On HistPhil, I have shared a syllabus  for a graduate seminar on the history of U.S. philanthropy, whose introductory paragraphs I include below. This is a course that I have not yet taught, but would love to teach. The subsequently-listed syllabi on the history of the U.S. social sciences, U.S. legal history, and twentieth-century U.S. history, I already have taught. For their longer forms, please feel free to reach me via email.    


Graduate Seminar on the History of U.S. Philanthropy: 


History of U.S. Philanthropy

HIST 4900/6900, Forthcoming Semester

Professor Maribel Morey


In 1996, nineteenth-century U.S. historian Sven Beckert proposed an undergraduate seminar on the history of American capitalism at Harvard. Seventeen years later in 2013, The New York Times announced that the “events of 2008 and their long aftermath have given urgency to the scholarly realization that it really is the economy, stupid.” Today, the history of capitalism has become a trending focus in history departments across the country, with course offerings and completed dissertations on the topic. U.S. historians’ contemporary excitement about capitalism as an analytic lens for understanding change-over-time within the United States, though, co-exists with another movement within the field: to transnationalize, or rather, to globalize U.S. history. Sure enough, U.S. historians of capitalism have blended these two movements to write transnational, global histories of capitalism.

However, if we, as U.S. historians, want to understand how and why capitalism functions the way it does within and outside the United States and want to understand the role of the United States in a global community throughout the past centuries, then we also need to take into account U.S. philanthropy. This is because philanthropy plays the role of addressing and also legitimizing the inequalities produced by capitalism, and it plays this role both domestically and globally.

In this graduate seminar, we will examine the complex role of U.S. philanthropy in American democratic life and on the global stage. In doing so, we not only will be enriching two contemporary trends in the profession, but continuing an intellectual tradition developed nearly forty years ago by University of Chicago historians Barry D. Karl and Stanley N. Katz.

We will begin the seminar by analyzing how philanthropists, philanthropic managers, national policymakers, and the American public perceived the role of U.S. philanthropy in the United States and globally throughout the long twentieth century. After discussing key secondary works in the field, we will analyze Andrew Carnegie’s distinction between charity and philanthropy and the role he prescribed to philanthropy in a capitalist society. Moving forward chronologically into the 1920s and 1930s United States, we will analyze how Americans discussed the appropriate forms of philanthropy-government collaborations; the ideal relationships among foundations; and, the power of philanthropies to shape the construction of authoritative knowledge in the natural and social sciences. Next, we will read the various Congressional investigations of these organizations throughout the twentieth century as a means of understanding Americans’ changing anxieties about philanthropy and U.S. democracy. We then will discuss the role of U.S. foundations on a global stage during the twentieth century and analyze these organizations’ shifting identities as benevolent givers; empire by another name; and, apologists for global capitalism. We will conclude the course with a general reflection on the place of U.S. philanthropy in the global community during the long twentieth century and today.


Undergraduate/Graduate Seminar in the U.S. Social Sciences: 


History of the U.S. Social Sciences

HIST 4940/6940, Spring 2015

Hardin Hall 233

Tuesday, Thursday11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Professor Maribel Morey

How do we write the history of social science? There are problems even with the name. In English alone, “sciences of man,” “moral sciences,” “moral and political sciences,” “behavioral sciences,” and “human sciences” have been among its many predecessors and competitors. Their proliferation reflects the unsettled nature of this broad subject matter. All are capable of giving offense, both by exclusion and inclusion. Many have long and contradictory histories.

– Theodore M. Porter and Dorothy Ross, “Introduction: Writing the History of Social Science,” in Cambridge History of Science: The Modern Social Sciences, Vol. 7, ed. Theodore M. Porter and Dorothy Ross 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).


Course Description:

In this seminar for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, we will survey the history of the U.S. social sciences. Beginning with a general presentation of this field of historical research, the course delves into a survey of the social sciences in the U.S. during the nineteenth- and twentieth centuries. In particular, we will investigate the history of the following fields: economics, sociology, political science, psychology, and anthropology. Throughout our discussions, we will consider how nineteenth-century U.S. scholars imagined a science of the social and how these five social science disciplines developed in the U.S. throughout the late nineteenth- and twentieth centuries. Moreover, we will analyze how these U.S. disciplines were impacted by intellectual trends in Europe. In the process, we will discuss the works of key U.S. and European social scientists such as: Adam Smith, Thomas Robert Malthus, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner, John Dewey, Dorothy and W.I. Thomas, Bronislaw Malinowski, Alva and Gunnar Myrdal, Antonio Gramsci, Theodor Adorno, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, David Easton, and Clifford Geertz. We will question the rigidity and porosity of the U.S. social sciences and, more specifically, of their disciplinary boundaries during these two centuries. 

Required Books:

Roger E. Backhouse and Philippe Fontaine, eds., The History of the Social Sciences since 1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010). .

Christian Fleck, A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011). 

Dorothy Ross, The Origins of American Social Science (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991). 



Undergraduate, 2-semester U.S. Legal History Sequence:


United States Legal History to 1890

HIST 3280, Fall 2014

Hardin Hall 233

T/TH 3:30-4:45 pm

Professor Maribel Morey

Course Description:

This is the first of two courses intended as an introduction to U.S. legal history. This course begins with a general theoretical background to the study of legal history. It then progresses into a survey of the U.S. legal system from colonial times to the 1890s. Following in general chronological order, we will address questions about the legal realm in areas ranging widely across the history of American life. Our subjects will include the laws on labor and slavery in the British North American colonies, the English common law tradition in the Early Republic, married women’s coverture, the advent of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the role of the Court in an expanding and industrializing nation. Throughout our discussions this semester, we will consider how the legal system both served to justify society’s status quo and functioned as a vehicle for societal change in the British North American colonies and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century United States.  

Required Books:

Lawrence M. Friedman, A History of American Law (Simon & Schuster, 3rd ed. 2005) [hereafter cited as History of American Law].

Kermit L. Hall, Paul Finkelman, and James W. Ely, Jr., American Legal History: Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press, 4th ed. 2011) [hereafter cited as Cases and Materials]. 


United States Legal History from 1890

HIST 3290, Spring 2015

Hardin Hall 101

Tuesday, Thursday  8:00 am - 9:15 pm

Professor Maribel Morey 

Course Description:

This is the second of two undergraduate courses intended as an introduction to U.S. legal history. During the first semester, students examined how individuals in the British North American colonies and in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century United States experienced law in their everyday lives. Throughout our discussions last semester, we considered how the legal system both served to justify society’s status quo and functioned as a vehicle for societal change in the British North American colonies and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century United States. During this second semester, students enter the halls of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century courthouses, law firms, legal advocacy clinics, and law schools to see how U.S. judges, practicing lawyers, and law professors discussed the role that law should play in Americans’ lives.

During the first week of this course, students will be introduced to the general responsibilities of U.S. judges, practicing lawyers, and law professors and to the dynamics between these groups. After this basic grounding on the legal community, students will survey major trends in the ways that these individuals argued about the appropriate role of law in American society during the late nineteenth- and twentieth centuries. This course will cover major intellectual fashions and their critiques within this community, including: classical legal thought, legal realism, legal process, legal liberalism, law & society, feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory, textualism, and law & economics. It also will highlight the intellectual leadership of figures such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Roscoe Pound, Benjamin Cardozo, Christopher Columbus Langdell, Karl Llewellyn, Jerome Frank, Herbert Wechsler, Learned Hand, James Landis, Thurgood Marshall, Willard Hurst, Lawrence Friedman, Pauli Murray, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Carol Gilligan, Catherine MacKinnon, Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Patricia J. Williams, Antonin Scalia, Ronald Coase, Duncan Kennedy, and Ronald Dworkin.  

Required Books:

Morton J. Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Laura Kalman, The Strange Career of Legal Liberalism (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1996).

Kenneth Mack, Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012).

Antonin Scalia, A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997).


Undergraduate, 20th Century U.S. Survey Course:


History of the United States

HIST 1020, Fall 2014

Hardin Hall 235

T/TH 11:00 am-12:15 pm

Professor Maribel Morey


Course Description:

This course is an undergraduate survey of the history of the United States from the end of Reconstruction through to the 1980s. It focuses on key moments in the nation’s political history, such as the Reconstruction Amendments, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, Jim Crow laws, the U.S. Constitution’s Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, the Social Security Act of 1935, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the failed Equal Rights Amendment, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society Programs, and President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. During our discussions, we will keep in mind two general questions: (1) How and why did national political changes occur the way they did in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States?; and, (2) How did these moments of change reflect transformations within and outside of the nation-state? 

Required Books:

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Eric Foner, A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1866 (New York: Harper & Row, 1990).

David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in the Great Depression (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Nell Irvin Painter, Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1987).