Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.
American Modernity and Its Discontents, 1876-1929
The period from the the Gilded Age through the “Roaring Twenties” is often regarded as the moment at which “modern America” took shape from the cultural and material transformations of industrialization, urbanization, consumerism, telecommunications, entertainment, etc. This seminar will examine how print media (and some visual media) represented the conditions and demands of “modern life” in the decades before and after the turn of the twentieth century. The course will consider both advocacy (modernism) and opposition (antimodernism) to the profound changes in the United States. The readings will focus on cultural, social, and intellectual history of the period.
Student learning goals
The course will emphasize sources found in the American Periodical Series Online, a digitized collection of 1,000+ magazines, but students' research will not be limited to print media.
General method of instruction
As a senior seminar, students will need to manage the reading load and actively participate in weekly discussions.
There are no prerequisites for the course. Interest and familiarity with U.S. history or subjects related to the theme of this course may be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
The primary assignment for the course is an original historical essay of 15-20 pages. There will be 2-3 smaller assignments related to the research process for this paper.
Grades will be assigned based on discussion participation, the short assignments, and the research paper.