Emergence of modern America, after the Civil War; interrelationships of economic, social, political, and intellectual developments.
The class will explore American history since 1877 through an examination of the everyday life and culture of Americans. The course will focus on the institutions, media, and activities that Americans came into contact with on a daily or regular basis.
Emphasis will be placed on concrete developments and enduring preoccupations such as fashion, corporations, and youth culture in the economic sphere; sexuality, egalitarianism, and mass media in social life; segregation, civil liberty, and internationalism in political discourses; and racism, liberalism, and evangelism in American thought since 1877.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The class will integrate lecture and discussions Mondays through Fridays. One day per week will be dedicated to reviewing and discussing primary sources from radio, cinema, television, and game-playing in America since 1877.
There are no requirements. Students will work with a variety of primary sources, so prior work in college-level history courses will be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Students will write two 4 to 7 page papers. There will also be a mid-term and a final examination.
Grades will be determined by quality of written work and participation in discussions.