America's Contested History

Join the University of Chicago for an intimate, interactive, and in-depth exploration of the history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present.

A summer day in front of the US Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC.

Explore the History

Examine the origins and history of the United States, from 1492 to 2022, through a virtual seminar with Dr. Fred Beuttler, the former Deputy Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives and former Associate Dean at the University of Chicago, along with guest lectures by selected University of Chicago history faculty.

On the left: The 1619 Project, by Nikole Hannah-Jones. On the right: Land of Hope, by Wilfred M. McClay.

Examine All Perspectives

Investigate contrasting perspectives on history and civic life by reading and analyzing source texts from differing political perspectives such as Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project and Wilfred McClay’s Land of Hope.



Two adult students debating in the classroom.

Engage in Dialogue

Explore the “contested ground” over the origins and meaning of liberty and equality and the conditions for a just and stable society through Socratic dialogue with thoughtful peers who are committed to open exchange.



Fred Beuttler as Deputy House Historian, United States House of Representatives, Office of the Historian, briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center in 2010.

Learn from Eminent Minds

Study U.S. history with eminent historians. America’s Contested History is led by Fred W. Beuttler, who received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago and then went on to become the Deputy Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives and, later, an Associate Dean at the University of Chicago.



Adult student at work on her laptop.

Complete the Sequence

America’s Contested History is a three-course sequence that examines our full history over three quarter-long courses. Each course costs $465 and is taught in a small group format to ensure deep engagement and interactivity.

The first quarter begins in Autumn of 2022 with a course examining the period from 1492 to the election of 1800.