Washington D.C. Course Info


The Founding of the American Republic, 1787-1815: Major Issues, Major Controversies
James M. Banner, Jr
- Tuesdays, Oct 4 - Nov 8, 5-6:30pm

Course Description

This course will cover some of the major subjects relating to the public history of the United States from the adoption of the Constitution of 1787 through the War of 1812.  Those subjects will include the founding of constitutional government, foreign relations and war, law and the courts, territorial expansion, politics and political parties, and sectionalism, and it will include consideration of the major figures involved in all these issues.  Embodied in these subjects are other issues—those of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, ideas, law, social reform, voluntary associations, and culture—all of which will no doubt arise in discussion but cannot be extensively canvassed in the time allotted to us.  The course’s purpose is to go beyond being a refresher of old knowledge gained in school and college to instead being a review of what is now known and thought about the nation’s early years, to learning about some of the major developments and controversies about them in recent decades, and to suggesting the enduring richness of this period’s history as a resource for understanding the nation’s entire past and (need it be said?) its present.  The reading, which will provide the basis of seminar discussions, will be portions of a single book, Gordon S. Wood’s Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (Oxford University Press, 2009).

About James M. Banner, Jr.

James M. Banner, Jr., holds a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Columbia, where he studied with Richard Hofstadter.  He was a member of the history department of Princeton University from 1966 to 1980, which he left to found the American Association for the Advancement of the Humanities.  A former Guggenheim Fellow, fellow of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard, member of the board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, and Fulbright Visiting Professor of American History at Charles University, Prague, he is the author of many books and articles in American history, education, and public affairs.   They include To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts, 1789-1815; with James M. McPherson et al., Blacks in America: Bibliographical Essays; with Harold C. Cannon,  The Elements of Teaching and The Elements of Learning; and, most recently, Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History.  He is currently writing a book about revisionist history tentatively entitled “Battles Over the Past: Revisionist History—What It Is, Why We Have It” and hoping for a production of a play, “Good and Faithful Servants,” drawn from the correspondence between John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.  Banner was a co-founder of the History News Service and the moving spirit behind the National History Center.



Economics, Politics and the Arab World

Professor Paul Sullivan-  Saturdays, Oct 8 - Nov 12, 10-11:30am

Course Description

This class will be a survey of some of the most important issues facing the Arab World. We will look into the economic development, or lack thereof, of many countries in the region. We will discuss some of the complex and fluid politics of the region. We will look into some of the causes and effects of the “Arab Spring”, and why some countries seemed spared of this and others were destroyed or damaged by it. The many causes and effects of extremism will be analyzed. The class will also look into the importance of energy, water and food security for the people of the region, and what the future may bring on these issues. We will wrap up the class by discussing Arab relations with the word --and how and why they have been changing.

About Professor Paul Sullivan

Dr. Paul Sullivan has been a professor of economics at the National Defense University (NDU) since July 1999. He has been an adviser to flag officers from the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and East Asia while at NDU. He has been part of the leadership and faculty of the NDU Energy Industry Study for 12 years. Dr. Sullivan has run field studies related to the energy, environment and agribusiness industries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, and the United States as part of his duties at NDU. He was part of the initial point team to help establish a National Defense College in the UAE. Dr. Sullivan is an Adjunct Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University, where he has taught classes on global energy and security (which include analyses of energy issues for the EU, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, Japan, the United States, Canada, and the Arctic.) for over 12 years. He is a Senior International Fellow at the National Council of U.S.Arab Relations and an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Future Global Resource Threats at the Federation of American Scientists. Dr. Sullivan has been involved in the energy work at the UNCTAD with a focus on Africa. He was a senior fellow at the EastWest Center and a VP at the UN Association of the National Capitol Area. He is an internationally recognized expert on the political economy and economic development of the Middle East and North Africa. He taught classes on the economics of Egypt, the economic development of the Middle East and the economic history of the Middle East at the American University in Cairo for six years. He has been advising senior leadership on economic, energy, water, the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia, South Asia and other economic and security issues for decades. Dr. Sullivan obtained his Ph.D. from Yale University with highest honors and graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University. Dr. Sullivan is a graduate of the Seminar XXI Program at MIT. He has a certificate of completion from the ethoarchaeology field study run by Flinders University in Barunga, Australia. He is a member of Chatham House and the IISS.  A selected list of his publications and other activities can be found at  https://www.linkedin.com/in/drsullivenergy.