History | American Cultural History
A307 | 3087 | Friedman


A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

Organized both topically and chronologically, the course
investigates several select topics in American cultural life and
thought from the late 19th century to the present.  Above all, we
shall seek to understand the changing sense of identity and personal
selfhood in specific ethnic and religious groups, social classes,
genders, and professions in response to the decline of local
communities, the rise of centralized bureaucracies, and the
mechanization and specialization of labor.  Subjective, perceived
realities and the ways these perceptions are expressed culturally
shall therefore constitute our central focus.

Readings shall include W.E.B. DuBois, SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, Kate
Chopin, THE AWAKENING, David Guterson, SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS, and
Betty Friedan, THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE.  Films shall include CITIZEN
KANE, MODERN TIMES (Chaplin), THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, and several
portions of EYES ON THE PRIZE.  Each student shall prepare a paper
offering her/his own interpretation of a key dimension of American
cultural life.