Generation Y Studies JFK’s Life and Times

Forty SMU undergraduates have a unique opportunity to capture the zeitgeist of a turbulent time as the nation prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22. SMU political science Professor Dennis Simon and senior English lecturer Tom Stone in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences are teaching a special course during fall 2013 that examines the life, times and legend of JFK.

The students and professors are blogging about their experiences here. Learn more about SMU’s experts and archival collections related to the presidency and assassination at smu.edu/JFK.

A volatile time in America’s history

An update from Kate, a sophomore majoring in psychology, with minors in English and business: So far in Professor Simon and Stone's class, we have discussed a lot of history relating to JFK and his family as well as to the time at which JFK broke onto the political scene. Learning the history of the time has allowed me to understand more about JFK as a leader. He faced numerous pressures from his family while dealing with a volatile nation. We have spent a lot of time focusing on the Red Scare. It is difficult to believe that as a nation, we were prosecuting each other. Every time we have class, I learn so much about one of the most [...]

2013-10-09T15:43:02+00:00 October 8th, 2013|Generation Y Studies JFK's Life and Times|

Studying Kennedy as a person and as president

An update from Kaley, a sophomore biochemistry major: I'm impressed with this course's insight into John F. Kennedy's life from every perspective. The material shows him as a hero who overcame adversity, a promiscuous womanizer, and a victim of circumstance. This class does a good job of being impartial and putting Kennedy's life in the context of world issues, enabling each student to form his own opinion on John F. Kennedy and giving each student the resources to analyze Kennedy's life from every direction and make his own assumptions. This class has a heavy workload. There are lots of reading assignments to handle, but they are all essential to providing a well-rounded description of John F. Kennedy as a person [...]

2013-10-07T16:27:05+00:00 October 7th, 2013|Generation Y Studies JFK's Life and Times|

Remembering the loss and the legend

An update from Rachel, a sophomore biology major and biomedical anthropology minor: As I browsed the list of "Ways of Knowing" classes for the Fall 2013 semester, one class immediately caught my eye, "JFK: His Life, His Times, His Legend." The name of the class possesses the same allure as the name Kennedy. My love of American history – specifically 20th-century history – spurred my interest in taking this class. I am so glad I enrolled. The 1950s and '60s represent my favorite era. The television, automobiles, advertisements, fashions, and the upbeat spirit that comes with post-WWII prosperity create an overall sense of the emergence of modern America, making it a time in history I would have loved to experience first-hand. [...]

2013-10-07T16:28:17+00:00 October 7th, 2013|Generation Y Studies JFK's Life and Times|

Who was the real JFK?

An update from Rianna, a sophomore: I was honestly not looking forward to this class. I didn’t really know much about former President John F. Kennedy; I simply knew that he was assassinated in Dallas and that we had a museum about him somewhere downtown. I’ve also never really been into modern history… anything after 1900 gets a bit too political for me, and I’m just not interested enough to follow along. But this class is so much better than I expected. The professors, first of all, are amazing. Their knowledge on Jack Kennedy, his family, and various conspiracy theories is outstanding, and their enthusiasm for the subject is contagious. I never expected JFK's life to be so full of [...]

2013-10-01T13:47:34+00:00 October 1st, 2013|Generation Y Studies JFK's Life and Times|
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