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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Chad J Moody
HSTAA 454
Seattle Campus

The Intellectual History of the United States

Lectures and discussions devoted to the development of the American mind, from historical beginnings to the present.

Class description

This course will trace the lively and diverse history of American intellectual life from the nation's founding to the present. We will study how particular American philosophers, social scientists, social critics, essayists, artists, novelists, and political activists have contributed to "timeless" and transnational questions about the nature of truth, beauty and the self, and how these thinkers have debated ideas and issues specific to the American democratic experience. Tom Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Calhoun, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mark Twain, W.E.B. Du Bois, William James, Jane Addams, Walter Lippman, Randolph Bourne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Reinhold Niebuhr, Lionel Trilling, James Baldwin, Lillian Hellman, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag and Saul Bellow will be among the key American minds we will enagage over the course of the quarter.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This course will be a blend of lecture, in-class discussion and film screenings.

Recommended preparation

There are no formal prerequisites for this class, but students should have some working familiarity with U.S. history.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments will consist of two exams and two short papers.

In addition to the exams and papers, students will be graded on class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Chad J Moody
Date: 05/17/2007