal                                                                                            65%

Exam                                                                                                20%

Class Participation                                                                       14%

a)  Letter of Introduction (1%) (Full point awarded if assignment completed)

Who are you? Where are you from? What are your interests? Why are you taking this course? Do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions as we start the course? Write two or three informal paragraphs for the second class of the semester to introduce yourself to me.

b)  Journal (65%)

The student journal is the main assignment in this class.  The purpose of the journal is to provide you the opportunity for frequent thoughtful, analytical, and personal commentary upon course—related material.  The advantages of the journal, to my mind, are that it breaks work down into regular and manageable chunks, and that it enables you to seize hold of the curriculum in a way which reflects your own interests and style.

It will be due on Thursday, June 29.   I will set up brief one-on-one meetings early in the semester to discuss the journal with anyone who would like to do this and will be happy to discuss your work on this assignment as it progresses.

In order to give you a basic structure and to clearly communicate my expectations, I will specify certain recommended entries and suggest a format for reading responses.  However, while it is required that all work in the journal be your own original writing, you are encouraged to be imaginative in your own investigation and analysis of the Vietnam War.

The entries will, no doubt, vary in format, length and quality.   Do not hesitate to take risks and to express your own opinions.  It's fine if some entries read more like summary than analysis; it can be useful to put what you have learned from an article or a video into your own words.  Other entries may make connections between the Vietnam War and issues that deeply concern you.  Try, however, not to succumb to the temptation to write in an easy, stream—of—consciousness style.   There is no inherent tension between analytical rigour and personal insight.

Include any printouts of particularly interesting internet material in an appendix to the journal.  I will assume that everything in the body of the journal represents your own writing unless indicated otherwise.


The good journal will:

  • be at least 30 pages long.

  • include the required common entries as specified through oral and written instruction.

  • include other entries that draw upon class material and/or your independent research.

  • demonstrate that you are approaching the readings and the course with care and effort.

c)  Final Exam (20%)

The Final Exam will ask you to write short essays analyzing paired historical terms. A detailed preparation sheet will be handed out in advance.

d)  Class Participation (14%)

The class participation grade will be based upon attendance; pre-class preparation; and the willingness to contribute thoughtfully to discussion.

Students' willingness to put forth consistent effort and to share their ideas with others is as important in determining the success of a course as the instructor's performance.  However, in any class, and particularly in a larger one, the assigning of a participation grade can become quite arbitrary.  In this course, those students who stand out through consistent contribution to full-class and small-group discussion will be rewarded with a top participation grade.  Although attendance is not required for History 316, I will take roll, and those who are not in class regularly will receive a poor grade for this component of the course.  Those students who attend regularly (13+ classes) but who do not excel in discussion will not receive a designated class participation grade but will instead have their 86-point score converted into a percentage.



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