Lectures and discussions devoted to the development of the American mind, from historical beginnings to the present.
This course will explore the place of the intellectual in American history and cultural life, with particular attention to intellectuals' expressions of dissent. Several overarching questions will frame our investigations into American intellectual history. What do we mean when we talk about "intellectuals"? What counts as intellectual work, and who gets to do this work? Why has dissent so often played such a large part in the work and lives of American intellectuals? How have factors such as gender, race, and class shaped the intellectual work produced by various American thinkers? How did successive generations of American intellectuals build on the ideas of those who came before them?
Student learning goals
understand the diversity and complexity of American intellectual life
enhance analytical thinking, speaking, and writing skills
General method of instruction
Lectures and daily in-class discussion (there are no sections for this course)
Previous coursework in American history will be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Participation in daily class discussions. Take-home writing assignments. Final exam.
Detailed explanation of assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus.