Schedule and Syllabus

Summer 2022     Knowledge for Freedom Seminar

Dickinson College / Summer 2022
Seminar:  M/T/W/TH/F 930am to 12pm
Classrooms: Denny 317 (lecture / discussion), Denny 315 & 212 (group discussions)
Plus various afternoon and weekend activities and field trips

Faculty

Prof. Lynn Johnson
Email:  johnsoly@dickinson.edu

Prof. Todd Mealy
Email: tmmealy@comcast.net

Prof. Matthew Pinsker
Email: pinsker@msn.com

Graduate TAs:  Moyra Schauffler (PhD candidate, Penn State) and Cooper Wingert (PhD candidate, Georgetown)

Overview

Slavery, or the idea of holding people as property, might well be the most insidious repudiation of American democratic ideals. And yet, slaveholding was both widespread and long-entrenched in the United States, a country that has always prided itself on embracing individualism and universal natural rights. How was such a fundamental contradiction even possible? That is the kind of searing question that will help open a gateway toward both deeper learning and more engaged citizenship in the Knowledge for Freedom seminar. Students who successfully conclude this program and complete their final web-based projects will receive free Dickinson College credit for the equivalent of a History 101 general topical survey course.

Required Books & Pamphlets (distributed free)

  • Andrew Delbanco, ed., The Portable Abraham Lincoln (Penguin, 2009 ed.)
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, ed., The 1619 Project, New York Times, August 19, 2019 [WEB]
  • James Oakes, The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics (WW Norton, 2007)
  • Matthew Pinsker, ed., Dickinson & Slavery: A Report to the Community (2019) [WEB]
  • Matthew Pinsker, ed., Knowledge for Freedom Source Book (2022) [PDF]
  • John Stauffer and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds., The Portable Frederick Douglass (Penguin, 2016)

Course Policies

For details on course policies, especially those regarding attendance, participation, accommodations for disabilities, plagiarism and general learning objectives, visit the link above.

Workshops, Activities and Field Trips

Each afternoon, seminar participants will participate in various workshops, covering topics such as the college admissions process, research, writing and multi-media production.  Seminar participants will also undertake historical walking tours on campus and in town and will enjoy extended field trips to places such as Gettysburg and Washington, DC.  For details on these trips, visit the links above.

Participation

Students will be responsible for regular attendance and participation in the daily seminar sessions for three weeks, about 2.5 hours per day.  In addition, students will be expected to fully attend separate afternoon workshop sessions and various other program activities. The best way to participate in this seminar (and in most college classes) is to come prepared with thoughtful questions.  The most important questions usually concern possible connections with other texts or experiences, designed to draw broader insights and deeper understanding about context and meaning.

Close Reading Reflections

During the first two weeks of the July seminar, students will have two short close reading reflections due on Sunday night, July 17 and Sunday night, July 24, posted at their personal websites by 11pm.  However, starting on Thursday evening of each of those weeks, students will have required process check-ins with their grad TAs and the dorm RAs to ensure that they are making good progress in the development of their reflection posts. These two close reading reflections (about 500 words or 2-3 pages single spaced) will summarize and analyze one of the featured texts from that previous week’s daily reading schedule. All reflections should be posted at the student’s personal WordPress site along with a selection of 2-3 images (properly credited and captioned) and with one short, embedded video or podcast reading that attempts to bring to life a short snippet (20 to 60 seconds) from the assigned text. These assignments will be graded on the basis of prose quality, analysis, and multi-media effort. Models for these reflections will be available from the work of the undergraduate tutors. Late reflections will be penalized up to 5 points each day.

Final Website Project

Upon arrival at Dickinson, seminar participants will be assigned their own website in a WordPress platform (hosted by Dickinson) and will be taught how to build out both content and design for the creation of their own web-based portfolio. These online portfolios will then serve as a way for students to share their best academic work and most important civic commentaries with their family and friends, with potential colleges, and with the wider world. Dickinson College will continue to provide free hosting services for these websites through 2023. During the seminar, students will create two close reading posts (about assigned course texts from Week 1 and Week 2).

About two weeks after completion of the July seminar (by August 15, 2022), students seeking college credit will also be required to submit an expanded version of their personal website, featuring revisions for their previously submitted close reading reflections, one new close reading reflection (from any week of the seminar), and a new longer essay (about 1,500 words or roughly 3 to 5 pages, single spaced) that draws lessons about how best to achieve change in American democracy through comparing and contrasting the antislavery strategies of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Essays should include properly captioned and credited images as well as Chicago-style footnotes, citing wherever relevant the primary source texts from the course syllabus as well as secondary sources provided by the program, such as James Oakes’s dual biography. Outside research beyond these materials is allowed but not required. Final web projects will be graded on prose quality, research, depth of analysis, and design creativity. Models for these web projects will be available from the work of the undergraduate tutors and previous seminar participants. The best student website projects will also be considered as models for future seminar students and for inclusion in Prof. Pinsker’s online Student Hall of Fame gallery. Late websites will be penalized up to 5 points each day.

Grade Distribution

Seminar Participation……………………………………35 percent
First close reading post…………………………………15 percent
Second close reading post……………………………15 percent
Final Website project…………………………………….35 percent

Full daily schedule (subject to change)

Week 1:  Background on Slavery and Freedom

  • Sunday 7/10 -Arrival Day (Dickinson College campus)
    •  2pm to 4pm = Participants arrive to House Divided studio (61. N. West St)
    • 2pm to 430pm = Move in at High Street Residence Hall (450 W. High St)
    • 430pm to 5pm = Quick campus orientation (STAFF)
    • 5pm to 630pm = Dinner with STAFF (Holland Union Building / HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Monday 7/11  –Toward an Enlightenment
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Pinsker)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop: Getting Started (Staff / Denny 112)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Activity: Campus tour (Admissions / outside Old West)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Tuesday 7/12  –Framing Freedom
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Mealy)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop: WordPress 101  (Staff /  Denny 112)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Admissions Activity: Finding Your College (Denny 212)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Wednesday7/13  –Framing Slavery
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 1030am = Special session with National History Academy (Pinsker / ATS)
    • 1030am to 1230pm = Dickinson & Slavery walking tour (Staff / Old West)
    • 1230pm to 130pm = Special Lunch at HUB Social Hall (Pres. John Jones)
    • 130pm to 430pm = Activity: Field trip to Carlisle
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Thursday 7/14– Bearing Witness
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Johnson)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Break out discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop:  Lindsay Bowman (Harrisburg Academy) / Denny 112)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Admissions Activity:  Application Process (Denny 212)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Required Brainstorming Sessions (Staff / dorm)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Friday 7/15 –Reframing Freedom and Slavery
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930 to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Pinsker)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop: Keely McGeehan (Carlisle HS) (Denny 112)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Activity: Visit to College Archives
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Optional Brainstorming Sessions (Staff / dorm)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Saturday 7/16 –Close Reading assignments
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 9am to 10am = Coffee shop run (Goodman / Ney)
    • 930am to 430pm = Denny 112 computer lab available
    • 10am to 12pm = Required Close Reading Draft review (Staff)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 1pm to 4pm = Optional activities (Staff)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 10pm  MOVIE NIGHT –“Glory” (Dorm)
    • 10pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Sunday 7/17 –Close Reading assignments
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 9am to 10am = Coffee shop run (Goodman / Ney)
    • 930am to 430pm = Denny 112 computer lab available
    • 10am to 12pm = Required Close Reading video review (Staff)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 1pm to 4pm = Optional activities (Staff)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 10pm  = Reading & writing time
    • 10pm = FIRST CLOSE READING POST DUE
    • 10pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out

Week 2: The Other Lincoln-Douglass Debates

  • Monday 7/18 –Seeking Freedom
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Pinsker)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop: Writing & Editing (Denny 212)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Activity:  Visit to Hope Station
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Tuesday 7/19 – Divided Houses
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Johnson)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop: Writing & Editing  (Staff /  Denny 112)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Admissions Activity: Essays & Interviews (Denny 212)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Thursday 7/21 –Saving the Union
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Pinsker)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop: Steff Chortanoff (Lower Dauphin HS) (Denny 212)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Admissions Activity: Financial Aid (Denny 212)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Required Brainstorming Sessions (Staff / dorm)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Friday 7/22 –With Malice Toward None
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930 to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Mealy)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop: Advanced Research (Bombaro)  (Denny 112)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Activity: Scavenger Hunt
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Optional Brainstorming Sessions (Staff / dorm)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Saturday 7/23 –Close Reading assignments
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 9am to 10am = Coffee shop run (Goodman / Ney)
    • 930am to 430pm = Denny 112 computer lab available
    • 10am to 12pm = Required Close Reading Draft review (Staff)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 1pm to 4pm = Optional activities (Staff)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 10pm  MOVIE NIGHT –“Lincoln” (Location:  Dorm lounge)
    • 10pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Sunday 7/24 –Personal Time
    • 7am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 9am to 10am = Coffee shop run (Goodman / Ney)
    • 930am to 430pm = Denny 112 computer lab available
    • 10am to 12pm = Required Close Reading video review (Staff)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 1pm to 4pm = Optional activities (Staff)
    • 445pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 10pm  = Reading & writing
    • 10pm = SECOND CLOSE READING POST DUE
    • 10pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out

Week 3:  Legacies of Slavery & Freedom

  • Monday 7/25 –Reconstructing America
    • 8am to 9am = Breakfast available NOTE –new hours (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Pinsker)
    • 1045am to 11am = DEBATE COIN TOSS
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315/ Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop:  Debate prep (STAFF)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Activity: League of Women Voters  (Denny 212)
    • 530pm to 630pm = Dinner available  NOTE: new hours (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Tuesday 7/26 –Towards Civil Rights Revolutions
    • 8am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Mealy)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop:  Final Essay organizing (STAFF / Denny 212)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Admissions Activity: Case studies (Denny 212)
    • 530pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Wednesday 7/27  –Nation’s Capital
    • 7am to 8am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 8am to 9pm = Activity: Field trip to Washington DC
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Thursday 7/28 –Literary Imagination and the Struggle for Equality
    • 8am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
    • 930am to 945am = Announcements & Text intros (Pinsker / Denny 317)
    • 945am to 1045am = Context lecture / general discussion (Johnson)
    • 1045am to 11am = Break
    • 11am to 12pm = Group discussions (Johnson 315 / Pinsker 212)
    • 12pm to 1pm = Lunch available (HUB)
    • 130pm to 245pm = Workshop:  Final Project advice (STAFF) (Denny 212)
    • 3pm to 430pm = Activity: Debate prep  (STAFF)
    • 530pm to 630pm = Dinner available (HUB)
    • 7pm to 9pm = Dorm activity (Goodman / Ney)
    • 9pm to 11pm = Personal time / lights out
  • Friday 7/29 –Group Presentations
      • 8am to 9am = Breakfast available (HUB)
      • 930am to 10am  = Gettysburg Address Lectern + Artifacts with Craig Caba (Stern)
      • 10am to 1130am = Team Lincoln vs. Team Douglass Debates (Stern 102)
      • 1130am to 12pm  = Photos with Gettysburg Address lectern (Stern 102)
      • 12pm to 1pm =  Luncheon with Provost Neil Weissman and parents / guardians (Stern Great Room)
      • 1pm to 2pm = Departure from dorm

 

UPDATED COVID STATEMENT:  Participants in the 2022 seminar will be required to be fully vaccinated and boosted at least one month prior to their on-campus arrival on July 10, 2022.  Those unable to meet this requirement may request permission to participate remotely during our three-week session.